Sunday, June 28, 2009
More Books !
I really don't know what to make of "The Last Office", which details the last days of the monastery Church of Durham. It gives an in-depth account of the lives and political machinations of those connected with Durham Priory, and how they survived the turmoil surrounding "The King's Great Matter" and the subsequent Dissolution of the Monasteries.
It does not have the readability, the depth or the scholarship of Eamon Duffy's "The Stripping of the Altars" or his "The Voices Of Morebath", and to be honest, I found parts of it to be somewhat garbled in terms of fluent readability.
Interestingly enough, it does cite Eamon Duffy as one of its sources. I think that if Eamon Duffy had written this book, it would have been considerably better.
It is not one I shall bother to buy, I'm afraid.
This book was a joy. As you all know, I am almost as hopelessly addicted to cookery books as I am to Liturgical books, LOL. A Jewish cookbook with a very upmarket Jewish Princess spin was utterly charming and I did drool over the recipes. I was rather surprised at the omission of a recipe for Shabbat Challah, however......
I apologise for the quality of this photograph; the protective wrapper on this library copy played havoc with my camera settings.
It is entitled "An Infinity Of Little Hours" and details the lives and experiences of a group of young men who chose to leave the world in the 60s to enter the most punishingly austere religious order in the Western world - the Carthusians.
To go for a whole week without speaking, except on official monastic business, to bathe only once a fortnight in tepid water - if you were lucky, to fast as austerely as the Orthodox - these things are virtually unthinkable to many. Not all the entrants made it to the point of Solemn profession, but for those who did, it appears to have been an amazingly satisfying life.
Even for those who left, most have very happy memories and feel that the experience was very beneficial to them.
If you have watched "Into Great Silence", you will almost certainly really enjoy this book, but it is an emotionally taxing read.