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• The book has been corrected for spelling and grammatical errors
• Illustrated book with resized images for the NOOK
"Why take the style of these heroic times? For nature brings not back the mastodon—Nor we those times; and why should any man Remodel models?"
What Tennyson thus said of his own first essay in the Idyls of the King, in the introduction to the Morte D'Arthur, occurs as probably the aptest expression of most men's immediate thought with regard to such a subject as The Thirteenth, Greatest of Centuries. Though Tennyson was confessedly only remodeling the thoughts of the Thirteenth Century, we would not be willing to concede—
"That nothing new was said, or else.
Something so said, 'twas nothing,"
for the loss of the Idyls would make a large lacuna in the literature of the Nineteenth Century, "if it is allowed to compare little things with great," a similar intent to that of the Laureate has seemed sufficient justification for the paradox the author has tried to set forth in this volume. It may prove "nothing worth, mere chaff and draff much better burnt," but many friends have insisted they found it interesting. Authors usually blame friends for their inflictions upon the public, and I fear that I can find no better excuse, though the book has been patiently labored at, with the idea that it should represent some of the serious work that is being done by the Catholic Summer School on Lake Champlain, now completing nearly a decade and a half of its existence. This volume is, it is hoped, but the first of a series that will bring to a wider audience some of the thoughts that have been gathered for Summer School friends by many workers, and will put in more permanent form contributions that made summer leisure respond to the Greek term for school.
The object of the book is to interpret, in terms that will be readily intelligible to this generation, the life and concerns of the people of a century who, to the author's mind, have done more for human progress than those of any like period in human history. There are few whose eyes are now holden as they used to be, as to the surpassing place in the history of culture of the last three centuries of the Middle Ages. Personally the author is convinced, however, that only a beginning of proper appreciation has come as yet, and he feels that the solution of many problems that are vexing the modern world, especially in the social order, are to be found in these much misunderstood ages, and above all in that culmination of medieval progress—the period from 1200 to 1300.
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