The Year 1000

Travel with books
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 8/17/2020
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Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, August 17, 2020
I got this hardcover (missing its dust jacket) from Better World Books. It's a look at life in England in the year 1000. (See also the author's 1215, checking in a couple of centuries later at the time of the Magna Carta.) Among the opening quotes there's this delight from Aelfric of Eynsham: "We dare not lengthen this book much more, lest it be out of moderation and should stir up men's antipathy because of its size." There's a man who understands his readers {wry grin}.

This book is centered around the Julius Book Calendar, one of few surviving documents from that era; there's a digitized copy available from the British Museum, which is pretty awesome. Not that long ago one would need special permission and a trip to the museum itself to get a look at the thing. [It's tragic to think of all the documentation that was lost during the dissolution of the monasteries. While Thomas Cromwell's plans for reformation may have had some praiseworthy goals, the loss of historical information was extreme.]

Fun fact: the calendar is called "Julius" thanks to the library-organization method of Sir Robert Cotton, circa 1600: each of the large bookshelves in his library had a classical bust on top, including Roman emperors, Cleopatra, and others, and he cataloged his books according to the bust, adding specific shelves and volume numbers as needed. So the calendar resided on a shelf beneath a bust of Julius Caesar!

The book uses this structure to convey information about daily lives, different classes, beliefs, and occupations of the English folk in and around the year 1000, with some intriguing tidbits derived from the few surviving sources.

Released 1 mo ago (10/30/2020 UTC) at Little Free Library, Wellington Hill Rd in Manchester, New Hampshire USA


Guidelines for safely visiting and stocking Little Free Libraries during the COVID-19 pandemic, from the LFL site here.

I left this book in the Little Free Library on this snowy day; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

*** Released for the 2020 Tick Tock challenge. ***

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