Reviews of Culture and Society at Lullingstone Roman Villa|
Reviewer: Gordon Davy
Review: This is a thoroughly researched, clearly written and well illustrated account of a Roman villa in an attractive location in the Darent Valley. The villa was extensive, even luxurious. Its owners prospered and were happy to display their prosperity.
For anyone interested in the history of these islands, this book is well worth reading. It will greatly enhance the interest and pleasure of a visit if you read it first. If you have already been there, it will encourage you to pay a further visit, as I intend to. I am sure I shall see the remains of this villa though fresh eyes.
Reviewer: Emma Jonas
Review: An utterly fascinating in-depth look into love, life and death in Roman times.
Who'd have known about the water-nymphs but for the timely flood during excavations and a reminder that location, location, location is not a modern concept.
Reviewer: Dr Daisy Dunn
Review: An excellent study of a remarkable Roman villa.
Some of the most exquisite wall paintings and mosaics ever found in Roman Britain originated at Lullingstone in Kent. Mackenzie walks us through the estate, from the fields and granary to the temple-mausoleum and extravagant dining room. Drawing on archaeological reports, as well as Latin literary sources, she brings out the theatricality of the place and its appeal as a site for otium or leisure, and charts its fascinating rediscovery and excavation. There are nicely produced photographs of the art (especially the incredible Bellerophon/Pegasus and the seasons mosaic), location, and comparable sites, and charming illustrations showing how the villa and its rooms might have looked in their heyday. Mackenzie is the observant and witty guide you want as you tour the villa – whether in person or from your armchair.
Reviewer: Liz Dargie
Review: This book brings Lullingstone Villa alive! It is a wonderful insight into how the inhabitants of the villa designed the villa to reflect their identity and status in Roman society. As an eight year old on a school visit in the 1970s I was struck by the beauty of the mosaics in the villa. It is very exciting to read in such detail about the significance of each mosaic in the villa. Also the reasons why each was chosen by the owners to impress the visitors of the villa with their knowledge of Roman and Greek culture. This book is beautifully illustrated including clear diagrams and photographs. I highly recommend this amazing book!
Reviewer: Caroline Lawrence
Review: The brand new book about Lullingstone Roman Villa is great. Famous for its 4th century mosaics with images from Greek and Roman mythology, the question is: What message were the owners trying to convey? Using archaeological clues and informed imagination, Caroline Mackenzie, who wrote her MA thesis on this villa, suggests some possible answers. Clearly written and beautifully illustrated with full colour maps, photos and drawings, this is a book to treasure.
Reviewer: Allan Nichols
Review: This book enables the visitor to Lullingstone Roman Villa to progress beyond simply looking at the remains and to imagine the context more comprehensively as a visitor in Roman Britain. It might also be of interest to a reader who has visited other Roman remains, because Caroline Mackenzie puts Lullingstone in such a wider context, both with regard to sites elsewhere in Britain and further afield within the Roman Empire. It is well-illustrated, which helps the reader to understand the observations that Caroline is making. In short, the book is a form of educated time travel. As such it makes the remains we can see today come alive to the reader.
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