3 out of 4 stars
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A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure by Courtney A. Haff is a very interesting work that shows how the history of one family can also be part of the history of all mankind.
In this book, the author writes about his ancestors who belonged to the Haff, the Bourne and De Forest families. They all arrived to North America from Western Europe in early colonial times. The lineage of the Bourne family is so long that it goes back through the French and English kings to Charlemagne himself. Consequently, this family and its differently named descendants can really be called the Charlemagne family, as the author does.
Naturally, many readers will wonder whether they should read this book if they don’t belong to one of these distinguished old families? After all, this is a work dedicated to family history and the deeds of the author's ancestors.
Nevertheless, there are several reasons A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure is really worth reading. All in all, the author doesn’t just list his ancestors. Mentioning each of them, be it an Englishman of the Elizabethan era, a Frenchman of the time of Richelieu, or a citizen of the early United States, Courtney A. Haff succinctly and at the same time very informatively describes the changes that took place during the life of this ancestor in all spheres of life. It concerns literally everything - military affairs and commerce, culture and religion. As a result, the changes that have continuously occurred in these countries over the centuries are becoming especially clear. A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure perfectly demonstrates that the entire history of mankind is a history of continuous change. In addition, the author often points out how jast another change could affect the life of his ancestor. Thus, it allows readers to understand how historical events were perceived by contemporaries of these events. The history comes to life on the pages of A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure.
Besides, Courtney A. Haff does a great job worthy of a professional historian when analyzing the reasons why his ancestors left Western Europe. However, not only his ancestors were guided by similar reasons. Therefore, this book will be useful to anyone interested in the history of the Dutch and English colonies in North America.
Finally, A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure is kind of philosophical. The author's ancestors came from several European countries. At times these countries were even at war with each other. Nonetheless, they all eventually became the ancestors of the same person, like streams that merge into one big river. Who knows how many different streams have merged together to give birth to each of us? Of course, not all people can boast of an origin dating back to Charlemagne, but in any case, the study of their heritage can be very instructive and exciting.
Unfortunately, this book has one major flaw. It is written in good literary language and is beautifully illustrated, but at the same time it is literally stuffed with errors and typos. There are at least several dozen of them. Some typos look very strange. For example, the same paragraph may be repeated on the same page. So I have to downgrade and give A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure only 3 out of 4 stars. In all other respects, this is a great book that will surely appeal to all history fans.
A Bavarian-French-Norman Adventure
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