E. V. Rieu revealed!

by Matthew Cobb

Thanks to the diligent efforts of Tom Holland, and courtesy of Penguin Books, here is a genuine photo of E. V. Rieu, translator of Homer, together with a pile of what look like his black-spined Penguin translations. And he doesn’t look a bit like Chekhov. See here and here for the previous episodes in this story.


  1. Posted November 27, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I can’t go along with this due to the great flood, which is proven, and the ark sitting on top of Mt. Ararat. But here’s some music to ease the headache. http://youtu.be/T13VEjE2LYQ

  2. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    if you Google for e.v. rieu, and look at that small thumbnail summary thing Google has been generating lately, the photo is of an older Chekhov. if you Google for Chekhov, you get a bunch of photos (on desktop version – i’ll have to check on mobile later), including the erroneous older one.

    I would recommend emailing a relevant Google team about it, and ask them to fix it. I surmise the program is relying too much on what everyone says is rieu or chekhov.

    TIL spell Chekhov with an h.

  3. Posted November 27, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    “Cat’s Funeral” by E.V. Rieu:

    Bury her deep, down deep,
    Safe in the earth’s cold keep.
    Bury her deep–

    No more to watch bird stir;
    No more to clean dark fur;
    No more to glisten as silk;
    No more to revel in milk;
    No more to purr.

    Bury her deep, down deep;
    She is beyond warm sleep.
    She will not walk in the night;
    She will not wake to the light.
    Bury her deep.

    • Matthew Cobb
      Posted November 27, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

      See the start of this trail to find Rieu! That was the poem I posted back in January…

      • Posted November 28, 2012 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        Thanks, Prof. Cobb; I missed that post of yours. Yesterday was the first time I’d serendipitously come across this poem on the net.

  4. aldoleopold
    Posted November 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for putting in the effort to find a photo of him 🙂

  5. Posted November 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I’m afraid he most certainly looks like Checkov:

    Take the hat off and they’re practically twins…

  6. Dominic
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Good research Matthew! He was certainly a giant of 20th c translation.

  7. jesse
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    My suggestion is to insert this correct picture on the first post.

    People who do searches will find the first post and will not know about this updated correction–even if you put a link there with an explanation, they will not likely click on it anyway. On my own website I notice that people who use searches are lazy and hardly ever click through to anything.

    Putting the picture onto that first post will also probably help crawlers from search engines like google pick up the new, correct picture.

    I’m not sure if WEIT is meant as a teaching site or not.

  8. gravelinspector
    Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Going somewhat off-topic, are you the same Matthew Cobb who is booked to appear at the Aberdeen Skeptics-in-the-Pub on December 4th, amongst other things doing suspicious things with a wine glass?

    • Matthew Cobb
      Posted November 28, 2012 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Yes. Bring along your wineglass!

      • gravelinspector
        Posted November 28, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        Errr, isn’t a digestive biscuit the normal (?) substrate for such activity? (Not being a Public School wallah, I’m not terribly au fait on such matters.)
        Then again, if I remember Caller 35’s reputation properly (it’s not one of my regular haunts), they’ll probably have a packet of biscuits behind the bar anyway.
        I’m just wondering exactly what demonstration you are planning to perform. (That’s the “most experiments don’t work” part of my mind at work.)

        • jesse
          Posted November 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          Ahem… is Matthew planning to demonstrate *poculation* on Dec. 4?

          • gravelinspector
            Posted November 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

            Not being a Public School boy, I wouldn’t know.
            There is a word for what I was thinking of? Oh strange and wonderful is the English Language. Even if it sounds like it’s stealing from Latin (again).
            I suppose I’d better check that link to be sure that we’re talking about the same thing. […] No, that wasn’t what I was thinking about, and my (limited) searches haven’t found a word for it. In Latin. There’s probably one in Greek though.

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