The Best Novel You’ve Never Heard Of

The elusive Miss Tey, one of only a few photos of her.

It’s a mystery where the mystery is 500 years old, and everyone already knows the solution. Or at least they think they do. The detective is stuck in a hospital bed for the entire novel. There is no action whatsoever. We never leave the hospital room. Only three characters have any kind of substantial roles, [Read More...]

“Everything is diverted from its proper course”

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“In the past men were handsome and great (now they are children and dwarfs), but this is merely one of the many facts that demonstrate the disaster of an aging world. The young no longer want to study anything, learning is in decline, the whole world walks on its head, blind men lead others equally [Read More...]

Pre-Order “The Joys and Challenges of Family Life” For $3

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Brandon McGinley’s book, The Joys and Challenges of Family Life: Catholic Husbands and Fathers Speak Out is due out next month, but you can order it now at a steep discount. Yr humble blogger contributed a chapter about tech and the family, while writers such as  Tod Worner, Daniel Bearman Stewart, and others address first-time fatherhood, infertility, [Read More...]

Medieval People by Michael Prestwich (Book Review)

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Anyone who reads even casually about the Middle Ages encounters the many vivid personalities who emerge from the history books, from titanic figures like St. Thomas Aquinas and Eleanor of Aquitaine to lesser known people like Simon de Montfort (largely responsible for the horrors of the Albigensian Crusade) and the Countess Matilda of Tuscany (an ally of [Read More...]

Dickens on Hope and Despair: “The Chimes”

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Charles Dickens’ deep Christian faith rings in all of his works, and especially so in his Christmas books. After the success of “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens published similar titles in the same format: novellas with supernatural elements and a clear Christian message. All of them were successes in their day, but none had the afterlife [Read More...]

The Bible of St. Louis

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The Bible of St. Louis is one of the greatest works of illumination in history, with 4,887 illustrations providing an astonishing view of both scripture and the 13th century. The three volumes contain excerpts from the Bible and commentary. They were commissioned between 1226 and 1234 by Blanche of Castile for the education of her son, King [Read More...]

Great Documentary About M.R. James From “Sherlock” Star/Creator

Writer/actor Mark Gatiss (Doctor Who, Sherlock, League of Gentlemen) writes and hosts this fine documentary on the greatest ghost story writer of them all: medievalist and Biblical scholar Montague Rhodes James. Special treats include locations from James stories (such as St Bertrand de Comminges, stuffed crocodile and all), a passing shot of a tombstone for “Mrs [Read More...]

The Greatest Desk For Book Lovers Ever

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And I’m not even kidding. Behold the book wheel, for people who like to multitask:   Erik Kwakkel’s indispensable Medieval Books blog has a great series on medieval desks, and describes the above contraption this way: The image from 1588 shows the bookwheel invented by the Renaissance engineer Agostino Ramelli, whose concept was based on medieval [Read More...]


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