Friday, December 08, 2023

Historic Illiteracy...

You know, the very first Terry Pratchett Discworld novel I read, way back in 2007, was Monstrous Regiment. Kind of an unconventional entry point for the series, but I'd picked up a hardcover at Books-A-Million* on a whim.

At the time, I was unaware of the existence of John Knox's The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstruous Regiment of Women, written back in that fun period of the Reformation when Protestant churches ran more towards witch hunts and heretic burnings than praise bands and Wednesday night suppers. 

The title translates to modern English as something like "The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Unnatural Rule of Women", and was basically a big gripe-fest against the existence of Catholic queens (at the time there were Marys in both England and Scotland, at whom Knox was Big Mad, and they weren't exactly fans of his, either.)

Having read a lot more on the Reformation, the excesses of various early Protestant sects, and the Thirty Years' War since then, it only made my recent re-read of Monstrous Regiment that much better. Pratchett was so adept at weaving multiple layers of commentary into a book.

*That hardback turned out to be autographed. A treasure.