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Debra Hamel is the mother of two preternaturally attractive girls and the author of a number of books about ancient Greece. She writes and blogs from her subterranean lair in North Haven, CT. Read more.


Books by Debra Hamel:

THE BATTLE OF ARGINUSAE :
VICTORY AT SEA AND ITS TRAGIC AFTERMATH IN THE FINAL YEARS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

KILLING ERATOSTHENES:
A TRUE CRIME STORY
FROM ANCIENT ATHENS
By Debra Hamel


Kindle | paperback (US)
Kindle | paperback (UK)

READING HERODOTUS:
A GUIDED TOUR THROUGH THE WILD BOARS, DANCING SUITORS, AND CRAZY TYRANTS OF THE HISTORY
By Debra Hamel


paperback | Kindle | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

THE MUTILATION OF THE HERMS:
UNPACKING AN ANCIENT MYSTERY
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

TRYING NEAIRA:
THE TRUE STORY OF A COURTESAN'S SCANDALOUS LIFE IN ANCIENT GREECE
By Debra Hamel


paperback | hardcover (US)
paperback | hardcover (UK)

SOCRATES AT WAR:
THE MILITARY HEROICS OF AN ICONIC INTELLECTUAL
By Debra Hamel


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ANCIENT GREEKS IN DRAG:
THE LIBERATION OF THEBES AND OTHER ACTS OF HEROIC TRANSVESTISM
By Debra Hamel


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IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY TWEET:
FIVE HUNDRED 1ST LINES IN 140 CHARACTERS OR LESS
By Debra Hamel


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Kindle | paperback (UK)

PRISONERS OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
By Debra Hamel


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Book Notices | When All the World Was Young by Barbara Holland

Barbara Holland, When All the World Was Young

  Amazon  

I bought this book on October 12, 2007, which is the same day that I finished reading Bingo Night at the Fire Hall (my review), Holland's account of living on a mountain in Northern Virginia in the 1990s. I was excited to read more by her, clearly, but still, this one sat on my shelves unread for 14 years, making me feel a little guilty. (I've now learned that Barbara Holland died in 2010, while this book was waiting to be read, and I feel a little bad about that, too, as if I owed it to her to read more while she was still alive.) Lately I've been making more of an effort to get through the stacks of physical books that got forgotten when I started reading on the Kindle, and so I plunged into this, Holland's account of her early life, from her childhood during World War II to roughly about the age of 20. That doesn't sound like much, writing it now, but somehow her memoir encompasses worlds. And somehow, now was the time that I needed to read this, not 14 years ago. Holland is a generation older than I, but there is overlap in our experiences, in weird places, so that reading it I repeatedly yearned to highlight passages just to mark that I got it. She's captured the mores of a simpler, maybe more brutal time, pre-internet, pre-woke, pre-psychobabble, when childhood was part blissful ignorance and part survival of the fittest. It was a salve to read her descriptions and think, ah, so it's not just that my family was crazy; others did this too. Barbara survived and lived, so she tells us, happily ever after (at least until 2010). I hope that's true. 

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