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Fians, Fairies, And Picts (1893) Hardcover – September 10, 2010
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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I'm not sure how well the discussions would hold up against current cultural, historical and archaeological evidence, but it was a really interesting read, and clearly exhibits some of the best reasoning of that time. There is a light underlying tone of ethnocentrism towards the 'civilized' people of Great Britain, but nothing inexcusable for the time in which this was first written.
My only complaints are:
A) The foot notes are not linked
B) There are no illustrations
A is a mild irritation (though linking would have improved the experience), but B is really quite frustrating because almost half the book deals with discussing the plates in great detail--only there are no plates for the kindle reader to refer back to. If the pictures had been there I'd have given it the full five stars.
I found it interesting that someone so learned a few hundred years ago has reached the same tentative conclusions as I have concerning the fairy race. I, too, believe they are based on an actual race of people (or several races in different places) who did exist. I believe (and this writer does, also) that what likely happened is that over time the race was absorbed into other groups of people as the lands they lived on were invaded and conquered.
The references and footnotes have given me a lot to seek out and see what I can find! Especially the extensive descriptions of the mound dwellings. I wish the drawings and diagrams were with the Kindle edition of the book, but they were not reproduced.
Oh well, it gives me something to research. And I love research. Overall, I found it very interesting and thought provoking. It would be interesting to do some research and find out how these facts and conclusions presented in 1892 have withstood the test of time, and what facts may have been added or rejected as we have more evidence and scientific methods of investigation.