“The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History” by Bernard Jones

Bernard Jones
Trojan History Press (2019)
ISBN 9781916499201
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (01/2020)

“The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History” is a comprehensive historical reference about the city of Troy resulting from a thirty-year investigative journey by author and historian, Bernard Jones.

The first image conjured by most upon mention of the city of Troy is The Trojan War. On the very first page of his book, the author notes that, “The Trojan War is one of the most fascinating events in human history, yet no-one knows if it is really true. Was it the greatest catastrophe of the ancient world? If not, then it is certainly the greatest story ever told.” For many years I was in belief of the latter – it’s a great story. A great love story to be more specific – Paris steals Helen from her husband, the King of Sparta, resulting in a ten-year war. You know, your typical battle of male domination where the winner gets the girl.

In “The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History,” Jones dispels the myth providing meticulous work that takes readers on a journey that, to coin a phrase, leaves no stone unturned. The level of detail and the amount of research that must have gone into this project is mind-boggling. I cannot even comprehend how the author kept it all straight, especially given that he started this project before the age of computers!

One of the many things that delighted me while I was reading was the realization that Jones is a remarkable storyteller. I found myself picturing him standing on a stage addressing the audience directly and with passion. With Jones, you get every angle of the story. There’s even one section in the book where he gets frustrated on a point after identifying Thrace. He “talks” the reader (and himself) through the predicament, as if by sharing it with us while he’s working through the problem right then and there. He soon discovers through this process that he can just accept the data he has and fill in the missing information at a later point.  The long about trail I’m taking to make a point basically comes down to the fact that Bernard Jones is personable and creates an experience “with” the reader as opposed to dictating to the reader. You are on the journey of discovery with him and it’s a very engaging method of writing.

Additional use of references such as maps add significance and meaning to the big picture, especially for the geographically challenged (we won’t mention any names, but hey some people just need a map). I found the maps most beneficial, detailing routes and other information to support the research.  There are also numerous flow charts and pictures of interest to fully bring this journey to life. Of course, as a dedicated bibliophile, I was excited to learn that the works of Homer’s Iliad,  and Virgil’s Aeneid, were key references in the research.

If one holds to the theory that the truth is indeed stranger than fiction then, “The Discovery of Troy and Its Lost History” by Bernard Jones is the compelling truth that replaces the ancient myth. The book is a piece of literary art, stunning in both visual and textual representation. It is a captivating and intellectual read that will be revered by historians, academics, and students of geography and history. It also makes a fascinating read for those interested in the works of Homer and Virgil.

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