ANNO'S MEDIEVAL WORLD by Mitsumasa Anno

ANNO'S MEDIEVAL WORLD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The lengthy Author's Note at the close explains that the book might have been called ""How People Living in the Era of the Ptolemaic Theory Saw Their World""; and that, plus their difficulty in accepting the Copernican theory, is what it's basically about. But other phenomena, such as witches as the cause of plague, are introduced too: ""There were no microscopes then so no one knew that bacteria existed, much less that they caused the plague. . . and so many innocent people were accused and put to death."" Another fear was the fear of death--hence a search for ""the elixir of life."" And on the next page we're told about the craving for gold, and ""alchemists."" The assorted concepts and terms are ipso facto confusing; the various beliefs are unrelated; and in the course of their presentation, the central problem--of a fiat or a round earth, of a fixed or a rotating sphere--is lost sight of entirely. It's questionable, too, whether this historical scheme--ringing in ""an astronomer from the north,"" ""an astronomer from the south,"" and a ""monk [who] was burned at the stake""--is a particularly appropriate way of putting these ideas across. What, after all, does a medieval world-view mean to young children? (The pictures, less crowded than usual, are as usual deft.)

Pub Date: Oct. 31st, 1981
Publisher: Philomel