<%@LANGUAGE="JAVASCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%> The Courtesan's Daughter

The Courtesans Daughter

Priscilla Galloway, The Courtesans Daughter. New York, USA: Delacorte (Random House), 2002. US$16.95 hc. NCR.

Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2003. CAN$18.00 trade pa

Listed by the American Library Association, Best Books for Young Adults.

Some Comments on the Book

This complicated and absorbing narrative, set in ancient Athens about 350 BCE, is told in the first person by 14-year-old Phano. Her stepmother Nera, once a courtesan, is married to Stephanos her father, but Phrynion, who had Nera once, wants her again. . . . Basing her tale on an ancient fragment of a prosecutors speech before an Athenian jury, Galloway weaves myriad details into Phanos story as skilfully as Phano spins wool. . . . Richly rewarding. Kirkus Reviews

A solid choice for fans of historical novels with a touch of romance and for students interested in ancient cultures.

School Library Journal

. . . Phanos unwavering, intimate voice. . . a fascinating, independent character who will attract teens.


The author bases this action-filled novel on an actual court case from Ancient Greece; her characters and their motivations, of course, are imagined, but theyre imagined adventurously indeed. From possible plots to overthrow the government to plots to destroy the family, Galloway keeps the pages turning.

The Bulletin

The fate of Athens and the birthright of Phano, the nearly 14-year-old narrator, become the central questions of Galloways novelĶ

Publishers Weekly

a gripping historical novel with a completely believable protagonist. . . the story surges forward from disaster to relief to disaster again without sacrificing the textures, tastes, and smells of everyday life in ancient Greece. Galloway's vivid portrayal of this world reveals the fascinating unofficial power that could be wielded behind the scenes by smart women, young and old, in prominent families.

Quill & Quire, July 2003

Set against the backdrop of 350 BCE, when Athens faces a potential invasion from Philip of Macedon, the story of 14 year old Phano unfolds. An ardent patriot, Phano insists Athens is the city dearer to me than my own life. She lives quietly and modestly with her father, Stephanos, a disgraced civil servant, and his wife, Nera, a former courtesan from Corinth, until Phrynion, a wealthy, unscrupulous citizen, kidnaps her and Nera. . .


Canadian Materials, v. IX, no. 19, May 23, 2003

"Its themes are surprisingly modern. A jealous ex-husband kidnaps his former wife and daughter, a 14-year-old girl strives to learn her true identity, and the city government is rife with intrigue and political unrest. Employing extensive research, . . . Galloway paints a vivid picture of life in Athens in 350 BCE."

Winnipeg Free Press, April 20, 2003

Mass Market pa Laureleaf ed. August 2004 in USA (no Canadian rights)

See: Penquin Canada Books Catalogue August 2004 p. 55