The God Beneath The Sea

Title: The God Beneath The Sea
Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen
Illustrated: Charles Keeping
Series :
First of two books – followed by “The Golden Shadow”
In Short: A re-telling of some of the most famous Greek myths as a single narrative.  Intense, lyrical and satisfying.

Other books by author: Leon Garfield – “Black Jack” , “Devil in the Fog”



“The God Beneath the Sea” is the first in a series of two books in which the Greek myths are re-told as a single, continuous narrative by  Leon Garfield and Edward Blishen.  They explain that they wanted to rewrite the “haphazard sequence of tall tales”  as these myths are usually presented, to recapture the profound impact the stories had on them when they first read them as children. More

A Darker Keeping: The Highwayman

Illustrator Charles Keeping had a dark side, always just beneath the surface of his work. Compare the work he did in “Joseph’s Yard” with “The Highwayman”, the famous poem by Alfred Noyes. The Highwayman is a satisfyingly Gothic love story of a highwayman and “Bess the landlords red lipped daughter”. You can read (or listen to) the poem here. The poem has a urgent rhythm that drives it along – its the kind of poem you feel compelled to read out loud:

The wind was a torrent of darkness among the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight over the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding—
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn-door.


writer/illustrator Charles Keeping: Joseph’s Yard

Charles Keeping was a powerful force in my childhood. I was scared and fascinated by his books . The drawings burn on the page, and the stories cut into your heart. I was deeply influenced by his drawing style – that muscular scrawl with ink and wash. In this post I want to share one particular book: “Joseph’s Yard” which I grew up knowing as “Josef se plant”, in its Afrikaans version.