2 posts / 0 new
Last post


I found a book at the used book store the other day.  It's called "Hypatia,  or New Foes with an old Face."  It shows all the signs of being an old book, and a little googling indicates that the book I have was published earliest, in the dying years of the 19th century. 

Not that I'm into book collecting.  Just nice to know.  It has no publication date in the book.

Anywho, I figured anyone who wrote an historical fiction book concerning Hypatia to be some kind of progressive.   But, in reading the preface I was taken aback, and shed my assumption.

However, I also researched the author, Charles Kingsley.  Seems Kingley was a "Christian Socialist" of the Victorian era-- he has the Dickensian sentence structure to prove at least the Victorian part.

The preface contains references and phraseology that wouldn't count Kingsley as one of today's progressives. Besides reading the book for it's own sake, there will be the added bonus of a meta-read as Kingsley will undoubtedly provide light on the progressive thinking of his day.

So, I'm off on this adventure, with one question to the more learned here.

How does one pronounce "Hypatia"?  Of course, out of reflex I want to say "hi PAY sha", which is certainly incorrect.  More likely, it is "HI pa TEE ah"

However, any help with this would be appreciated.  My latin is bad, my Greek, worse.



So, I'm reading this book slowly.  I demands attention.  However, the style isn't too bad, actually.  Nice dialogue, nice descriptions. You can smell Alexandria in Kingley's words.

However, I'm continuing to run across a good number of racist references.  Which made me wonder if this was just Kingsley assuming this is how people talked in the 5th century, or if this was Kingsley himself speaking through his characters.

Some googling on Kingsley seems to indicate that this "Christian Socialist" was indeed a raving racist bigot, and this was mixed with the common,  convenient and erroneous missapropriation of Darwin's theory of evolution.

Of course, I've come across references to Victorian era people thinking in these terms.

Still, it's kinda jaw dropping to behold it in the raw, as it were, from a progressive of the age.