Hypatia of Alexandria (The Legendary Women of World History Book 8) by Laurel A. Rockefeller

51ZfcEQkyiL._SY346_As the western world fell into darkness, she dared defend the light.
Born in 355 CE in the aftermath of Constantine’s reign, Hypatia of Alexandria lived in a collapsing Roman Empire, a world where obedience to religious authorities trumped science, where reason and logic threatened the new world order. It was a world on the edge of the Dark Ages, a world deciding the question of science verses religion, freedom verses orthodoxy, tolerance verses hate.
For over 40 years, Hypatia stood between the dark ages and the light of classical philosophy, arts, and sciences. Though none of her books survived the aggressive book burnings of religious zealots, her legacy remains that of one of the greatest scientists of all time.
This is her fascinating true story.

A little about Laurel first:

Born, raised, and educated in Lincoln, Nebraska USA Laurel A. Rockefeller is author of over twenty books published and self-published since August, 2012 and in languages ranging from Welsh to Spanish to Chinese and everything in between. A dedicated scholar and biographical historian, Ms. Rockefeller is passionate about education and improving history literacy worldwide.
With her lyrical writing style, Laurel’s books are as beautiful to read as they are informative.
In her spare time, Laurel enjoys spending time with her cockatiels, attending living history activities, travelling to historic places in both the United States and United Kingdom, and watching classic motion pictures and classic television series.

RA Winter’s Review: 4.8-Stars

Hypatia of Alexandria (The Legendary Women of World History Book 8) by Laurel A. Rockefeller is a retelling of the life of Hypatia taken from original records.  I would like to say first off, that having a Legendary Women of World History series is fabulous.  I’d like to have more females represented in history books.  Few are mentioned, even though women have been changing history since the beginning.  And when they mention someone, it’s rarely a positive role model.
This story is based on true events, and it is told in a way that middle schoolers and beyond would enjoy.  I love historical books, and this one didn’t disappoint.  I’ve been to Alexandria, the old town, the dusty alleyways in the souk.  Parts of her writing took me back to that place and time.  Vivid imagery, story building and dialog all combined to make a great story.
I would recommend reading this to anyone, (but I’d skim over the very last chapter of how Hypathia died before reading it to very young children.  Just so I wouldn’t have to explain the word rape.)
Her accomplishments, life, and friends are aspects of Hypatia’s life that are covered.  A woman with ideas.  Who would have thunk it?
Killed for writing books on astrology, mathematics and geometry and accused of bewitching the Perfect of Egypt, she was slaughtered in the streets by angry orthodox Christians.
There is a political backstory, (It is based on real life) which is handled well.  It didn’t bore nor take away from the story.  She does touch on the religious aspects of Hypatia’s time because they impacted her life. I did wonder at her having a Jewish family as friends because to me that didn’t really seem possible.  Hypatia believed in the old gods and she would have been considered unclean (I can’t remember the religious term). The orthodox Jews consider idolatry a cardinal sin and demand total eradication of idolatry in every corner the world.  (This is just my knowledge as I know it and google too.)  The author handled the religious differences well and used historical accounts of the time to back up her information. So, I did wonder at the friendship.
I loved it, and this is a type of story that I would pick up and read.  When I have the time, I’m anxious to pick up the others books in the series and read them to a perfect ten-year-old young lady, and her wonderful seven-year-old brother.  ‘Cause they’re family, and they need to know that strong, smart, scientific, honorable women exist(ed) in real life.
And it’s because of women like Hypatia who had the courage to learn and went against other’s idea of what a woman should be and do– and stood up for our rights as human beings–  That from this generation on, women can be anything they want, do anything they want and accomplish the stars. It just took us a few thousand years to reach that goal.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 4-Stars

I have mixed feelings about Hypatia of Alexandria. On the one hand, there is great value in this book in a teaching capacity as a supplement to other research material. This is a work of narrative hisoty, and Laurel Rockerfeller is extremely well versed in the era in all aspects and has done a splendid job of adding the research into the story. Although I think the cover does a good job of showing what the book is about, I think it could use a little more of a professional touch.
Here comes the hard part for any reviewer. On the other hand, this book gets 4-stars from me because I feel it needs a good edit. There are punctuation problems, spelling errors, and formatting issues, however, these do not take away from the experience of reading the book. I learned a lot of new things about the era, the stars, and the players of the time.  It jumped around too abruptly for my tastes, but overall the book is worth reading.
I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about Hypatia’s life and the times in which she lived.

6 thoughts on “Hypatia of Alexandria (The Legendary Women of World History Book 8) by Laurel A. Rockefeller

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  1. Hypatia of Alexandria by Laura A. Rockefeller
    Review by Ono Ekeh
    I think the series highlighting legendary women of the world is a great idea and a book on Hypatia fits right in. A traditionally obscure figure, it is fitting that Hypatia is getting more cultural renown. The film, Agora, with Rachel Weisz, popularized Hypatia’s story, and this book by Laura Rockefeller will contribute to further promoting her story.
    I think the intended audience is a younger one and thus, some of the dialogue and ideas are simplified. Rockefeller succeeds in bringing Hypatia’s biography to life and makes her a real palpable person. Although, as a historical enthusiast, who wants a window into this important historical figure and her times, the book fell short in some aspects.
    Rockefeller does very well to bring out Hypatia’s possible contributions to the history of knowledge. Also, the author does a great job in providing us a sense of just how vibrant Alexandria must’ve been at the time—the great mix of cultures and religion. We get a good peek into some of the astronomical and mathematical conundrums of the time, and the general state of learning.
    There were anachronistic elements in the story. For instance, Hypatia’s use of “science” is a little too modern. Also, Hypatia’s social justice sensibilities were vastly overstated. She, her friend, and the sympathetic figures spoke with voices that sound a little too twenty-first century-ish. There were some details like wine bottles and wine bottle labels that I’m not certain fit the time.
    The writing was smooth and clear. There is room for some editorial fixing for future editions of the work. (As an author, I can totally sympathize with this.) With some contextualizing, I think the book works very well for a younger age group as an introduction to Hypatia’s life. Of course, adults can enjoy and benefit from the book and hopefully be inspired to dig more into Hypatia and her historical context.

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