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Green, Peter 1924–

Green, Peter 1924–

(Denis Delaney, Peter Morris Green)

PERSONAL:

Born December 22, 1924, in London, England; son of Arthur (a barrister-at-law) and Olive Green; married Lalage Isobel Pulvertaft (a novelist), August 28, 1951 (divorced, July, 1975); married Carin Margreta Christensen, July 18, 1975; children: Timothy Michael, Nicholas Paul, Sarah Francesca. Education: Trinity College, Cambridge University, B.A., 1950, M.A., 1954, Ph.D., 1954. Politics: Liberal. Religion: Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: "Music, swimming, poetry, Mediterranean travel, meeting interesting people (preferably women), driving fast cars well, studying the political scene with a reasonably realistic eye, and doing research that takes me abroad."

ADDRESSES:

Home—Iowa City, IA. Agent—David Higham Associates Ltd., 5-8 Lower John St., Golden Sq., London W.1 England.

CAREER:

Writer, historian, educator. Selwyn College, Cambridge, England, director of studies in classics, 1952-53; Bodley Head, London, England, literary advisor, 1956-57; Hodder & Stoughton Ltd., London, consultant editor, 1959-63. University of Texas at Austin, visiting professor of classics, 1971-72, professor of classics, 1972—. Visiting professor of classics, University of California, Los Angeles, 1976; visiting professor of history, University of Iowa, 1997-98, adjunct professor of classics, 1998—; editor, Syllecta Classica, 1999—; visiting professor of history, Athens, 1999; Mellon chair in humanities, Tulane University, 1986; visiting fellow, writer-in-residence Hellenic studies program, Princeton University, 2001; King Charles II distinguished visiting professor of classics and ancient history, East Carolina University, 2004; Whichard visiting professor of classics and ancient history, 2006. Military service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 1943-47; became sergeant.

MEMBER:

Royal Society of Literature (fellow), Classical Association, American Philological Association, American Association of University Professors, Classical Association of the Midwest and South, Savile Club (England).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Heinemann Foundation Award, 1957, for The Sword of Pleasure; National Endowment for Humanities (NEH) Senior Fellowship for Individual Study and Research, 1983-84.

WRITINGS:

The Expanding Eye: A First Journey to the Mediterranean, Dobson (London, England), 1953.

Achilles His Armour, Murray (London, England), 1955, Doubleday, 1967.

(Under pseudonym Denis Delaney) Cat in Gloves, Gryphon Books (London, England), 1956.

The Sword of Pleasure, World Publishing (Cleveland, OH), 1957.

Kenneth Grahame: A Biography, World Publishing (Cleveland, OH), 1959, published as Kenneth Grahame, 1859-1932, Murray (London, England), 1959.

Sir Thomas Browne, Longmans, Green (London, England), 1959.

Essays in Antiquity, World Publishing (Cleveland, OH), 1960.

John Skelton, Longmans, Green (London, England), 1960.

Habeas Corpus, and Other Stories, World Publishing (Cleveland, OH), 1962.

The Laughter of Aphrodite, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1966, published as The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.

Armada from Athens: The Failure of the Sicilian Expedition, 415-413 B.C., Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1970.

The Year of Salamis: 480-479 B.C., Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1970.

Alexander the Great, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (London, England), 1970.

The Shadow of the Parthenon, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1972.

A Concise History of Greece to the Close of the Classical Era, Thames & Hudson (London, England), 1973.

The Parthenon, Newsweek Book Division (New York, NY), 1973.

Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography, Penguin (London, England), 1974, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1991.

Ovid: The Erotic Poems, Penguin (London, England), 1981.

Beyond the Wild Wood: The World of Kenneth Grahame, Author of "The Wind in the Willows," Facts on File (New York, NY), 1983.

Classical Bearings: Interpreting Ancient History and Culture, Thames and Hudson (London, England), 1989, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1998.

Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1990, revised edition, 1994.

The Greco-Persian Wars, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1996.

From Ikaria to the Stars: Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2004.

The Hellenistic Age: A Short History, Modern Library (New York, NY), 2007.

The Greco-Persian Wars and Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age have been translated into French and Greek.

TRANSLATOR

C. Aveline, Fountain at Marlieux, Roy Publishers (New York, NY), 1954.

Andre Devigny, Escape from Montluc, Dobson (London, England), 1957, published as Man Escaped, Norton (New York, NY), 1958.

M. Del Castillo, Child of Our Time, Knopf (New York, NY), 1958, published as Tanguy: The Story of a Child of Our Times, Muller (London, England), 1958.

Mongo Beti, Mission Accomplished, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1958, published in England as Mission to Kala, Muller (London, England), 1958.

Marie Gisele Landes, Antoine, Muller (London, England), 1959.

Joseph Kessel, Lion, Knopf (New York, NY), 1959.

Michel de Saint-Pierre, Men of Letters, Hutchinson (London, England), 1959.

Paul Guimard, Lottery, Faber (London, England), 1959, published as House of Happiness, Houghton (Boston, MA), 1960.

Guy Piazzini, Children of Lilith, Dutton (New York, NY), 1960.

