Papercut Book Cover of Donald Kagan's "The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War"

About the Book:

There are several titles included on the list for the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge (RGRC) that I’m not even sure Rory actually read, but are still mentioned or referenced to on the show, and therefore make the list. This is one of them. I’m pretty sure this title— The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Karan— is one from Richard Gilmore’s bookshelf. Richard Gilmore is Rory’s grandfather, himself a book-lover and avid reader. He and Rory share a bond over books that Rory doesn’t have with many other people (including her mother!). It’s possible that Rory did actually read this book, because her tastes in books are wide and varied, but I can’t remember if there was any evidence on the show that she did.

Original Book Cover for Donald Kagan's "The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War"

To try to find which episode this title was mentioned in, I went to the handy-dandy Google search engine and found two amazing sites: (1) Gilmore Girls Fandom Wiki Page and (2) the Gilmore Girls page on the website. If you already knew about one or both of these pages, well then, you’re smarter than me. Nevertheless, I was thrilled to have found them! The Book Advice site seems to have a more comprehensive catalog of book mentions by episode, but the Fandom site has other cool stuff like music played in each episode, favorite quotes, all of the pop culture references, and even fun trivia. The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War isn’t listed in the Fandom site, but according to the Book Advice site, it’s featured in Season 3, Episode 10. I’ve watched all of Gilmore Girls about three times but the last iteration of binge watching was several years ago, right before the debut of the Netflix mini-series reunion special, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. So I don’t remember a lot of the book references. I re-watched Episode 10, from Season 3, entitled "That’ll Do Pig," and discovered that The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War isn’t actually mentioned itself. Rather, the four-volume set that it is apart of—The Complete History of the Peloponnesian War, by Donald Kagan— this is what was in the show. The complete four-volume set is gifted to Richard Gilmore for his 60th birthday by Lorelai (with help from Rory). Mystery solved! It was from Richard’s library, and we’ll just have to guess as to whether Rory ever actually read the titles herself. My guess would be that she didn’t read them... because why would you take the time to read a massive four-volume, mostly dry, history of the Peloponnesian War when there are so many more interesting things to read in the world? Unless you are a history buff or studying history, (which I guess Richard was, but Rory was definitely more interested in literature than history) you probably aren’t going to be picking up these titles. The only reason I did was because they are apart of the challenge, and I wanted to get them over with and out of the way.

Having recently finished The Iliad, by Homer, I also thought it may be interesting to stick with the Greeks a little while longer. I was wrong. It wasn’t interesting. It was a long, boring, quickly forgettable, confusing read. But maybe it’s because I wasn’t really that curious about the subject matter. Apparently Kagan’s works get great reviews, but he is not writing for the layman, and history buff I am not. But I got through it. Only three more titles of the same to go. Ugh.

About the Papercut:

The papercut book cover was way less painful than the book. The original designs are minimal, two-toned in color, and classic. I decided to keep with the same style but emphasize the typography of the title and author. (Also, making the typography larger made it easier to cut out!)

Normally, I cut out the negative space surrounding a design, but I wanted to see how it would look if I kept it for this design. It makes it easier to "float" both the text and the image if the negative space is left uncut. However, you lose the challenge of how to connect everything when you cut the negative space out, which I quite enjoy. Either way, it’s just a different way of papercutting that I am playing around with. The images I’m using for the titles in this series are simple, common Greek icons and symbols. Again, keeping it simple and emphasizing the typography.

I’m starting to slug away at the next volume in the set, The Archidamian War. It’s bound to be a thriller. What boring history books have you ever had to read?

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