Popes: 101 Facts & Trivia
This book is a ‘fancy that’ crossed with a ‘believe it or not’ look at certain aspects of papal history with emphasis on the unexplored and the obscure – with considerable embellishment from computer-aided analytics (by now a well recognized forte of the author). The ‘101’ bullet points dealt with in this book, per its title, covering at least 202 nuggets of insight, are divided across 7 chapters, titled: Ecumenical Councils, Names, Firsts, Dates, Conclaves, Pope Celestine V and Pope Francis. The chapter on ‘Dates’ looks at topics such as the first precisely recorded data in papal history, the last pope whose date of death is unknown and the recent pope who was born on Holy Saturday while the chapter on ‘Firsts’ talks about the first layman to be elected pope, the first cardinal bishop to be pope and the first pope known to have communicated, in writing, with the imperial court in Istanbul. Each chapter contains at least 12 bullet items. This is the author’s 9th book on popes; he the author of ‘Popes and the Tale of their Names’, the two ‘Next Pope Books’, ‘The Last 10 Conclaves’, ‘The Election of the 2013 Pope’ and ‘Pope John XXIII: 101 Facts & Trivia’. He is also the publisher of the blogs ‘popes-and-papacy’ and ‘papam.wordpress.com’ where his work, especially his research and analytics of papal history has been cited on ‘Vatican Radio’ and ‘Rome Reports’. Reviews of his papal books on Amazon include comments such as: “And there are much data which you will find no place other than the author's books”, “It's far and away the most comprehensive I've seen on the subject (and I've read a few)”, “it bears evidence of careful and exhaustive and unusual research” and “This is an amazing book, delving into the subject of papal names in a way I have never seen before”. This book is a continuation of the author’s commitment to “careful and exhaustive and unusual research” when it comes to papal history. So much is known about Pope Francis, but where did he stay in Rome ahead of the conclave that elected him pope, what was the pet he kept while a seminarian and who owned the Fisherman’s Ring that he wears? All of these items and more are dealt with in Chapter 7 along with the story of Cardinal Bergoglio and the rubber bands. This is the authors third ‘101 Facts and Trivia’ book. The others being on ‘Comets’ and ‘Pope John XXIII’. There is a hope that one day there might be a ‘Vol. II’ to this book. The best thing to do if this book looks even a bit interesting is to check it out using the ‘Look Inside’ feature of Amazon. What you see could intrigue you. The book is likely to contain some ‘typos’ though it has been fairly thoroughly ‘proofed’ by a number of qualified folks. As many ‘typos’ will be fixed in each Kindle revision. If the ‘typos’ bother you please return the book and get a full refund – rather than complaining about it.
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