Gusztav Rab, Journey into the Blue, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1960.

Zoe Oldenbourg, Destiny of Fire, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1961.

Zoe Oldenbourg, Massacre at Montsegur: A History of the Albigensian Crusade, Weidenfeld (London, England), 1961, Pantheon (New York, NY), 1962.

Simone de Beauvoir and Gisele Hamili, Djamila Boupacha, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1962.

Simone de Beauvoir, The Prime of Life, World Publishing (Cleveland, OH), 1962.

Sadio Garavini di Turno, Diamond River, Harcourt (New York, NY), 1963.

Robert Christophe, Danton, Doubleday (Garden City, NY), 1967.

Juvenal, Juvenal: The Sixteen Satires, Penguin (Harmondsworth, England), 1967, 3rd edition, 1998.

(And author of introduction, notes, and glossary) The Poems of Exile, Penguin (Harmondsworth, England), 1994.

(And author of introduction, notes, and glossary) The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1997.

The Poems of Catullus, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.

The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 2005.

(And author of introduction and commentary) Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12.37.1: Greek History 480-431 B.C., the Alternative Version, University of Texas Press (Austin, TX), 2006.

Ersi Sotiropoulos, Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees, Interlink Books (Northampton, MA), 2007.

Also translator of many other works by French and Italian writers.

EDITOR

Poetry from Cambridge, 1947-50, Fortune Press (London, England), 1951.

Clifton Fadiman, Appreciations, Hodder (London, England), 1962.

Essays by Divers Hands, Volume XXXI, Royal Society of Literature (London, England), 1962.

(And author of introduction) The Wind in the Willows, Oxford University Press (Berkeley, CA), 1983, reprinted, 1999.

(And author of introduction) Hellenistic History and Culture, University of California Press (Berkeley, CA), 1993.

Editor, Cambridge Review, 1950-51; fiction critic, London Daily Telegraph, 1953-63; television critic, Listener, 1962-63; film critic, John O'London's, 1961-63; book columnist, Yorkshire Post, 1961-62; regular contributor to New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, New Republic, and other journals.

SIDELIGHTS:

Peter Green is a British writer and translator who has specialized in classical studies. A visiting professor at many universities around the world, Green brings solid research along with entertaining writing to his histories, many of them dealing with Greek antiquity and personages. In his Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography, for example, Green presents a "vibrant, immensely readable biography" of Alexander the Great, according to a reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Green portrays an Alexander who is merciless and something of a sociopath. The same reviewer went on to note that the author "strips away romantic legends to lay bare an Orwellian tyrant." Phoebe-Lou Adams, reviewing the same work in the Atlantic, found it "an exciting history, which the author presents superbly." Similarly, in his 1992 work, Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, Green uses Alexander the Great as its starting point. A reviewer for the Economist had high praise for Alexander to Actium, terming it "a work about ancient history fit to be compared to the best products of the ancients themselves." Specifically, the reviewer noted, "It combines the curiosity of Herodotus with the judgment of Thucydides, the terseness of Tacitus with the insights of Polybius."

With The Hellenistic Age: A Short History, Green offers, as a Kirkus Reviews critic noted, "a well-crafted and indeed short history of the three centuries between the death of Alexander the Great and Rome's final conquest of the eastern Mediterranean." Similar praise came from a Publishers Weekly contributor who found The Hellenistic Age to be a "marvelous survey of the key people, places and events of the years from 337 B.C., when Alexander came to power, to the death of Cleopatra in 30 B.C." The same critic termed the book both a "splendid little study" and a "brilliant introduction" to this important historical epoch.

Green is also a translator of note, working in several languages. Reviewing his translation of Ersi Sotiropoulos's Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees, a Publishers Weekly contributor observed that it is "fluid" and that it "moves quickly." James M. Morris, writing in the Wilson Quarterly, found Green's translation of The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece "lucid, engrossing, and fast moving." Further high praise greeted Green's The Poems of Catullus. Writing in the Weekly Standard, J.E. Lendon commented: "Acclaimed as a belle-lettrist, justly celebrated as an English stylist, a seasoned translator of ancient poetry, and an eminent ancient historian, Green also brings to Catullus a passionate sympathy for the poet of love and hate." The versatile Green has also written several books about British author Kenneth Grahame, including the 1983 Beyond the Wild Wood: The World of Kenneth Grahame, Author of "The Wind in the Willows." Reviewing that book in the Smithsonian, Paul Piazza found it "a joy in every way a literary biography should be."

Green told CA: "I literally can't remember a time when I wasn't interested in writing. I taught myself to read at three because I was bored, and started copying the letters even then."

When asked who or what influences his writing, Green said, "An interesting mish-mash: Herodotus, Cavafy, R.G. Collingwood, Juvenal, Byron, Louis MacNeice, W.H. Auden, Gibbon, Aristophanes, A.E. Housman (as both poet and scholar)."

Green described his writing process as "Serious creative writing: only mornings; first draft by hand with a smooth-flowing pen on yellow legal pads (ignoring the lines); edit and produce second draft on my Mac laptop."

