Top positive review
28 people found this helpful
RIP Dr Prior and thank you
on 25 March 2013
I read with great sadness the passing at the tragically young age of 47 of Richard Prior after looking him up after using this wonderful book. His obituaries praise him as a wonderful, encouraging and inspiring teacher and on the basis of this book I can certainly see why. I have always had an interest in ancient history and literature and have read Virgil, Ovid and others in translation with much pleasure. However despite having a love of languages I had always had a particular dread of Latin. I went to a prep school during the 1980s and was taught buy a dreadful teacher who not only made use learn the verb endings by rote but failed to explain the grammatical jargon correctly or inspire or put the language into context. Some clever boys managed despite this but I struggled and was constantly berated and humiliated in class by this horrible man because of it. I suppose it left a mental scar because many years later I had the option of taking latin courses in the first year of university but passed them up.
In recent years however I had come to regret this, especially after reading the series on learning ancient Latin and Greek in the Daily Telegraph some years back. They were fun and they rekindled my interest and made me look for a detailed and thorough course that was at the same time accessible, not to intimidating and written by an acknowledged expert. After clicking around Amazon looking at the various options it was this book that i plumped for and I do not regret it for a second. It was a superb introduction setting the context and easing you into the essentials in an easy, relaxed and yet thorough manner (something that the best academics should be able to do. From then on each chapter consistently builds on the last one to gradually increase your knowledge and confidence. The chapters start with a sound, lucid introduction to all the grammatical principles involved. For example the jargon of cases such as dative, genitive, ablative ( which for someone like myself who was never formally taught English grammar until i did a TEFL course several years back) are all given their relevant meaning s with plenty of examples and crucially plenty of practice exercises.
If you are prepared to put the work in and really go through the exercises I can guarantee that you will make genuine progress. If I had had access to this book as a bewildered 12 year old schoolboy I am sure I would have not been held back from exploring this fascinating language for all these years. It really does deserve the almost universal praise it has got here and i thoroughly recommend it.
Thanks again Dr Prior.