Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Brian Hodgkinson's heroic history of the way civilisations come and go and give us our heroes

Agamemnon walked home through this gate! True!
Brian Hodgkinson
I have a friend who looks just like an ordinary person, walks and talks like everyone else, drinks tea and coffee, smiles and moves around just like everyone else but HE IS SO CLEVER!  He would probably say that he just reads a lot but then so do I but I don't retain the information.  He does, his brain must have so many places full of interesting and accurate facts that when he sits down at his desk and concentrates on what he wants to know, he can bring a decade, a whole century or even a millenium to mind and have it in an order which he can then explain in such a way that someone like me, a person of very moderate understanding, can feel the texture of history in my own bones.  He has written both poetry and history and his name is Brian Hodgkinson.  I have been reading his extraordinary new three volume book which is so beautifully written and crafted it could be called poetry.  The three volumes cover The Advancement  of Civilisation in the Western World, and that is just what it is, a great panorama of millenia which makes sense of who we are now and what we might have been and what we could be.  Hodgkinson weaves myth and legend into factual evidence so that Homeric heroes have their feet in facts and turn out to have their descendants in every heroic action performed by every person we recognise today as heroic.  His starting point for the beginning is way back in the foundation of time, farther back than the written word, back into the mystery touched on in Scriptures which try to describe how something comes into being from consciousness alone and takes form through words.  This may sound fanciful but when we begin to see that all our understanding of anything from the most sublime to the most prosaic is expressed in words in our minds, this capacity words have to create makes sense of In the beginning was the Word....
Now, this great work from Brian Hodgkinson, my friend who I am glad to introduce to you is available to pre-order from Shepheard Walwyn publishers at £65 for all three.  

I have been zooming through the first book because it has pace, isn't dry and dusty and have just ordered one copy for myself and one other.  It might be for YOU!!!

Copies should arrive in October and great Autumn reading ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, this is going on my wishlist, what a wonderful review. Congratulations Brian on a true masterpiece, Dr. Jane Mullins x