7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Almost Two Books in One,
This review is from: Life of St. Columba (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Running to 432 pages, including 10 pages of maps and geneological tables, an introduction (100 pages), the translated Life (134 pages), scholarly footnotes (144 pages), bibliography and index, this is almost two books in one, and good value for the modest price.
I began reading this book reluctantly as part of the research for my Storyteller series, because Columba's life (521?-597) spans the period of my stories. I expected a dry, boring read: I was wrong. The introduction is interesting and well-written, with a large amount of helpful historical detail about the people and customs of this period, and the Life itself is lively and entertaining. Columba and his monastic family were important figures in 6th-8th century Scotland and Ireland, and anyone interested in this period should know their acts and history. If you fall in this category, buy this book now and read it: at only $12, you have no excuse. Highly recommended.
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Initial post: May 29, 2008 2:29:37 PM PDT
G. F. Campbell says:
Your appetite having been so scholarly whetted, may I recommend my own book "The First and Lost Iona" (available only over the net so suggest you Google the title for details and comments). It fills in the gaps in Adamnan's book by identifying the meaning of Iona and locating the so-called "lost" place-names of Hinba, Elen, the Land of Heth, etc. Couldn't get a publisher to take it on, thus it is more expensive than I'd have liked and it lacks a professional finish which would have added maps, a bibliography and an index. It's the information which is the star, not the writing.
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