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Hypatia. (1853) Novel by: Charles Kingsley ( Historical Fiction )

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Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face is an 1853 novel by the English writer Charles Kingsley. It is a fictionalised account of the life of the philosopher Hypatia, and tells the story of a young monk called Philammon who travels to Alexandria, where he becomes mixed up in the political and religious battles of the day. Although intended as Christian apologia, the novel ha Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face is an 1853 novel by the English writer Charles Kingsley. It is a fictionalised account of the life of the philosopher Hypatia, and tells the story of a young monk called Philammon who travels to Alexandria, where he becomes mixed up in the political and religious battles of the day. Although intended as Christian apologia, the novel has a deliberate anti-Catholic tone, and it also reflects Kingsley's other prejudices about race and religion, many of which were typical to the 19th century. For many years the book was considered one of Kingsley's best novels and was widely read.


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Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face is an 1853 novel by the English writer Charles Kingsley. It is a fictionalised account of the life of the philosopher Hypatia, and tells the story of a young monk called Philammon who travels to Alexandria, where he becomes mixed up in the political and religious battles of the day. Although intended as Christian apologia, the novel ha Hypatia, or New Foes with an Old Face is an 1853 novel by the English writer Charles Kingsley. It is a fictionalised account of the life of the philosopher Hypatia, and tells the story of a young monk called Philammon who travels to Alexandria, where he becomes mixed up in the political and religious battles of the day. Although intended as Christian apologia, the novel has a deliberate anti-Catholic tone, and it also reflects Kingsley's other prejudices about race and religion, many of which were typical to the 19th century. For many years the book was considered one of Kingsley's best novels and was widely read.

30 review for Hypatia. (1853) Novel by: Charles Kingsley ( Historical Fiction )

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lissa Notreallywolf

    This was a difficult read, two volumes of victorian historical fiction addressing a feminist heroine, Hypatia. If you have heard of her at all, you know that she was a Greek mathematician who was dragged to death or cut to pieces by seashells in 4th century century Alexandria. Christian zealots were responsible for her murder, apparently completed on the altar of a church. Kingsley's novel takes some intestinal fortitude, not only because the namesake is gruesomely slaughtered, but also because This was a difficult read, two volumes of victorian historical fiction addressing a feminist heroine, Hypatia. If you have heard of her at all, you know that she was a Greek mathematician who was dragged to death or cut to pieces by seashells in 4th century century Alexandria. Christian zealots were responsible for her murder, apparently completed on the altar of a church. Kingsley's novel takes some intestinal fortitude, not only because the namesake is gruesomely slaughtered, but also because of the norms of his times-the novel is antisemitic and racist in many of it's passages, and Hypatia is thought to have received help with her mathematical problems by a promising male student, who later defects to Christianity, having previously rejected Judaism. One can only imagine the response to the novel in 1853 when women were encouraged away from scholarship, lest their heads be clouded, and they avoid marriage. Hypatia is used as a cautionary tale in a sexist way, but the author's main concern is a critique of the church of his own time, told through the narrative of Alexandria. I looked in vain for historical inaccuracies-one of the few I found was that Theon was alive at the time of his daughters death/dismemberment. But generally, I learned a great deal from the novel and wrote pages of reflection about it before I looked up the biographical information on Kingsley, a clergyman and academic. I will not bore anyone with my lengthy analysis, but I would love to have a discussion about the novel some day with someone equally perplexed by its many layers.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Youhanna William

    لا يمكن لأحد انكار التشابه بينها و بين عزازيل ليوسف زيدان و ان لم يكن إلى هذا الحد الفادح .. لاتزال الأسئلة تدور حول مقتل هيباتيا وهل بالفعل كانوا المسيحيين ؟ و هل للبابا كيرلس يد في هذه الجريمة .. و ان كانت له فهل هذا يلغي إثرائه للمكتبة الأبائية بأحد اعطم الكتب ك"حوار حول الثالوث." تساؤلا ت يطرحها القارىء و يسعى الكاتب للوصول إليها . لا يمكن لأحد انكار التشابه بينها و بين عزازيل ليوسف زيدان و ان لم يكن إلى هذا الحد الفادح .. لاتزال الأسئلة تدور حول مقتل هيباتيا وهل بالفعل كانوا المسيحيين ؟ و هل للبابا كيرلس يد في هذه الجريمة .. و ان كانت له فهل هذا يلغي إثرائه للمكتبة الأبائية بأحد اعطم الكتب ك"حوار حول الثالوث." تساؤلا ت يطرحها القارىء و يسعى الكاتب للوصول إليها .

