History is Not Boring discussion


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message 1: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments Hey Mr. B I have wanted to ask this for a while but was afraid of insulting you....castles I love them which one has the most interesting history.....Now I just a.s.s.u.m.e.d. you would know a lot about them....

message 2: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments I have always loved castles too. I suppose most children love them; possibly due to all the fairy tales we were told.
For me castles enabled me to learn more about European and crusader history. Unfortunately I havent visited very many.

So far the only castle Ive visited is Chapultepec Castle in Mexico City. Its more of a Baroque palace than a castle. It sits on Chapultepec Hill and overlooks Mexico City. Former home of Mexican presidents, Emperor Maximilian, and summer home of the Aztec emperors.

Perhaps on my next trip to Europe I shall visit a more traditional castle?

message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments sounds like fun, my husband had a few minutes earlier this summer and watched a special on old castles of which he forgot 98 percent. I walked by and saw some 3D illustrations of wood later covered with stones, if I heard right, castles were more plentiful than I thought but few survived.

message 4: by James (new)

James There's a great book, which was also made into a video, title Castle by David Macaulay - it not only explains the hows and whys of the building of a castle, but does a nice job of portraying the society that gives rise to the castle in the book. It's a children's book, but I think it's a great read on an adult level too.

It was pretty successful, so Macaulay wrote similar books about other kinds of structures: Cathedral, Pyramid, Mill, Mosque, City (about a Roman city), and Unbuilding (in which he imagines the reversal of the construction of the Empire State Building (so it can be shipped to the Middle East by the imaginary buyer.)

message 5: by Will (last edited Oct 04, 2008 08:37AM) (new)

Will Kester | 1047 comments You might enjoy my novel, "Castle in the Wind." It's set in an existing castle in Portugal. I took a lot of license with it, but the real castle was built from around 1970 to present. I added underground passages and a fictional story line but it's a fun story with fun characters in a place where few Americans visit--the Algarve.

The name of the castle is Catello do Moinho. It has modern conveniences, A/C, internet, big-screen TV's, sattelite communication, etc. but looks ancient and very Moorish.

message 6: by Manuel (new)

Manuel | 1439 comments Thanks James:

Yes, I remember those books by David Macaulay.
They were history books with wonderful illustrations about architectural icons in history.

I think I must have been in 4th or 5th grade when I discovered them in the mid 70's. I loved how they made history incredibly interesting to children without talking down to them.

I remember poring over all the detail in the drawings.

If I recollect correctly, all the books started off from the very begining; showing the pyramid, castle or town from when they were drawn by the architects. And then progressing through all the stages to finished project.

I remember being amused and shocked when he even showed where and how the "toilets" functioned in the castle.

message 7: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 113 comments wow must check out, think I was a little too old to check them out from the school library...don't tell my granddaughter they are for me!....lol

message 8: by James (new)

James MacAulay has written some other good things too - he wrote a great parody of the way anthropologists sometimes spin their own interpretations of the meanings of artifacts, called Motel of the Mysteries; a hilarious goof on some classics of his own profession, Great Moments in Architecture; and a really wonderful encyclopedia-like book for kids (and adults), The Way Things Work, explaining the functioning of technology ranging from nail clippers to CD players in terms anyone from about age ten up can follow (and the illustrations are a hoot for that one, too; for some reason, he picked woolly mammoths as his favorite theme.)

message 9: by Susanna - Censored by GoodReads, Crazy Cat Lady (new)

Susanna - Censored by GoodReads (susannag) | 1011 comments Mod
Motel of the Mysteries is a riot - and it was, believe it or not, assigned reading in my archaeology class in college!

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