And He Talked all the While

I just had to start out with a quotation from Lewis Carroll’s The Hunting of the Snark, “And he talked all the while in a popular style, which the beaver could well understand.”  Only yesterday I finished a book, Barbarians to Angels, and it was about the Dark Ages.  It was written in a popular style, supposed to be easily accessible- and the author looked a fool trying to write that way.  Pray allow me to illustrate.

Primo.  The author started out with a set intention, which was to show us how the Dark Ages were not really so dark as we thought.  His method was to talk about the fine arts, and say a few words about trading systems then in place.  Well, just the fact that barbarians had art when they went wandering around in Europe does not make the Dark Ages any less dark- Vikings razed villages all over England in this period, and they had their own stylized art, and an excellent trading system, to boot.

Secundo. It’s really rather a childish thing, but my other reason for being so displeased is that he pluralized Amphora as Amphoras, and not Amphorae.  It just looks all wrong, even if it is correct for English, but it’s accentuated by the fact that he writes Fibulae, and not Fibulas, which really stops the flow of the words.

Well, to take away the bad taste that that leaves, I shall recommend a good book that has a lot of barbarians in it, and a happy ending, as well.  It is however in rhyme; and it is The Ballad of the White Horse.  Enjoy!


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