Author: Gilbert Abbott à Beckett   Illustrator: John Leech
Product Code: 3332
ISBN: 978-0-86516-333-1
Pages: 326
Availability: In stock
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Beckett's The Comic History of Rome, first published in London in 1852, is now available in a reprint. The author's intent is to combine instruction with amusement. Teachers and students alike will welcome Beckett's humor and witty representation of the great chapters of Roman history from the earliest times to the death of Caesar.

This work has been prompted by a very serious desire to instruct those who, though willing to acquire information, seek in doing so as much amusement as possible . . .

The writer of this book is animated by an earnest wish to aid, as far as he is able, in the project of combining instruction and amusement.

— From the author's Preface


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Review by: Alta Schoeman, Scholia Review - September 28, 2005
History books can be notoriously boring. Not so the nineteenth century publication by an author professing to assist in ‘the project of combining instruction with amusement’ and hoping that ‘narrative in sport may be found to constitute history in earnest.’ The Roman tales are told with gusto…Nobody escapes the author’s scathing satire as he launches vitriolic attacks on the most revered of Roman personages …Not only public figures but also social conventions become the butt of his criticism… …the book… can be used as a teaching aid to highlight specific themes which have been dealt with in a more traditional manner…
Review: Journal of Indo-European Studies - September 28, 2005
Trying to combine instruction with amusement, the author of this curious book presents the events in the history of ancient Rome until the death of Caesar in a humorous way, with woodcuts that often look like comic caricatures. After a humorous narration of the foundation and the royal period of Rome, the author goes on through the multiple episodes and wars of the Republic. After a century and a half, the book has not lost anything of its amusing character and it remains as before an entertaining approach to Roman history.
Review by: Jennifer Roberts, Classical Outlook - September 28, 2005
...provides many hours of amusement, and the impulse to share selected illustrations with our classes will be irresistible. The drawings by John Leech are well worth the price of admission...
Review by: Nicola Turner, Prudentia - September 28, 2005
The rolling narrative is written with fluency and flair and will provide both the beginner and the expert with an entertaining version of Republican history... John Leech’s illustrations are a perfect compliment to à Beckett’s text... While à Beckett’s acerbic interpretations are meant to amuse, his narration of events is accurate and would provide the beginner with a very good idea of what happened, and of some major themes of Roman history...

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