Historian and novelist, Dr Tony Whitefield is back with his third novel and fourth book overall, adding yet another chapter to the Lemnos story with a re-telling of the famous Greek tale of Jason and the Argonauts.

Lemnos is a place of great significance to Dr Whitefield, an academic historian of the island; his wife’s family comes from Lemnos or Limnos, and they have visited it every year since 2002, besides the pandemic years.

He plans to go there for their 40th wedding anniversary, having also visited on their honeymoon. The connection goes even further back – his grandfather, Henry Norman Whitefield, fought at Gallipoli in 1915 and received medical care on Lemnos. A previous novel of his was a fictional telling of these events.

He co-wrote A Lemnos Odyssey: From Jason and the Argonauts to the Anzacs at Gallipoli with Roger Hawthorn in 2016, as a follow-up to his first novel in the series, about the Queen of Lemnos, Hypsipyle, Whitefield continues to tell the story of Lemnos by revisiting a famous character who once turned up on the island.

“What I wanted to do was write the story of Jason and the Golden Fleece and the voyage of the Argo, but I wanted to do it without the gods as if it was a storyteller telling the story only a generation or two after the events happened,” he told Neos Kosmos.

“I’m going back in time and imagining that the stories were real, that the Greek myths were real and happened, and it wasn’t the result of gods interfering with what man was doing, but there’s some natural explanation to these unbelievable and magical events.”

He says the gods are still present for people to pour their libations to, but they do not interfere. But there are “no mythical creatures, no flying sheep, no centaurs, no great walls of rock crashing and squashing boats as they try to get through narrow gaps in the sea.”

There is a reasonable explanation for everything Dr Whitefield explains. The journey to find the golden fleece is only a third of Jason’s story, and he wants to explore where he and the rest of the Argonauts came from and what they did once they got back.

Cover of Whitefield’s newest novel ‘Jason and the Argonauts’. Photo: Supplied

Much research went into this story and his previous reading of English interpretations of ancient Greek text. Still, one piece of media he may not have taken inspiration from is the Jason and the Argonauts 1963 film – one that he thinks you’ll need a “few drinks or a few ouzos” to sit through.

Whitefield shares with Neos Kosmos that his next novel will tell the story of Oedipus and the whole Theban saga, including the Seven Against Thebes war and the mostly forgotten Epigoni, which saw the city of Thebes fall 10 years later.

After that, he may tackle a beloved and well-known character in Hercules. One thing he has noticed, though, is that a lot of these characters crossover in each of their stories, with Hercules and even the huntress Atalanta, who he depicts as Argonauts in his upcoming book.

But they all link back to one common theme in Whitefield’s stories: “There’s always that Limnian theme to my Greek mythology stories.” Jason and the Argonauts are now selling on Amazon and Booktopia. They will soon be available on all the major online book-selling sites globally.

Alternatively, people in Australia can purchase copies from Whitefield directly for $30, including postage. He can be contacted via email at whitefield.tony@gmail.com