Lindsay Clarke
The Return from Troy

The Return from Troy
Lindsay Clarke

PART FOUR OF THE TROY QUARTET Bringing ancient myth to life with passion, humour, and humanity, Lindsay Clarke vividly retells the story of Troy and of the heroes who fought there. Traumatized by the slaughter that his ingenuity unleashed upon the people of Troy, Odysseus believes himself unworthy of returning home. Embarking on an epic journey to the ends of the world and deep into the shadows of his own heart, Odysseus turns at last for Ithaca, where his wife and son await, besieged by rivals who believe – and wish – him dead. ‘An engaging retelling of the whole story, neatly blending mythic archaism with modern psychodrama and satire’ Mary Beard 1 – A PRINCE OF TROY2 – THE WAR AT TROY3 – THE SPOILS OF TROY4 – THE RETURN FROM TROY


Lindsay Clarke

Copyright (#u9aa7f1c9-0380-527a-b259-0f18af1aed1d)

HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF (

First published in Great Britain as part of The Return from Troy by HarperCollinsPublishers 2005

Copyright © Lindsay Clarke 2005

Map by Andrew Ashton © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

Cover illustrations © (

Cover design © HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd 2019

Lindsay Clarke asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

A catalogue copy of this book is available from the British Library.

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. By payment of the required fees, you have been granted the non-exclusive, non-transferable right to access and read the text of this e-book on screen. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, down-loaded, decompiled, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins.

Source ISBN: 9780008371104

Ebook Edition © September 2019 ISBN: 9780008371098

Version: 2019-09-25

Dedication (#u9aa7f1c9-0380-527a-b259-0f18af1aed1d)

For Phoebe Clare


Cover (#ua454d252-e6b8-53c2-a6e9-5aae122c699e)

Title Page (#u1dfa61c5-efdd-54cf-bb89-cb12306c84e2)




The Pledge Redeemed

The World Turned Upside Down


The Young Lions


The Wind-Callers

A Game of Shadows


The Mysteries


The Homecoming

The Winnowing Fan

Glossary of characters


Also by Lindsay Clarke

About the Publisher

Map (#u9aa7f1c9-0380-527a-b259-0f18af1aed1d)

‘A Prayer to Odysseus’

(Inscription found on a terracotta fragment in ‘the Cave of the Nymphs’ on Ithaca)

The Pledge Redeemed (#u9aa7f1c9-0380-527a-b259-0f18af1aed1d)

Whoever finds these papyrus scrolls will see from the inscription on their urn that they are offered in prayer to Odysseus. They contain a reliable account of the ordeals and initiations he underwent on his journey home from Troy, along with the story of the fate of the House of Atreus and the other Argive heroes. By the end of the day I shall have concealed the whole collection of scrolls in the Cave of the Nymphs, hoping that they will be found in better times when men may be ready to listen to tales other than those sung in praise of war. Meanwhile, they must stand in fulfilment of the pledge I made one winter night in Ithaca when Odysseus sought to make peace with his own turbulent past.