Thursday, March 22, 2007

Book Recommendation

In the Church History II class I'm taking this semester at Christendom College, we are studying the Fall of England in the Protestant Revolution that swept through Europe beginning in 1519 and throughout the 16th century.

The subject of England's fall to Protestantism reminded me of an incredible book: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. Even though it is fiction, it is extremely enlightening, and I can never think of Richard III or King Henry VIII without thinking back to The Daughter of Time. Once you start this book, it will only take a couple of days to finish because it is so engrossing. It will change your whole perspective of history and in particular the kings above.

Diane Ravitch in the "Atkinson-Ravitch Sampler of Classic Literature," an appendix at the back of her The Language Police describes the literary value of The Daughter of Time:

While Alan Grant of Scotland Yard is hospitalized with a minor injury, his friend brings him a packet of portraits to amuse him. One is the infamous villain Richard III. Grant sees something in the man's face that intrigues him. With a detective's eye for detail, the bedridden Grant sets out to solve one of history's most notorious crimes. It is a dazzling novel that is a model of the creative power of skeptical thinking.

It is certainly the best mystery ever written and a book every student these days should be familiar with. Unfortunately, for too many students today, schools promote mediocre books pleasing to multiculturalists and feminists as well as teen literature that schools mistakingly feel students can relate to better than classic literature. Any canon of great literature is eschewed.

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