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on 29 August 2015
Yes, really loved Caroline Taggart's 'introduction' to Ancient Greece and Rome, its philosophers, poets, rulers etc. Her book is written with authority but made all the more enjoyable when humorous: not pedantic but clever and accessible to the 'lay' reader of this subject.
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on 29 January 2014
Perhaps I had grand ideas of what this book would be, I launched into it hoping for humour, wit and perhaps more than one answer to University Challenge. I found that although the book did at times make me smile and was in general rather informative (on the given subject matter) there was perhaps only surface level detail where I craved the focussed analysis of all o fthe things that I had indeed wished I had been tought in schools.

Please don't let this put you off this book but however approach with expectations set at the correct level.
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on 18 March 2016
Very interesting read. Although it's basically a brief summary of Greek and Roman culture, mythology, politics and philosophy, and how these disciplines affect our modern Western civilisation. The author's humour and obvious enjoyment of the subject matter make this an entertaining read.
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on 18 July 2015
A Spoiler Free Bit About The Book

Want to learn a little more about the Classical world in a book that's light and entertaining? A Classical Education is the book for you.

My Review

It's no great secret that I love the ancient world. So when my dad showed me this book a couple of years ago I had to have it. Though I didn't read it because I felt I was too close to my A' level Classic exam and I didn't want to confuse myself. So two years later and I've finally forgotten enough of my course to read this book. Plus the book I'd just put down (Dinner with a Vampire) irritated me so much that I was grabbing for a non-fiction book without giving my fiction ones so much as a glance.

The most important thing you need to know about this book is that as well as being educational, as the title suggests, it made me laugh. From the first page actually. It's not often I laugh aloud at books but I laughed all the way through this. This was exactly my type of humour and I didn't want to put it down.

It was so much fun having a reunion with my love of Classics which I'd been neglecting for too long. Having studied it at A' level, there was a lot in this book I already knew or had at least heard about. But that didn't stop me from learning a few things even though this is a beginner's book.

There's nothing much else I can say! It was so entertaining I read it in three sittings!


Overall 8/10

Would I recommend it? Yes. If you're into Classics of course.

Would I look up the author? No. This was just a non-fiction holiday for me.

A Classical Education is a light and entertaining way to learn about the ancient world.

First Blogged Here:
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on 25 July 2013
Terrific book. One 5 star reviewer says he got his for the price of a pint. I got mine, along with 4 others in the series, for 99p each in one of the High Street remaindered bookshops. A great way to remind oneself of what has been forgotten and to learn new things. Wittily written with tongue firmly planted, a non fiction page turner and we don't get many of them these grim days.

For a real laugh read the 1 star reviews of this book. Talk about missing the point.

This is my Parthian shot.
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on 29 September 2014
A brilliant read, concise but packed with an easy style which makes a subject usually taught as dry as dust, understandable.It also incorporates a humour which made me laugh out loud. The section on philosophy being wonderfully lucid. The author's deep academic prowess is apparent but never overwhelms. I wish I had come across it years ago!
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on 23 March 2015
Enough to peak your interest, not enough to slate a thirst. A GREAT way to stir up some old memories and knowledge from school that have laid dormant for a while. It's a great little refresher and definitely peaks the interest and can lead you to buy other books with more in depth knowledge on some of the subjects covered. The older you are the more you will find this book entertaining. I'm not sure how much coverage these subjects get in a modern syllabus.
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on 15 March 2013
I was not lucky enough to study classical Greek and Roman literature at school,so I bought this book to fill in a few gaps in my education. With its lighthearted style, it is not meant to appeal to Classical scholars or lecturers,but it is a very readable text imparting knowledge across a range of themes, from the Greek Alphabet to a look at famous writers and philosophy.
If you want to interest a young person in a Classical Education, then this is the kind of book which would serve the purpose well. Yes, there are jokes and many of the comments are very tongue in cheek, but isn't that more appealing than just presenting a reader with a tome on a subject which can, and is, often viewed as a dull and boring?
There was just enough detail in this book to encourage me to investigate the subject further.Having a sense of humour has helped raise the appeal of history to many a pupil as the'Horrible Histories' series has shown. The author of 'A Classical Education' is not belittling history, just making it more interesting and relevant to the modern reader.
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on 28 July 2009
I would like to stress that this book is a good one if your're looking for something that essentially details the academic achievements of the Roman and Greek classical civilisations. However, I would say that I bought it to give myself the smatterings of a 'classical education', as in being able to read a little Latin or learn the formulae of Pythagoras. Unfortunately this is not the case. Also, Taggart's tone is extremely irritating, it's almost as if she is embarrassed by having an interest in philosophy, history and generally a classical education. For example "a man called Herodian wrote a treatise in twenty-one books about them (the use of accents in language)most of which, you will be happy to know, are lost". That kind of ignorance is so annoying, especially to people who actually may have been interested in reading them. When she talks about Aquinas' essay on Posterior Analytics she treats people who may want to read it in a very insulting manner. Basically, she is extremely annoying with her little quips and insults but miraculously writes an ok book as they are few and far between.
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on 1 August 2015
I was lucky enough to have a classical education, but it was taught in a traditional manner. This book uses humour to put facts across. A good introduction to classical history and mythology for the uninitiated, that could lead on go further reading. I would have given this a higher rating but the kindle version is a little hard to use. Some books really are better in the printed form.
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