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JULIA AUGUSTUS filia is the daughter of the ruthless dictator Augustus Caesar, and he is not happy about her behaviour. He exiles her to the bleak isle of Pandateria, where she is to have no luxuries, no wine, only one slave—and no men, with the exception of some quirky old guards specially chosen for their ugliness. The exile is intended as a chance for Julia to quietly contemplate her sinful ways, but the story, told by an enlightened old boor nicknamed The Hammer, is far from quiet and not the least bit contemplative. At the same time, Julia is forced to reconcile with a bitter mother she barely knows.
Marcellus Durrell has crafted a sometimes sad, sometimes darkly humorous portrait of one of history's tragic heroines, whose suffering is mostly caused by life choices made by her father and her stepmother, the venomous Livia.