Spetses was the basis for the island of Phraxos in John Fowles' 1965 novel The Magus. Many locations described in the book actually existed, including the "Lord Byron School" (the private Anargyrios & Korgialenios School of Spetses) and the "Villa Bourani" (located on the south side of the island above a popular public beach). Both the school and villa still exist, although the house is under private ownership. Fowles himself taught English at the school between the years 1951 and 53.
The island of Spetses, located in the Mediterranean Sea, was first occupied during the Mesolithic Age, in around 8000 BC. During that period the island was connected by an isthmus to the mainland of Argolida, at the point now named Kosta. Pieces of flint from that time were found near the part of the island named Zogeria, containing a water source probably available since that time. Other archaeological finds were located in the area of Saint Marina. It was the site of the first Hellenistic settlement to be found on the island, dating to the 3rd millennium BC. At least three natural harbours of Spetses (Saint Marina, Saint Paraskevi and Zogeria) served as a refuge for ships carrying goods to and from the Argolis Gulf during the peak of the State of Lerna (about 2300 BC).
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