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. قرأت هذا الكتاب بعد ما أثير حول نقل الدكتور يوسف زيدان له في روايته ذائعة الصيت عزازيل. ما من شك أن هناك نقاط تشابه بين الكتابين خاصة في الهيكل السردي وزمان وقوع الأحداث وبعض الشخصيات التاريخية (ولكن هذا شيء طبيعي في الروايات التي تتناول مرحلة تاريخية ما بشخوصها الحقيقية). فكلا الكتابين يتحدث عن راهب مصري يشد الرحال إلى مدينة الإسكندرية في زمن الفيلسوفة هيباتيا. ولكن في تقديري ينتهي التشابه عند هذا الحد. تدور أحداث هذه الرواية في إطار خرافي يتداخل مع أساطير الرومان والإغريق والقوطيين وتستخدم أسلوبا قرأت هذا الكتاب بعد ما أثير حول نقل الدكتور يوسف زيدان له في روايته ذائعة الصيت عزازيل. ما من شك أن هناك نقاط تشابه بين الكتابين خاصة في الهيكل السردي وزمان وقوع الأحداث وبعض الشخصيات التاريخية (ولكن هذا شيء طبيعي في الروايات التي تتناول مرحلة تاريخية ما بشخوصها الحقيقية). فكلا الكتابين يتحدث عن راهب مصري يشد الرحال إلى مدينة الإسكندرية في زمن الفيلسوفة هيباتيا. ولكن في تقديري ينتهي التشابه عند هذا الحد. تدور أحداث هذه الرواية في إطار خرافي يتداخل مع أساطير الرومان والإغريق والقوطيين وتستخدم أسلوباً ثقيلاً من العهد الفيكتوري أقرب إلى المسرح الكلاسيكي لتحكي قصة الأيام الأخيرة للفيلسوفة وعالمة الرياضيات هيباتيا، في حين نجد أن رواية عزازيل تستند إلى أحداث تاريخية واقعية بأسلوب روائي مشوق ومحكم لتحدثنا عن تاريخ الكنيسة الشرقية، فتتجاوز بأحداثها قصة هيباتيا، والتي لا تمثل فيها سوى فصل عابر، زماناً ومكاناً حتى أن البعض اختلط عليه الأمر وظن أن يوسف زيدان يعرض في الرواية لمخطوط حقيقي وانتقد الرواية على هذا الأساس. أقرب الفصول لرواية زيدان الفصول الأخيرة من رواية هيباتيا حيث يخرج المؤلف عن الشكل المسرحي ويسترسل في سرد فلسفي لما بعد موت هيباتيا فيتحدث عن ادعاء البعض سلوكهم طريق الرب (أو السماء) في حين أنهم يسلكون في واقع الأمر طريق الشيطان. خلاصة هذه المقارنة السريعة، أنه من المجحف والمضلل ادعاء أن يوسف زيدان نقل "بالمسطرة"، كما قال البعض، روايته من تلك الرواية، فرواية يوسف زيدان أقيم من حيث المضمون والأسلوب بمراحل. ولكني في نفس الوقت لا يمكنني استبعاد فكرة تأثره بها فنقاط التشابه الهيكلية أوضح من أن تكون مجرد مصادفة خاصة في الخمس الأخير من رواية هيباتيا. ربما قرأها يوسف زيدان أو قرأ ملخصاً لها أو حتى مجرد أن يكون قد سمع بها فاستلهمها فهذا يكفي لإحداث هذا التشابه الشكلي. وبالرغم من ذلك تظل رواية عزازيل بالتأكيد عمل متفرد قيم بشهادة النقاد والترجمات والانتشار الواسع والجوائز والتي ما كانت لتتغافل عن "نقل المسطرة" إن صدق القائلون.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joyce

