Jan ’21 Book of the Month – The Light Ages

Hello everyone! It’s been a minute and looks like I have a handful of new people who’ve joined my blog list in the past few days. So, Hi! And Welcome and Thank You for subscribing 🙂

I started Between Pages mainly to keep track of the books I read and the ARC’s I review so you can expect to see a lot of curated ‘Read Lists’. I participate in a few book tags, write about ‘book-inspired’ travel destinations and I love writing memoirs.

I also do a monthly feature ‘ARC of the Month’ – while there’s normally anywhere between 5-12 ARC’s piled up in my read list, I don’t post all the reviews here. However, I love to feature some of the most remarkable books that I read as proof copies. Some of these books remain under the radar and some have gone on to become bestsellers and win awards.

This month’s book, I am so proud to say, was chosen as Book of the Year by The Times and BBC History magazine amongst others

So, without further ado, let’s talk about The Light Ages.

The Middle Ages or Medieval Period lasted from the 5th to the 15th century, at which point starts the ‘Age of Discovery’.

While, in popular knowledge, a majority of the inventions are attributed to the ages of discovery, the groundwork was laid, surprisingly, in the so-called Dark Ages

And so begins Seb Falk’s ambitious project – The Light Ages!

Written in seven parts  – from the basics of monastic life to universities, astronomy and medicine, The Light Ages by Seb Falk attempts to summarize the pathbreaking research that occurred in the middle ages in 570 odd pages.

Although this book has all the makings of a thoroughly researched book complete with empirical evidence, it does not read like a dry academic paper. On the contrary, set against the backdrop of quaint English villages, looming cathedrals and a slow simmering civic unrest, the overall aura of the book is very vintage and reminiscent of a simpler time.  

What I loved: The Light Ages is very thoroughly researched; the data and manner of presentation is impeccable and faultless. Personally, my favourite part was the chapter on Astrolabe, which was so visual in the way it has been written.

Additionally, the insight it provides us in the amount of time our ancestors in the middle ages actually dedicated trying to understand and thereby lay the groundwork in the basics of astronomy is incredibly fascinating.

The sun moves at a variable rate through the stars, this is today explained by the earth’s Elliptical orbit. However, astronomers previously had achieved same results thinking of the Sun’s annual motion as an “eccentric circle”

What was challenging: This book is very academic and gets really detailed. As such it is intended for an extremely niche audience. The book demands a basic understanding of medieval history, mathematics and astronomy. A keen interest in both is a given, considering the fact that you’re considering reading the book!

I’d like to thank Penguin Press UK and Allen Lane for sending me an advanced readers copy.

The Light Ages is now available to purchase from Amazon and Waterstones

P.S. Featured image courtesy amazon.com

3 Comments

  1. I’ve always loved astronomy more than anything. Hell I’ve subscribed NASA’s channel for insights about what’s going on with outer space. I know what I’m going to read next. Thankyou for this amazing recommendation 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. If you love astronomy, you will enjoy this book so much and will certainly also get a new perspective on the so called Dark Ages! I’d say go for the paperback or hardback as the illustrations and diagrams will be in a much better format. I’ll be keen to know how you get on 🙂 Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

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