A colossal amount of work went into this one.
Since the first time I read the story of Agamemnon it has had a great creative influence over me. A powerful man whose house was doomed to blood by a terrible curse. The pity of it was that he and his family probably could have broken free of the curse if they’d just stopped doing all the horrible things that were getting them into trouble. (One of those self-fulfilling prophecies: you believe it, you accept it, so you live according to it.) What a waste.
Anyway, Agamemnon was a great conqueror. And whatever else you may say about him, he had style. He was the one who sacked Troy when Helen decamped to the arms of Paris (the man, not the city). He even sacrificed his own daughter to ensure a safe voyage for his ships. Yeah, he was swell.
The particular part of the story that really fires my imagination has to do with Agamemnon’s interactions with Cassandra, a young woman doomed to know every aspect of the future but be powerless to alter it. Apollo gave her the gift, but when she later refused to become his- well, let’s say “special lady friend”- he cursed her. (There was a lot of it going about, apparently.) He could not take back the gift, but he could make sure that no matter how much she tried to warn people of impending doom, they would never believe.
She is fascinating- she steals the show for me, but Agamemnon is the one around whom the story turns. So this particular book is a tribute to him.
The front cover is a depiction in tarnished silver leather (all hand-painted to that effect) of Agamemnon’s bloody entrance to the temple at Troy, where he first meets Cassandra.
The back cover depicts a history of Agamemnon’s house. The letters are all initials. If you know the story it shouldn’t be too hard. If not, well, it still looks nice, doesn’t it?
Lastly, the spine of the book is studded with black leather straps. They don’t actually do anything; I simply like the way they look.