I want to tell you about a series of books to which I have just been introduced by my friend Eric.
The series is called Emperor and tells the story, via four novels, of the life of Julius Caesar.
From young boy to Consul of Rome and beyond with Rome, Spain, Gaul, Britain and Greece as a backdrop. The books are filled with adventure, pirates, political intrigue, a little romance and lots of action both on land and at sea. The books are also peppered with other famous characters such as Pompey, Cicero, Mark Antony and so on.
When I was at school I had no interest in history, the curriculum seemed to be obsessed with dates and dry facts. On this date Caesar fought this battle, on that date Caesar became Consul…… bleugh !!!
If only my tutors could have enlivened the classes with stories such as these.
Since starting to read these books I have been prompted to research the backgrounds of many of the characters. In part to determine the reality but also to understand a bit more about the times. Thank you Mr Iggulden for peeking my curiosity.
Also, having travelled around in Europe, many of the places mentioned in the books are places that I have visited. This gives more substance to the books and to a degree fills in gaps that I didn’t know existed in my travels.
The author Conn Iggulden, goes to great lengths in the back of the books, to explain when he has played fast and loose with history for the purposes of maintaining narrative flow. He is the first to point out that it is nigh on impossible to cover everything that Caesar achieved and so there is some telescoping of events.
I only started the first book (The Gates of Rome) some two weeks ago but I am now racing towards the end of the fourth (The Gods of War). The pace in these books never lets up and I am already mentally applying the brakes because I don’t want the story to end but, at the same time, I want to see what happens. All this despite knowing the historical ending.
Thank you Eric, for introducing me to Emperor.