Thursday, May 17, 2007

My boy on Dangerous Boys

Marco's gorgeous review of The Dangerous Book for Boys is now up on his blog, Hokum. Here's an excerpt from his review, to whet your appetite:

Its contents have a distinctly Anglophile charm: segueing from stickball and rugby rules to Morse code to cloud formations to marbling paper and cutting italic nibs (!!), Dangerous seems intended for some unlikely jock-geek hybrid, equal parts introvert and extrovert. In fact, what with chapters on polar exploration, navigation, historic battles and the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, some might argue that the Igguldens have compiled a kind of throwback primer for young male WASP imperialist-adventurers educated in the classics; indeed a great part of the books' appeal is its obstinately old-world presentation (the Seven Wonders are illustrated by what look like reproductions of Victorian postcards). The Age of Imperialism did coincide with the broader cultural impact of the Industrial Revolution, and so technology enabled not only global travel for the original tourist class, but also the wide dissemination of travel literature to a reading public, including the first generation of young armchair adventurers (boys and girls: remember lonely little Jane Eyre sitting cross-legged "like a Turk" on the window seat, browsing a natural history of the "bleak shores of Lapland, Siberia, Spitzbergen, Nova Zembla, Iceland, Greenland"). Some boys of that generation may have ended up becoming colonial administrators and big-game hunters, but other boys and girls of that generation became anthropologists and naturalists for the enlightenment of future generations.
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(How much do I love him for referencing Jane Eyre?!)

1 comment:

Pecos Blue said...

Hummm not sure I will add it to my list but thank you for the exposure. First time here--I will come back.