The bloody prequel: a triumphant new translation of the Iliad

There is an ancient comment (on the work of a grammarian with the terrific moniker Dionysius Thrax) that the performers of the Iliad and the Odyssey changed costume according to which poem they were reciting: a dark blue crown for the sea of the Odyssey, red for the blood of the Iliad. Emily Wilson, whose brisk and clear-eyed translation of the Odyssey became a bestseller, has now switched her sea-blue crown for her blood-red one. Even the covers of the two books – the Odyssey had a blue-dominated cover depicting the Minoan fresco of ‘Ladies in Blue’; the Iliad is red and gold, with an image of Thetis giving Achilles