    For a book that started so well, I was mightily disappointed with the progression and ending of this one. Charles Kingsley does a good job showing the corruption of the catholic church in the 5th century but he completely gets Hypatia wrong. Being a christian he is obsessed with belief, and I think the whole point is that Hypatia's life was devoted to mathematics and astronomy, to finding proofs for reality rather than justification for belief. He has her completely frazzled because she can't co For a book that started so well, I was mightily disappointed with the progression and ending of this one. Charles Kingsley does a good job showing the corruption of the catholic church in the 5th century but he completely gets Hypatia wrong. Being a christian he is obsessed with belief, and I think the whole point is that Hypatia's life was devoted to mathematics and astronomy, to finding proofs for reality rather than justification for belief. He has her completely frazzled because she can't convince any of the gods, particularly Appolo or Aphrodite to manifest themselves to her. She is lead astray by the men in her life because she will do anything to get the people to return to worshiping the gods she adors. He even uses the most interesting character in the book, Raphael Oben-Ezra, a skeptical Jew who converts to christianity because he falls in love with a pure woman, to use logic to convince Hypatia that Jesus is god. Then he throws in what is supposed to be a lovely miracle at the end. He also flits over the destruction of the library at Alexandria. Pity.

  5. 5 out of 5

    শালেকুল পলাশ

    ফিলামন। তরুন খ্রিস্টান সন্ন্যাসী। খ্রিস্ট ধর্মের প্রতি তার অন্ধ বিশ্বাস। একেই দুনিয়ার সেরা এবং একমাত্র ধর্ম হিসেবে জানে সে। ছোট থেকে দুই সন্ন্যাসীর কাছে বড় হয়। ১৮ বছর হলে সে দুনিয়া ঘুরে দেখার ইচ্ছেয় মঠ থেকে বিদায় নিয়ে বের হয় আলেকজেন্দ্রিয়ার পথে ছোট একটা ডিংগী নিয়ে। পথে দেখা হয়ে যায় গথ আর পতিতা পেলাজিয়ার সাথে। পেলাজিয়া তাকে আশ্রয় দেয়। আর গথেরা তাকে যোদ্ধা বানাতে চায়। আলেকজেন্দ্রিয়ায় এসে ধর্মগুরুর বাসায় এসে সে অনেকটাই দিশাহারা হয়ে যায়। একপেকটেশনের সাথে রিয়ালিটি না মিললে যা হ ফিলামন। তরুন খ্রিস্টান সন্ন্যাসী। খ্রিস্ট ধর্মের প্রতি তার অন্ধ বিশ্বাস। একেই দুনিয়ার সেরা এবং একমাত্র ধর্ম হিসেবে জানে সে। ছোট থেকে দুই সন্ন্যাসীর কাছে বড় হয়। ১৮ বছর হলে সে দুনিয়া ঘুরে দেখার ইচ্ছেয় মঠ থেকে বিদায় নিয়ে বের হয় আলেকজেন্দ্রিয়ার পথে ছোট একটা ডিংগী নিয়ে। পথে দেখা হয়ে যায় গথ আর পতিতা পেলাজিয়ার সাথে। পেলাজিয়া তাকে আশ্রয় দেয়। আর গথেরা তাকে যোদ্ধা বানাতে চায়। আলেকজেন্দ্রিয়ায় এসে ধর্মগুরুর বাসায় এসে সে অনেকটাই দিশাহারা হয়ে যায়। একপেকটেশনের সাথে রিয়ালিটি না মিললে যা হয় আর কি। ধর্মগুরু তাকে নিজের রাজনৈতিক কারনে ব্যবহার করতে চায়। এমন সময়ে তার সাথে দেখা হয়ে যায় হাইপেশিয়া, পৌত্তলিক, দেবদেবীর পূজারী অধ্যাপিকার সাথে। তিনি ফিলামনের জ্ঞানের চোখ খুলে দেন।

