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The Resource Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin

Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin

Label
Lavinia
Title
Lavinia
Statement of responsibility
Ursula K. Le Guin
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In The Aeneid, Vergil's hero fights to claim the king's daughter, Lavinia, with whom he is destined to found an empire. Lavinia herself never speaks a word in the poem. Now, Ursula K. Le Guin gives Lavinia a voice in a novel that takes the reader to the half-wild world of ancient Italy, when Rome was a muddy village near seven hills.--From amazon.com
Storyline
Pace
Tone
Writing style
Award
  • Library Journal Best Books, 2008.
  • Locus Award for Fantasy Novel, 2009.
Review
  • Fantasist and SF writer Le Guin turns her attention and her considerable talent to fleshing out a secondary character mentioned briefly in Virgil's masterpiece, The Aeneid. Though Aeneas risks inciting a civil war as he fights to win her hand in marriage, despite the fact that she is promised to another, more politically expedient suitor, Lavinia herself remains strangely mute and is given no scope in the epic poem. Here, as Le Guin reworks the story, Lavinia evolves into a true woman of destiny, eventually forging a strong partnership with the legendary founder of Rome. The compulsively readable Le Guin earns kudos for fashioning a winning combination of history and mythology featuring an unlikely heroine imaginatively plucked from literary obscurity. -- Flanagan, Margaret (Reviewed 03-15-2008) (Booklist, vol 104, number 14, p28)
  • Adult/High School— This novel takes a minor character from Vergil's Aeneid and creates a thoughtful, moving tale of prophecy, myth, and self-fulfillment. Lavinia is the teen princess of Latium, a small but important kingdom in pre-Roman Italy. As she moves into womanhood, she feels pressure from her parents to choose one of her many suitors as both her husband and the future ruler of the kingdom. But the oracles of the sacred springs say she will marry an unknown foreigner. This stranger is none other than Vergil's Aeneus, proud hero, king without a country, and the man who will lay down the foundations of the Roman Empire. Their marriage sparks a war to control the region; while readers don't see the glorious battles, they do get the surprisingly moving perspective of the home front through Lavinia's eyes. Best known for her works of fantasy, Le Guin takes a more historical approach here by toning down the magical elements; gods and prophecies have a vital role in the protagonist's life, but they are presented as concepts and rituals, not as deities playing petty games with the lives of mortals. This shifts the focus of Vergil's plot from action to character, allowing Le Guin to breathe life into a character who never utters a word in the original story. Lavinia is quite compelling as she transforms from a spirited princess into a queen full of wisdom who makes a profound impact on her people. The author's language and style are complex, making this a title for sophisticated teens.—Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA --Matthew L. Moffett (Reviewed May 1, 2008) (School Library Journal, vol 54, issue 5, p161)
  • /* Starred Review */ In the Aeneid , the only notable lines Virgil devotes to Aeneas’ second wife, Lavinia, concern an omen: the day before Aeneus lands in Latinum, Lavinia’s hair is veiled by a ghost fire, presaging war. Le Guin’s masterful novel gives a voice to Lavinia, the daughter of King Latinus and Queen Amata, who rule Latinum in the era before the founding of Rome. Amata lost her sons to a childhood sickness and has since become slightly mad. She is fixated on marrying Lavinia to Amata’s nephew, Turnus, the king of neighboring Rutuli. It’s a good match, and Turnus is handsome, but Lavinia is reluctant. Following the words of an oracle, King Latinus announces that Lavinia will marry Aeneas, a newly landed stranger from Troy; the news provokes Amata, the farmers of Latinum, and Turnus, who starts a civil war. Le Guin is famous for creating alternative worlds (as in Left Hand of Darkness ), and she approaches Lavinia’s world, from which Western civilization took its course, as unique and strange as any fantasy. It’s a novel that deserves to be ranked with Robert Graves’s I, Claudius . (Apr.) --Staff (Reviewed December 24, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 51, p24)
  • /* Starred Review */ She was a minor character in The Aeneid , a "silent, shrinking maiden," but in Le Guin's brilliant reimagining of the last six books of Virgil's epic poem, Lavinia, the Latin king's daughter with whom the Trojan hero Aeneas founds the Roman Empire, finds her voice and springs fully to life. Protesting the Roman poet's dull, conventional portrait of her—"He slighted my life in his poem"—Lavinia takes us back to a Bronze Age Italy inhabited by Latin-speaking tribes. Under the rule of her father, the kingdom of Latinus is at peace until Lavinia turns 18 and the suitors arrive. Her mother Amata wants her daughter to marry her handsome, ambitious nephew, Turnus, but Lavinia is reluctant. Like her father, she can commune with the sacred spirits and in a memorable dreamlike scene meets the dying Virgil, who tells her Aeneas's story and her role in his life. Thus armed, Lavania resists her mother's will and decides to make her own destiny when early one morning the Trojan black ships sail up the Tiber River. As Le Guin's afterword acknowledges, this beautiful and moving novel is a love offering to one of the world's great poets, and former high-school Latin scholars may return to Virgil with a renewed appreciation. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 12/07; for another interpretation of The Aeneid , see Jo Graham's Black Ships, LJ 2/15/08.—Ed.]—Wilda Williams, Library Journal --Wilda Williams (Reviewed March 1, 2008) (Library Journal, vol 133, issue 4, p74)
  • /* Starred Review */ Le Guin (Powers, 2007, etc.) departs from her award-winning fantasy and science-fiction novels to amplify a story told only glancingly in Virgil's epic The Aeneid.The story is that of the eponymous princess of Latium (a royal city before Rome existed), promised by her parents, King Latinus and Queen Amata, to neighboring Rutilian king Turnus (who is Amata's nephew). But omens decree otherwise, and Lavinia weds Trojan warrior-adventurer Aeneas, a bereaved and conflicted husband, son and father who will, over the years, earn the initially reluctant Lavinia's undying respect and love. Though this unlikely heroine receives only token mention in Virgil's original, Le Guin brings her to vibrant life as a dutiful virgin whose world is circumscribed by daily routines; who is the uncooperative cynosure of several suitors' eyes; and who eventually distances herself from the misrule of her stepson Ascanius (Aeneas's successor), biding her time until the new metropolis of Rome is made worthy of its intrepid founder. Lavinia's inner strength emerges in dreamlike "conversations" with the poet who created her, and in her intuitive understanding of her father's just rule, her husband's justifiable ambitions and her own unending obligations. Le Guin has researched this ancient world assiduously, and her measured, understated prose captures with equal skill the permutations of established ritual and ceremony and the sensations of the battlefield ("The snarling trumpets rang out again. A group of horsemen far out in the fields moved forward in a solid mass like a shadow across the ripening crops…through the hot slanting light full of dust").Arguably her best novel, and an altogether worthy companion volume to one of the Western world's greatest stories. (Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2008)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
251266
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1929-2018
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Le Guin, Ursula K.
Dewey number
813/.54
Illustrations
maps
Index
no index present
Intended audience
960L
Intended audience source
Lexile
Interest level
UG
LC call number
PS3562.E42
LC item number
L38 2008
Literary form
fiction
Reading level
6.2
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Aeneas
  • Legends
  • Rome (Italy)
Label
Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin
Instantiates
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
663414
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
279 pages
Isbn
9780151014248
Isbn Type
(hc.)
Lccn
2007026508
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151014248
  • (OCoLC)145733040
Label
Lavinia, Ursula K. Le Guin
Publication
Copyright
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
663414
Dimensions
24 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
279 pages
Isbn
9780151014248
Isbn Type
(hc.)
Lccn
2007026508
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780151014248
  • (OCoLC)145733040

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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