Thursday, March 17, 2011

Across A Dark And Wild Sea

Don Brown 2002

The true story of Columcille, a pagan born in Ireland who converted to Christianity and founded monastaries throughout Ireland and Scotland.  He worked as a scribe, creating a copy of the psalms that caused a fight among the clans.  But he promoted learning and "through his efforts the embers of literature and scholarship, nearly extinguished during the Dark Ages were re-ignited." 

A revered figure in Celtic history, Columcille left a legacy of learning that illuminated a corner of the Dark Ages.   

The process of writing using the tools and materials of that time period is described. Also in the back is more biographical information. A nice compliment to this book is the movie The Secret of Kells. The artwork is incredible. The kids and I loved it (there were a few scary parts for Charlotte). We ended up looking up photographs of the real Book of Kells (which I didn't know anything about before.)  

Books were made and dispatched, like small boats on a a dark and wild sea, to places where reading and writing had been forgotten or ignored.  The books made colonies of learning and people's minds, once dark with ignorance, were brightened.

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