Across A Dark and Wild Sea PDF/EPUB ã Across A

Columcille was born in a remote corner of Ireland in the year 521 Legend has it that as a child he was fed a cake filled with the letters of the alphabet and so learned to love writing He grew up to become a monk and a scribe a thousand years before the invention of printing when books had to be copied by hand There was one book a beautiful volume of psalms from distant Rome that Columcille especially loved and even though its owner refused him permission Columcille secretly copied it The copy was discovered and a dispute arose over who it belonged to Columcille who made it or the owner of the original So better was the argument that a battle was fought between the two men's powerful friends although Columcille's side won the victory felt hollow to him To punish himself he set out in a tiny boat vowing to leave Ireland forever A revered figure in Celtic history Columcille also known as Columbia founded the famous monastery on the Scottish island of Iona and left a legacy of learning that illuminated a corner of the Dark Ages History drama and a love of books and reading fill a story told here in exquisite watercolors and deflty understated prose by noted author and artist Don Brown


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    I wanted to like this book I enjoyed the little historical background illustrations that showed how a coracle was constructed the order of strokes for the uncial alphabet and the steps in cutting a quill pen But puhleeze could we dispense with the depiction of the Middle Ages as the Dark Ages a period of ignorance and the shadow it cast over people's mind? That's such a tired old stereotype And despite the mention of monasteries and scribes the religious element of Columcille's story was totally excisedA better choice would be The Man Who Loved Books by Jean Fritz I blogged about it here