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Books to take on board a Turkish gulet tour

Cornucopia Magazine

  • George E. Bean’s Archaeological Guides (published by John Murray) are classic works that have been translated into every major European language. All other guide books can only hope to paraphrase Bean so why not go straight to the source. For this section of the coast you should get #3, “Turkey beyond the Maeander”. Once you get caught by the lure of the Turkish coast the four volumes of Bean will become your omniprescent companion. There is of course not a whiff of practical information or any coverage of the medieval or modern periods.
  • For a wider historical background take Seton Lloyd’s “Ancient Turkey, a traveller’s history” published by the British Museum Press. It is an authorative but not exhausting 200 page paperback with a scattering of black and white pictures.
  • A more instantly accessible book with its lavish colour photographs and elegant city maps is James Steele’s “Hellenistic Architecture in Asia Minor". Built large enough to ornament a coffee table it takes up more than its fair share of a suitcase but might have a double use as a parting gift to the captain. Published by Academy Editions.
  • The perfect literary companion to Hellenistic architecture is Longus’s “Daphnis and Chloe”. This light novel, considered obscene by Mrs Browning, has for centuries inspired Europe with its love for the pastoral. A surviving masterpiece of ancient Greek writing, it will help fill the passing shoreline and your daydreams with nymphs, rustic temples and amorous shepherds. Published by Penguin Classics.

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