Walking on Sunshine

Harry Levin – Christopher Marlowe – 2010/DNF

The Back of the Book: This study of the Elizabethan poet, originally published as The Overreacher and now reissued, is among the most nearly definitive accounts available, of interest and value both to the student and the amateur of poetry and drama.

NotJustLaura’s Review: I completed the AA100 chapter on Christopher Marlowe quickly as I’ve studied the play before and there’s no TMA on it this year.  As I’m hoping to go on to study English in the future I decided to explore the ‘Further Reading’ suggestions given in Reputations.  I’ve done this before on other courses and have usually been impressed by the books selected.  This book certainly made an impression but, sadly, not a good one.

The copy of the book which I sourced via Amazon was published prior to decimalisation and I can only assume that it’s not just our currency that has changed in the intervening decades.  The author assumes a whole lot of knowledge that I – and, I suspect, my fellow students – are not given by a standard, modern education.  I need Latin translated and I know nothing about most of the texts he cites.  ‘Classics’ wasn’t an option when I was at school!  I read the first chapter and a half of the book before giving up on the grounds that not only was I hating the experience of reading it, I wasn’t learning anything either because I had no hope of understanding what I read.  Really, life’s too short for that kind of reading.

This is the first time the OU has really disappointed me with a ‘Further Reading’ book and I sincerely hope it will be the last.

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