On Blogs and Big Books


In some ways, blogs and books don’t mix too well. Blogs are part of the online world of instant gratification whereas books are part of the real world of delayed gratification. This is a particular problem when it comes to long books. A few paragraphs can never do justice to great tomes. I am, for example, currently reading and greatly enjoying H Daniel-Rops’ monumental, multi-volume History of the Church of Christ, but won’t be able to review it properly for many months. Even then, the review will be ephemeral. So what is to be done?

My, possibly inadequate response, is to start a new series, Quotation of the Day, so I can, at the very least, drop in a few quotations as I work my way through this and other big books. And I’ll start with this assessment of the years 1050-1350 from Cathedral and Crusade, the third volume in the series, an assessment which might surprise anyone who has bought into the presentist prejudices of our age:

between those years, society enjoyed what may be considered the richest, most fruitful, most harmonious epoch in all the history of Europe, an epoch which may be likened to spring after the barbarian winter.




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