Sunday, August 28, 2005

How to spend £97,500

No, don't blow it all on CDs like I probably would; spend it on a Maths text book! That's what the British Library has just quite rightly done. Seems a lot, I know, to pay for a load of sums, but then this is not just any old Maths text book - it's the earliest English one known, published in 1536, and published in English.

That it has survived 469 years is amazing. That would be a major achievement for any book, but the writer of the article explains that practical books have not often survived, simply because they were used so much that they eventually just fell to bits. Why? Because books were very time consuming and labour intensive to print, and therefore they were expensive and had to be used and re-used many times over.

The British Library spokeswoman also draws our attention to the significance of the book being in English, when Latin was still very important in the world of education, and to the importance of this kind of book at a time when English commerce was really taking off. That wouldn't have got very far if no-one could add up...

At the end of the article there is an extract from the book - top language change stuff. Try comparing it with a modern basic Maths text book.

Ye olde Maths textbooke found after 470 years


At 2:52 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Majorie thankyou for the socks you sent me at christmas, they are very much appreciated, hope Henry is well
hugs and kisses, Roch xxx


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