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rose

    I deeply wanted to like this book. Hypatia is a historical figure: a woman who was a notable mathematician, philosopher, astronomer that lived in Egypt during Roman rule (about 4th century AD). I struggled through a few chapters of dreck about a young and particularly holy Christian monk, and the weary political machinations surrounding the Heathen Priestess Hypatia, and gave up. Nice Illustrations, though. The edition I have is too old to have an ISBN, and doesn't include a copyright date. The I deeply wanted to like this book. Hypatia is a historical figure: a woman who was a notable mathematician, philosopher, astronomer that lived in Egypt during Roman rule (about 4th century AD). I struggled through a few chapters of dreck about a young and particularly holy Christian monk, and the weary political machinations surrounding the Heathen Priestess Hypatia, and gave up. Nice Illustrations, though. The edition I have is too old to have an ISBN, and doesn't include a copyright date. The book was originally published in the 1800's.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed عويضة

    I was celebrating when I found myself reading page 310 of this boring novel, but I was confused also because it is only 10 pages remaining and many lines must end. Then I sadly found the surprise, this book is just volume 1 of the novel and there is volume 2 which I will not read at least during the upcoming 2 months. It is very hard to read a boring novel written in Vectorian English, I am really exhausted. and by the way till now I didn't find anything that can be used to accuse Youssef Zidan b I was celebrating when I found myself reading page 310 of this boring novel, but I was confused also because it is only 10 pages remaining and many lines must end. Then I sadly found the surprise, this book is just volume 1 of the novel and there is volume 2 which I will not read at least during the upcoming 2 months. It is very hard to read a boring novel written in Vectorian English, I am really exhausted. and by the way till now I didn't find anything that can be used to accuse Youssef Zidan by stealing this story and use it in his novel Azazeel, it was 2 different plots, one for each novel, but I didn't finished reading of Hypatia to assure that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Hend Hafez

    Perfect 👍👍👍

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    Making an ancient mathematical genius a Victorian Christian ideal was not a good idea for this author. The writing is also poor.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Aya

    I didnt like the writing style of this book at all

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rowena Eddy

    I only listened to about 3 chapters of this. Not my cup of tea!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Joseph

    The story of the title character, a woman who was one of the last of the traditional philosophers of the classic Greco-Roman world. She vainly attempts to resist the forces of Christianity and barbarism that are sweeping that world away into the Dark Ages in the final days of the Roman Empire. Her tragic fate as a martyr to that tradition is inevitable. An interesting story about an interesting woman and time, but way to long with to much time spent on many other characters.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Louisa

    The story of Hypatia - mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher - who was caught up in a conflict between the Church and the Roman Empire, and murdered by a Christian mob in 415 AD. The Alexandrian school of philosophy died with her. Hypatia's murder was its deathblow, writes Kingsley, its light flickering down to the very socket. Although fictionalised, Kingsley's account of Hypatia's life is well researched and remains largely true to history. Very readable, very impressive. The story of Hypatia - mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher - who was caught up in a conflict between the Church and the Roman Empire, and murdered by a Christian mob in 415 AD. The Alexandrian school of philosophy died with her. Hypatia's murder was its deathblow, writes Kingsley, its light flickering down to the very socket. Although fictionalised, Kingsley's account of Hypatia's life is well researched and remains largely true to history. Very readable, very impressive.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Michael Dobbie

    read this quite a while back, came to mind to add here, mainly as a great bit of history and a time in my life when i was getting inspired by those who stood up for 'truth', whatever that means to me now... read this quite a while back, came to mind to add here, mainly as a great bit of history and a time in my life when i was getting inspired by those who stood up for 'truth', whatever that means to me now...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

    Not a fan. Fairly anti-Semitic. Dull writing.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Noura Alquraishi

  17. 4 out of 5

    Zaynab Kadhem

  18. 5 out of 5

    Alan R. Calmes

  19. 4 out of 5

    Laura

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ian Colville

  21. 5 out of 5

    D C

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kelaina

  23. 5 out of 5

    Nattalie Portman

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ginevra

  25. 5 out of 5

    Trine

  26. 5 out of 5

    Eka

  27. 5 out of 5

    Wasim Basely

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anna Suanco

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sivo Atef

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tippu Panigantla

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