Monday, March 12, 2012

Fleas, Flies and Friars by Nicolas Orme

This is a collection of works from the middle ages. Nicolas Orme created a book that offers a peek into the lives of children during this time. Poems, rhymes, and verses by children, for children or about children.
It’s not what I expected. While Nicolas Orme’s goal was to make these works accessible to the common reader as opposed to a scholar, I had thought I was picking up a book for children. The book is not for young children. Some of the language is rough and there’s a good deal of explanation about the works.
That’s not to say that this wasn’t an interesting read. I enjoyed it quite well. It’s an interesting glimpse into the past. I enjoyed the history and the language of this book.
I found it interesting to discover that papermaking began during this time period and that school books were often written in verse to make memorizing easier. The class would have limited books so the children would have to memorize parts of the books so they could be passed around. Two thoughts come to mind – 1. We think we have limited text books. and 2. Why don’t they do that now, imagine how much more the kids would remember.

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