Ryan Holiday's Reviews > A World Lit Only by Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance: Portrait of an Age

A World Lit Only by Fire by William Manchester
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's review
Jun 22, 2012

really liked it

I am preparing to work my way through the Middle Ages and I felt like this book would be a good start. When I teach myself a subject, I like to start with something basic. For example, if you wanted to do a lot of reading about Ancient Greece, you could watch the movie Troy before you started. You'd learn the names and the pronunciations and then later, while you read, you could associate the allusions made in the later works to images and living characters, rather than sparse memories of your middle school journey through Homer. It's not the most glamorous or scholarly way, but who cares? Aside from those benefits, this book is interesting. Manchester does a wonderful job explaining the humanity of each age, you're left with a grasp on how the people alive back then felt about something, rather than some historians' consensus on an event. You can't really ask for more from a book.

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