When asked the most surprised thing learned as an author, Green answered, "That there is nothing—but nothing—the human animal won't do if given a socially supportive context for it."

Green's favorite of his writings, he said, is "shared between two: The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos, my most successful novel, written on Sappho's island of Lesbos at a time of great emotional stimulation; and The Greco-Persian Wars, the historical work which most closely involved me, in a hands-on way, with the culture and topography of mainland Greece."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Advocate, April 6, 1993, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite: A Novel about Sappho of Lesbos, p. 72.

American Historical Review, December, 1991, Chester G. Starr, review of Alexander to Actium: The Historical Evolution of the Hellenistic Age, p. 1515.

Atlantic, October, 1991, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C.: A Historical Biography, p. 136.

Booklist, March 1, 2007, Jay Freeman, review of The Hellenistic Age, p. 57.

Book World, April 1, 2007, Michael Dirda, review of The Hellenistic Age: A Short History, p. 10.

Choice, June, 1994, P.B. Harvey, review of Hellenistic History and Culture, p. 1639; October, 2006, J.M. Williams, review of Diodorus Siculus, Books 11-12. 37.1: Greek History, 480-431 B.C., the Alternative Version, p. 351.

Christian Science Monitor, March 4, 1991, Thomas D'Evelyn, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 12.

Classical Journal, December, 2006, Elizabeth H. Sutherland, review of The Poems of Catullus, p. 173.

Economist, January 4, 1992, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 72.

Greece & Rome, October, 1991, P.J. Rhodes, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 248.

History Today, December, 1983, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 46; November, 1991, Richard Stoneman, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 58; February, 1993, P.J. Rhodes, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 53.

International History Review, August, 1991, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 522.

Journal of Interdisciplinary History, spring, 1992, Donald Kagan, review of Alexander to Actium.

Journal of Military History, July, 1997, John F. Shean, review of The Greco-Persian Wars, p. 604.

Journal of Near Eastern Studies, January, 1998, J.G. Manning, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 52; April, 2001, Matthew W. Waters, review of The Greco-Persian Wars, p. 151.

Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 2006, review of Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees, p. 928; January 15, 2007, review of The Hellenistic Age, p. 61.

Lambda Book Report, May, 1993, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite, p. 44.

Library Journal, January, 1984, review of Beyond the Wild Wood: The World of Kenneth Grahame, Author of "The Wind in the Willows," p. 92; September 15, 1991, Kim Holston, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 92; March 15, 1993, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite, p. 118; April 15, 1993, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite, p. 109.

London Review of Books, February 23, 2006, William Fitzgerald, review of The Poems of Catullus, p. 27; August 17, 2006, "I Shall Be Read," p. 13.

Mnemosyne, June, 1999, W. Kassies, review of The Argonautika: The Story of Jason and the Quest for the Golden Fleece, p. 345.

New Republic, May 23, 1994, Bernard Knox, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite, p. 35; October 13, 1997, Bernard Knox, review of The Argonautika, p. 43; November 15, 2004, "To Hellas and Back—Alexander the Great in Myths and Movies," p. 28.

New Yorker, December 9, 1991, George Steiner, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 129.

New York Review of Books, May 16, 1991, Jasper Griffin, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 57; April 20, 1995, Jasper Griffin, review of The Poems of Exile: Tristia and the Black Sea Letters, p. 10; July 19, 2001, Hayden Pelliccia, review of The Argonautika, p. 53.

New York Times Book Review, September 22, 1991, Simon Hornblower, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 54.

Parnassus: Poetry in Review, fall, 1999, Brenda Wine-apple, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite.

Publishers Weekly, May 27, 1983, review of Beyond the Wild Wood, p. 53; June 28, 1991, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 92; July 6, 1992, review of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323 B.C., p. 53; September 25, 2006, review of Zigzag through the Bitter-Orange Trees, p. 44; January 29, 2007, review of The Hellenistic Age, p. 54.

Smithsonian, December, 1983, Paul Piazza, review of Beyond the Wild Wood, p. 170.

Southern Humanities Review, summer, 1993, Robert Eisner, review of Alexander to Actium.

Times Educational Supplement, February 2, 1990, Martin Fagg, review of Classical Bearings: Interpreting Ancient History and Culture, p. 27; March 20, 1992, John Crossland, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 45.

Times Literary Supplement, February 23, 1990, Jasper Griffin, review of Classical Bearings, p. 200; April 23, 1993, Mary Margaret McCabe, review of The Laughter of Aphrodite, p. 13; January 27, 1995, Seth Schwartz, review of Hellenistic History and Culture, p. 24; February 14, 1997, Simon Horn-blower, review of The Greco-Persian Wars, p. 11.

Wall Street Journal Western Edition, November 28, 1983, Edmund Fuller, review of Beyond the Wild Wood, p. 28; April 3, 1991, Donald Lyons, review of Alexander to Actium, p. 18.

Weekly Standard, March 6, 2006, J.E. Lendon, "Latin Lover; a New Translation Brings Life to Catullus."

Wilson Quarterly, spring, 1998, James M. Morris, review of The Argonautika.

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