A big thank-you to the people at Virago as I’ve been lucky enough to be sent a review copy of Theodora by Stella Duffy so it’s going to be jumping the queue and I’ll be getting stuck into it soon. I just have to finish reading The Man in the Queue by Josephine Tey first as I prefer to concentrate on one book at a time and I’m not far from the end.
I hadn’t heard of Theodora before so the first thing I did when I opened the jiffy bag this morning was to pull out my Chambers Biographical Dictionary. The entry for Theodora is:
Theodora (c.500-548) Byzantine empress, wife of Justinian I and the daughter of a circus bear-tamer. An actress and noted beauty, she married Justinian in 525. As his most trusted counsellor she wielded enormous influence in the work of government, and saved the throne by her courage at the crisis of the Nika riots (532). She lavished her bounty on the poor, especially the unfortunate of her own sex.
The Virago cover says: Theodora Actress. Empress. Whore.
It all sounds fascinating!