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Helena is the intelligent, horse-mad daughter of a British chieftan who is suddenly betrothed to the warrior who becomes the Roman emperor Constantius. She spends her life seeking truth in the religions, mythologies, and philosophies of the declining ancient world. This she eventually finds in Christianity—and literally in the Cross of Christ.
"In Helena, the play of words and the fireworks, the exquisite descriptions of landscapes, and even the finished portraits of the heroine, her husband, and her son,are always subordinate to the author's broad vision of the mixed anguish and hope with whick the world of Constatntine's time was filled." - New York Herald Tribune
"(Helena) may be read on two levels of appreciation: As bright entertainment, or as deceptively profound commentary. On both levels it's a superlatively well done book." - Chicago Tribune
Evelyn Waugh, author of the internationally acclained bestseller Brideshead Revisited and one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, considered Helena to be perhaps his finest novel. Based on the life of St. Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine and finder of the true cross, theis spiritual adventure brings to life the political intrigues of ancient Rome and the early years of Christianity.
An author known for "Brideshead Revisited," Waugh spins a great story about St. Helena, Roman Emperor Constantine's mother. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Adam Zirk
This book feels choppy at times and a bit flip about a serious topic.
But be on the lookout for the several passages that show off Waugh the glorious craftsman. Read more
I am a devoted Waugh reader, but his favorite book did not mesmerize me as the others did. Some of the "facts" noted in the book are not really facts; the style... Read morePublished 21 months ago by Judith Petres Balogh
I’ve long wondered about the truth behind theories that Helena, the Roman Emperor Constantine’s mother, was a British princess. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Tyler R. Tichelaar
I love Evelyn Waugh and have read all his books. The writing in Helena is characteristically perfect: never a clunky sentence or word out of place. Read morePublished on August 4, 2013 by CTS
I have been actively involved in archaeology of the Middle east..Roman and earlier and Helena is set in this period. Read morePublished on May 7, 2013 by Dorothy H Miller
Got 15 books as a Christmas gift -all Evelyn Waugh. Trying to collect them all.. What can I say but a good read!!!Published on April 5, 2013 by Laura
While he considered it to be one of the most important books he ever wrote, Evelyn Waugh's "Helena" is not one of his stronger outings. Read morePublished on February 18, 2013 by Kevin M. Derby