The basic premise of this book is that after the sacking of Rome by the Barbarians, all ability to read and write in Europe died off. Except for the Island of Saints and Scholars. Ireland was known as Island of Saints and Scholars because of the no of monasteries and monks that originated there. In fact, Ireland has sent missionaries all around the world even up to more modern times. Most learning at the time resided in monasteries and Ireland was renowned for the creation of some major works. The most famous of these was the Book of Kells, still to be seen in the Library at Trinity University in Dublin. Irish monks, later became saints, e.g. St Colmcille, St, Ciaran, St. Kevin. Irish monks took their faith and their skills in reading and writing to Europe. Many of the oldest Universities on Continental Europe owe their origins to these same monks. Civilisation was saved. (Legend has it an Irish monk, St. Brendan, discovered America, hundreds of years prior to Columbus, travelling in a vessel made from Animal hide, and tar).
As an Irishman, I loved this book. It is a little tongue in cheek, but it does bear examination what impact not having the ability to read and write would have had on European civilisation. It is quite possible that civilisation as we know it, may have been set back by hundreds of years, who knows?