The original print edition of ‘The Cyclades or Life Among the Insular Greeks’ was published in 1885 and ran to over 500 pages. It quickly became a best-seller in an age when readers were hungry for tales of foreign adventure and discovery.
The e-Book Edition
The printed book is heavy at just under a kilogram so, for today’s weight-conscious air traveller, we’ve developed the Digital Edition.
We’ve digitised the content to produce an e-book that you can load onto your preferred reading device – iPad, iPhone, Android, Kindle or any other e-reader capable of handling books in the industry-standard EPUB format.
The e-book is perfect for travelling in the Cyclades, not just because of the reduced weight. Most e-book readers have the ability to bookmark pages, highlight text and add your own notes to sections of the text. You can plan your trip while at home by bookmarking and highlighting sections to re-read while you are in the island and adding notes to remind you about something you must do, or look for, or take a photograph of while you are there.
We’ve made improvements, which, together with the e-reader’s navigation, bookmarking and note-making, have made the book more usable for the casual reader, the traveller and those with a more scholarly interest in Theodore’s writings. It’s now a much more enjoyable read for everyone.
- We’ve incorporated an active, tappable/clickable, table of contents for the overall book, and one for each chapter, using Theodore’s original ‘Contents List’, and incorporated his content descriptions into the flow of the text.
- We’ve added links back to this website to augment the contents of the book providing maps, photographs, articles on places visited by the Bents, up-to-date traveller knowledge, hotel listings, travel information, ferry and bus transfer details and more. If you’re booking ferries, hotels or car hire, or buying guide books or maps etc, please click on our links to use the web’s most-trusted sites – it won’t cost you any more than going direct and we’ll receive a small commission to help us expand this project.
- Theodore’s book is peppered with references to people, Greek mythology, places, historical events etc. To help you achieve maximum enjoyment from the e-book, we’ve hyperlinked these references to various websites so that a simple click or tap will take you quickly to information on the particular subject.
- Theodore studied ancient Greek and his spoken Greek improved over the course of his journeys. He liked to include snippets of Greek in the book. In many cases he explains the meaning of the Greek text but sometimes not. In these cases, we’ve attempted to provide a translation as a digital footnote that can be tapped or clicked.
- Where Theodore included Greek text, we’ve transliterated his Greek characters into the English alphabet equivalent to make it easier for the reader to pronounce those Greek words – this technique is commonly referred to as Grenglish or Greeklish. We’ve retained the stress marks on the Grenglish version as an aid to pronunciation. If you’re interested in the correct Greek pronunciation, we’ve included a guide to Grenglish pronunciation on this website. Theodore’s original Greek script can be viewed by clicking or tapping on the digital footnote following the transliterated Greek.
- We’ve changed Theodore’s use of the, now out-of-date, diacritic marks, or accents, retaining just the acute as a stress mark, e.g. é, and the diaeresis, e.g. ï, in line with modern usage.
The Print Edition
The original print edition is still available as a reprinted facsimile copy. It’s big though – the paper-back version weighs in at almost a kilogram (986g / 2lb 3ozs). It has a certain charm because of the nostalgia of reading it in its original form but the facsimile copying has rendered the print somewhat faint. It’s also available in hard-back.
Gerard Brisch, in conjunction with Archeopress, has produced a newly typeset version running to 274 pages, which has a cleaner, clearer, although slightly smaller, typeface. The original contents have been augmented by the addition of: an ‘Introduction’ giving a biography of the Bents and other snippets, ‘On Tour with the Bents’, ‘Other Voices’, ‘Cycladic history, archaeology and archaeologists’, ‘Strabo’s Cyclades’, and a ‘Bibliography’ . The paper-back version is a relative lightweight at just under half a kilogram (464g / 1lb 0ozs). Why not buy the hard-back version for reading at home and download the e-book for travelling?
In 1965, the Chicago-based author Al. N. Oikonomides, and the American publisher Argonaut, produced a hard-back reprint of the original book under the title ‘Aegean Islands’. It included Theodore’s separate ‘technical’ publication ‘Researches Among the Cyclades’ and also a number of additional sections: Introduction to Cycladic Archaeology and Folklore, Ancient Buildings on Mykonos, In Search of Ancient Mykonos, Select Cycladic Bibliography, and Maps. It also incorporated a full index, which was crucially missing from the original edition but, of course, is not necessary in the e-book edition because of the search facility of e-reader devices. Used copies of this edition are sometimes available on Amazon so the printed books page includes a search for it.
All currently-available printed editions can be ordered via the printed books page which links directly to the book on the Amazon website so you can use your existing Amazon account. On the same page, you should look at the book, World Enough, and Time, compiled by Gerard Brisch from Mabel’s hand-written chronicles, which makes a fascinating companion to Theodore’s book and provides more detail on their adventures; Theodore often used Mabel’s diaries while he was writing ‘The Cyclades’. Other books on the Bents’ further travels, also written by Gerard Brisch, are included on the same page. You can also take a look at Theodore’s other books.