Page 227. " I am on the side of the Trojans. They fought for a woman "

This refers to the Trojan War in Greek Mythology.

When the goddesses Aphrodite, Athena and Hera argued over who was the fairest of the three, Paris of Troy was asked to judge: he chose Aphrodite. She rewarded Paris by making Helen, the most beautiful woman on earth, fall in love with him. This led to the Trojan war, as the Achaeans (Greeks) tried to recover Helen for her husband Menelaus, the king of Sparta. 

The Greeks were ultimately victorious, but only through trickery.  Having failed to breach Troy's walls, they pretended to depart, leaving a giant wooden horse behind as a supposed offering to the gods.  The Trojans brought the horse inside the city walls, little knowing that it was full of Greek soldiers.

The Trojan War is the subject of Homer's Iliad and the starting point of The Odyssey. The war inspired works of literature by many other writers as well, including the Roman poets Ovid and Virgil.

The Odyssey on Book Drum




Page 241. " lovely water-lilies round her, like Ophelia "

Ophelia is a young noblewoman of Denmark in William Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

A potential bride for Hamlet, she suffers a tragic fate. In seeking to uncover the truth about his own father's murder, Hamlet kills Ophelia's father. Grief drives her mad and she drowns.  Queen Gertrude reports that she climbed into a willow tree and a branch broke, causing her to fall into a brook. The other characters suspect Ophelia actually committed suicide. 


There on the pendant boughs her coronet weeds

Clamb'ring to hang, an envious sliver broke,

When down her weedy trophies and herself

Fell in the weeping brook.

                                    – Hamlet Act IV, Scene 7

The death of Ophelia became a popular romantic subject, most famously in this painting by John Everett Millais.

Page 245. " A face without a heart "

Another quote from the same scene in Hamlet:


Laertes, was your father dear to you?

Or are you like the painting of a sorrow,

A face without a heart

                                      – Hamlet Act IV, Scene 7

Read the text on The Literature Network

The line was used as a recent book title:  A Face Without A Heart: A Modern-day Version of Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray by Rick R. Reed.