I like Christopher Buckley books. I tend to find them funny and I also tend to learn something new as they are set in history that I usually am unfamiliar with (or at least deeply familiar with).
This is a fun romp. A little dark at times and somehow feels unfinished, like the editor didn’t quite do the job. But if you have a yen to read about a “relic dealer” i.e. someone who bought and sold pieces of the bodies of saints or of their implements or of the Holy Cross, or the Shroud of Turin then this is the book for you.
I found several items of interest in this book.
- pari passu: this means “side by side” Read more at location 811
- “And here, perhaps, was the greatest irony of all: Frederick himself remained devoutly Catholic. So far as anyone could make out, he didn’t agree with Luther on a single point of his heretical doctrines.” Read more at location 819
- This was an interesting nugget of information and something of which I was unaware of in the history of the Reformation.
“Take away a Spanisher’s red paints—his massicot, sinopia, carmine, bole, cinnabar, lac, madder, solferino, vermilion, Pozzuoli, crimson“
- I liked this quote simply for the many ways of describing “red”.
- hortation: to exhort or to urge on. I’d never seen this usage before.
- peine forte et dure: a form of medieval torture. It means ‘hard and forceful punishment’.