Form and Content

(Critical Edition of Young Adult Fiction)

In The Walls of Windy Troy: A Biography of Heinrich Schliemann, Marjorie Braymer assesses Schliemann’s life. She recounts significant events in his remarkable rise from being a poor grocer’s apprentice in Fürstenberg, Germany, to becoming the wealthy and influential businessperson who rediscovered the Greek Bronze Age. Braymer describes how Schliemann fulfilled his destiny by following Homer. The artistry and force of Homer’s Iliad (ninth century b.c.) convinced him that historical truth lay behind the tale of the Greek heroes who attacked and destroyed the ancient city of Troy, so Schliemann fashioned his life into a quest for the remains of Homer’s Troy.

Braymer’s prose and her use of dialogue bring a sympathetic and human tone to the work, but The Walls of Windy Troy is an adaptation of Schliemann’s own interpretation of his life. In the introduction to his published report on his work at Troy, Ilios: The City and Country of the Trojans (1880), Schliemann explained how Homer and the search for Troy brought meaning and order to his life. He attributed his obsession with Troy to the experiences of his childhood. Braymer therefore begins with the young Heinrich’s fascination with the recitation of a scene from the Iliad. Braymer explains that it was Homer who motivated Schliemann to attempt an escape from the oppression and intellectual stagnation of his...

(The entire section is 505 words.)


(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Heinrich Schliemann lived from 1822 to 1890, but The Walls of Windy Troy covers his early childhood only briefly, through use of...

(The entire section is 167 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

The Walls of Windy Troy is carried along smoothly by a sequence of highly dramatic scenes, well imagined and well presented: the young...

(The entire section is 516 words.)

Social Sensitivity

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Schliemann's attitude toward the women in his life may prove offensive to some readers. A man obsessed with finding the original site of...

(The entire section is 399 words.)

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Although Schliemann is a remarkably capable and self-sufficient person, he sometimes benefits from good luck and the kindness of...

(The entire section is 139 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Find out when the Trojan War was fought and who fought it. What are the major sources of our information on Troy? What are some of the...

(The entire section is 168 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Ceram, C. W. Gods, Graves, and Scholars: The Story of Archaeology. 2d ed. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1978. Contains two fascinating...

(The entire section is 51 words.)