Monday, July 18, 2011

A world lit only by fire

This book rambles on about the middle ages and renaissance, and eventually goes on the laud Magellan. Finally in the afterward he explains that it started after he wrote an introduction for a friend's work on Magellan. He decided that he wanted to write a brief background to the times of the explorer. Things got out of hand, and we ended up with this book. He also admits to using all secondary sources in the work.

Alas, what we have is a book that is half filled with lurid details of the depredations of corrupt popes, and half filled with the voyage of Magellan. Here is the middle ages as seen through the eyes of modern sensibilities.

This book reads like a disorganized term paper on the middle ages that was graded on length not quality. About the only part worthwhile part was the tale of Magellan's final fall. And this would probably be better told in a more focussed book. That leaves, well, nothing to recommend in this book.

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