Across a Dark and Wild Sea

Overview

Columcille was born in a remote corner of Ireland in the year 521. Legend has it that as a child, he was fed a cake filled with the letters of the alphabet, and so learned to love writing. He grew up to become a monk and a scribe a thousand years before the invention of printing, when books had to be copied by hand.

There was one book, a beautiful volume of psalms from distant Rome, that Columcille especially loved, and even though its owner refused him permission, Columcille ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $5.44   
  • New (3) from $73.14   
  • Used (6) from $5.44   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$73.14
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(274)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$86.55
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(93)

Condition: New
New New condition. Collectible-first edition. Free track! Fast shipping! Satisfication guaranteed!

Ships from: Media, PA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$105.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(165)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Note: Kids' Club Eligible. See More Details.
Sending request ...

Overview

Columcille was born in a remote corner of Ireland in the year 521. Legend has it that as a child, he was fed a cake filled with the letters of the alphabet, and so learned to love writing. He grew up to become a monk and a scribe a thousand years before the invention of printing, when books had to be copied by hand.

There was one book, a beautiful volume of psalms from distant Rome, that Columcille especially loved, and even though its owner refused him permission, Columcille secretly copied it. The copy was discovered, and a dispute arose over who it belonged to: Columcille, who made it, or the owner of the original. So better was the argument that a battle was fought between the two men's powerful friends; although Columcille's side won, the victory felt hollow to him. To punish himself, he set out in a tiny boat, vowing to leave Ireland forever.

A revered figure in Celtic history, Columcille (also known as Columbia) founded the famous monastery on the Scottish island of Iona and left a legacy of learning that illuminated a corner of the Dark Ages. History, drama, and a love of books and reading fill a story—told here in exquisite watercolors and deflty understated prose by noted author and artist Don Brown.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brown's (Uncommon Traveler) lyrical narrative chronicles the life of Columcille, born to an Irish king in 521, and his passionate commitment to words and ideas. Though he grew up during the Dark Ages, when the new rulers of Ireland had virtually extinguished education ("Reading and writing were like magic, and the people who knew their secrets as rare as wizards"), Columcille from early childhood loved writing, which he mastered as a student in a monastery. He went on to become a monk as well as a skilled scribe and poet, and founded many monasteries. Brown laces historical facts with anecdotes from legends in his portrayal of this remarkable man, who exiled himself from his homeland after his kinsmen crushed the army of a High King, in defense of a manuscript. Columcille had painstakingly hand-lettered a Psalter (book of Psalms) and the king had ruled that the copy belonged to the owner of the original manuscript. In penitence for the bloodshed, Columcille decided to exile himself from his homeland, and ended up on the Scottish island of Iona, and there founded a monastery. He and the other resident scribes there devoted themselves to transcribing manuscripts, creating books that were then "dispatched, like small boats on a dark and wild sea, to places where reading and writing had been forgotten or ignored." Like the work of his subject, Brown's account also sheds light on an intriguing individual of extraordinary accomplishment. The author's signature stark, muted watercolors seem especially well suited to this hero's life of piety and his historical setting. Ages 5-9. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The life of Columcille, also known as St. Columba, is presented in picture book format. In a few well-chosen incidents, Brown is able to capture the importance of the man and his contribution to civilization. He also provides insight into the character of this sixth century monk. When Columcille makes a copy of a one-of-a-kind book owned by his former schoolmaster, Finnian, the schoolmaster demands he hand over the copy. The arguing continued until Diarmait, the great king of Ireland, decides in Finnian's favor. In a great battle, Columcille's followers defeat the king. Finding this to be an empty victory, Columcille leaves Ireland forever and sails to the island of Iona, Scotland where he gains a following that eventually builds a great monastery. Anyone interested in Irish history will learn a great deal here. In addition, the author's note at the end provides more details of this saint's life. A soft palette is used throughout the book. There is an intentional "fuzziness" to the pictures that works well with scenery but sometimes gives a peculiar look to the faces. There is a brief but clear description of the tools used in creating a medieval manuscript, and the uncial alphabet, widely used for "Christian manuscripts through the eighth century," is shown. The bibliography will be most useful for adults and older children. 2002, Roaring Book Press, $22.90 and $15.95. Ages 6 up. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-A lyrical picture-book biography of Columcille, or St. Columba, an Irish monk of the sixth century. In an age in which books were a rarity and few people were literate, Columcille was "Prince, scribe, monk, [and] bard." Brown describes his subject's fascination with a rare book of Bible psalms and his secret vow to make an illegal copy. The High King declared that the duplicate manuscript was the property of the owner of the original, and a terrible battle ensued. Although Columcille's army won, the horror of the bloodshed that day caused him to vow to leave Ireland and cross the sea to Scotland. On the island of Iona, he and 12 followers established a monastery and set to work copying other books and illuminated manuscripts. This brief but fascinating story will appeal to bibliophiles and be useful for assignments on European saints and Celtic history. There is a helpful author's note, a sample Roman alphabet, and detailed sketches of bookmaking and a leather boat. The illustrations are soft double-page watercolors that create an impression of green countryside, wild waves, and the windswept shoreline. This is a lovely, intriguing book for special readers.-Beth Tegart, Oneida City Schools, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brown (A Voice from the Wilderness, 2001, etc.) continues his series of picture-book biographies of lesser-known figures with a tale of the life of Saint Columcille, the sixth-century prince and monk better known by the Latin form of his name, Columba. In Ireland in Columcille's time, "Reading and writing were like magic, and the people who knew their secrets as rare as wizards. Columcille became one of them." When a former teacher, Finnian, would not permit him to copy a book of psalms, he did so in secret. The high king Diarmait ruled that the copy, too, belonged to Finnian and a fierce battle erupted. Though Columcille got his book back, he was devastated at the bloodshed, and took a leather boat to Iona, off the coast of Scotland. The monastery he founded there, and its scriptorium, dispatched books "like small boats on a dark and wild sea." Reading as magical and books as worthy of being fought over are lovely lessons laid out in this powerful story. Brown's usual tender watercolors take on a darker hue. Double-paged, wordless spreads of the battle and of the sea add to the depth of the images, as do lucid step-by-step pictures of the making of a manuscript book and the building of a coracle (leather boat). An alphabet of exquisite Irish uncial letters and an author's note add to the richness. This works on many levels to delight and to inspire: as a stirring read-aloud, as a saint's biography, and as a beautiful picture book. (bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761315346
  • Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 10.06 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Meet the Author

Don Brown's previous books include the "ingeniously staged and picture perfect" (Booklist, starred review) Mack Made Movies and the recently published Kid Blink Beats the World. He lives on Long Island, New York.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)