Life of John Knox
I had a little difficulty finishing this book. I was unaccustomed to the style of writing. It was originally written in 1833, so the language used required a deeper level of concentration than what I am used to needing in reading. I liken it to being made to lift heavy weights, of which you haven’t lifted in many years. In the end, I thought that was actually a positive thing— I needed my reading level challenged!
Another attribute about the actual writing style was that it was “dry”. What I mean is that there was almost no descriptive language helping the reader picture the story in their heads. If it weren’t for the very liberal use of dialogue quotes, I’m not sure I could have even finished it. I wonder if the original writers (from the American Sunday-School Union) were auditory learners as opposed to visual learners which may account for that particular aspect of the writing style.
The actual story itself—about John Knox— was very interesting. I particularly found the dialogues between him and Queen Mary fascinating (which illustrates the other plus for the plentiful use of dialogue quotes). I especially liked the conversation they had when he basically was justifying how subjects could and should overthrow their rulers. I can see why Queen Mary didn’t like him (and that’s putting it mildly).
Without the dialogue quotes it would have sounded like a dry textbook. In fact the book began with, “John Knox was born in the year 1505…”. How dry is that? But it does have the quotes and they more than “save” the book. Here’s a piece of one…”‘God forbid,’ replied Knox, ‘that I should ever command any to obey me, or set subjects at liberty to do whatever they please; my desire is, that both princes and subjects may obey God.”
Another bright point was through the plentiful and excellent use of dialogue, the great boldness and devotion that John Knox possessed in his character shone brilliantly through. As a Christian, It is well worth your while to study his life, and this book would make a good start.
One more “warning”. Since Knox was a literal protestant—protesting against the Roman Catholic Church of his time— modern day Catholics may find this book offensive.
For homeschoolers this book would be wonderful because this was written before scholars started re-writing history and as homeschool parents you would want your children to be exposed to different and more difficult to read styles of writing and as Christian parents you would want your children to learn about devout historical Christians from the past.
Is this book for you? It depends. Are you Protestant? Do you like old historical books? Are you a homeschool parent? If you answered yes, to at least two of those, then you are sure to like this book.
To purchase your own copy of this book go here:Life of John Knox (Life Of… (Attic Books))
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from New Leaf Publishing Group’s blogging for books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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