Secrets of the Swamp
by Penelope Delta, Translated by Ruth Bobick
As the Macedonian Struggle intensifies in 1906, two Greek military officers arrive at the swamp at Lake Giannitsa to lead the Greek rebels. Captain Agras—"the ideal hero"—radiates energy and spirit; Captain Nikiphoros, in contrast, is more deliberate and reflective. Both are courageous and fearless—"united in their aims and dedication."
A child and an adolescent dominate a plot resembling that of a spy story: Jovan, the "little Bulgarian," and Apostolis, "the best Greek guide west of the Axios River." Other key figures include the brave teacher Miss Electra, the mysterious giant Gregos, revenge-seeking Vasilis, and young Pericles, volunteer from Crete.
Rival Greek and Bulgarian fighters strive desperately to drive each other from the swamp, in order to secure it for themselves as a base from which to control the surrounding villages. And all the while they face a common enemy, the occupying Turkish power whose army pursues them both relentlessly.
With mounting tension and a startling turn of events, Secrets of the Swamp re-creates the fierce war "on land and water" at Lake Giannitsa—one of the most dramatic and little-known chapters of Modern Greek history..
About The Author
PENELOPE DELTA is generally regarded as the most widely-read twentieth-century Greek novelist and storywriter for youth.
To the present day, she remains a popular author and an intriguing figure for Greeks of all ages. In the last decades, another volume of her Memoirs—published posthumously—and a book of essays on her work from a 21st century perspective have appeared, revealing a life deeply involved in the major issues and events of her times.
Delta chose the Byzantine Empire at its height in the "heroic age of Basil II" as a subject for her first two historical novels. Her final and most acclaimed book, Secrets of the Swamp, pays tribute to the Greek rebels who fought in the Macedonian Struggle during the declining years of the Ottoman Empire (1904-1908). Both were little-known periods of Greek history she helped open up to generations of young readers.
About the Translator
RUTH BOBICK translated Penelope Delta's novel, In the Heroic Age of Basil II, and has written articles about her life and work. A freelance writer, she is presently preparing an account of the Settlement Movement at Jane Addams' Hull House, focusing on its influence upon social reform in America.
Also Translated by Ruth Bobick: In the Heroic Age of Basil II Emperor of Byzantium, by Penelope Delta
ISBN13: 978-1-931807-87-6, 6x9, Hardcover, 486 pages, 40 images, $18.95 / Young Adult / Historical Fiction
© 2002-2010 Peter E. Randall Publisher, LLC