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The Children's Homer

Born and raised in a Longford, Ireland workhouse, Padraic Colum left at seventeen to become a clerk in the Irish Railway Clearing House in Dublin. This venture was short-lived, however, and with the success of a few poems and a play, "The Saxon Shillin'," he left in 1904 to pursue a career in writing. His success as a dramatist, poet, novelist, essayist, biographer, children's writer and editor, as well as his participation in the founding of the Abbey Theatre, made Colum a central figure in the Irish literary renaissance. Colum wrote "The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy" in 1918 as a retelling of Homer's epic poems, "Iliad" and "Odyssey," intended for younger readers. It recounts the perilous adventures of Odysseus on his journey back from the war in Troy, including his encounter with the horrible Cyclops, the duplicitous Sirens, and the evil Circe. One of Colum's many successful children's novels, these stories will be enjoyed as much today as they were nearly a century ago.
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