Books for the Reading

by Lynn Wienck, The Chisholm Trail Bookstore

Several days past, I noticed that the Monarch butterflies had returned – distinctive, plentiful, colorful and fluttering merrily with vivid splashes of orange and black. They are headed toward Canada and in autumn will return headed for Mexico. They have already thinned and soon will be no more than another spring memory. Still, it’s nice to see them in their glorious migration.

Several days past, I unearthed a second edition (2007) of Barbara Mertz’s Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt.  The included chronology at the book’s beginning provides a list of ancient Egyptian dynasties from 3150 B.C. to 30 B.C. and that’s quite a span of time for a civilization. The first edition was published in 1964; this edition presents additional topics and historical revisions based on recent discoveries. Barbara Mertz – who also writes under the nom de plume of Elizabeth Peters –  delivers a highly informative, thoughtful view of time and place balancing between archeological finds, archeological methodology, and ancient history.  The writing is crisp and fluid and observations pertinent and droll.

It’s time to return to The Bayeux Tapestry by David M. Wilson. I like to look at the photographs of the Tapestry and the Tapestry is mesmerizing in its beauty and detail. It wouldn’t hurt to read a bit more of the history, too. The book is on the coffee table waiting for me and begging to be perused a little more. The Tapestry is not actually a tapestry, rather it is linen cloth in panels, embroidered upon, and then pieced together. Early attribution was to Queen Mathilde, who was William the Conqueror’s wife, but later historical evidence showed the piece to be commissioned by Bishop Odo of Bayeux, half-brother to William the Conqueror. (I learned it was Queen Mathilde during my schooling-back-in-the-dark-ages-younger years.) My, but our understanding of history changes. Next thing you know, earth, air, fire, and water will no longer be considered as the four elements that comprise the universe.

Oh, butterflies, sweet butterflies, you have come and gone so quickly. Another spring memory is simultaneously refreshed and in the making. Oh, sweet seasons, you too, change so quickly, quickly.

One thought on “Books for the Reading

  1. I enjoy your writing. I lent my fold-out souvenir copy of the tapestry…that we bought at the Sarasota book shops on our honeymoon….to a high school student and never saw it again…sigh. I imagine those are still available, but i did enjoy having one in the house.

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