The Riddle of the Labyrinth

The Riddle of the Labyrinth : The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code

3.91 (2,211 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


In the tradition of Simon Winchester and Dava Sobel, The Riddle of the Labyrinth: The Quest to Crack an Ancient Code tells one of the most intriguing stories in the history of language, masterfully blending history, linguistics, and cryptology with an elegantly wrought narrative.

When famed archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed the ruins of a sophisticated Bronze Age civilization that flowered on Crete 1,000 years before Greece's Classical Age, he discovered a cache of ancient tablets, Europe's earliest written records. For half a century, the meaning of the inscriptions, and even the language in which they were written, would remain a mystery.

Award-winning New York Times journalist Margalit Fox's riveting real-life intellectual detective story travels from the Bronze Age Aegean--the era of Odysseus, Agamemnon, and Helen--to the turn of the 20th century and the work of charismatic English archeologist Arthur Evans, to the colorful personal stories of the decipherers. These include Michael Ventris, the brilliant amateur who deciphered the script but met with a sudden, mysterious death that may have been a direct consequence of the deipherment; and Alice Kober, the unsung heroine of the story whose painstaking work allowed Ventris to crack the code.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 384 pages
  • 134 x 202 x 30mm | 280g
  • Ecco Press
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0062228862
  • 9780062228864
  • 526,985

Review quote

.".. a nail-biting intellectual and cultural adventure."--The Times UK
show more

Back cover copy

The Riddle of the Labyrinth is the true story of the quest to solve one of the most mesmerizing linguistic riddles in history and of the three brilliant, obsessed, and ultimately doomed investigators whose combined work would eventually crack the code. An award-winning journalist trained as a linguist, Margalit Fox not only takes readers step-by-step through the forensic process involved in cracking an ancient secret code, she restores one of the primary investigators, Alice Kober, to her rightful place in what is one of the most remarkable intellectual detective stories of all time.
show more

Rating details

2,211 ratings
3.91 out of 5 stars
5 26% (581)
4 46% (1,016)
3 22% (486)
2 4% (91)
1 2% (37)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X