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...]

7 Quick Takes: Random Quotes Edition

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You all keep a quote journal, right? If not, you should. I moved mine over to Evernote, which makes it easier to sort and search. Here are a few you might like: –1– “Let us, in heaven’s name, drag out the divine drama from under the dreadful accumulation of slipshod thinking and trashy sentiment heaped [Read More...]

A Middle English Poem About the Assumption

As a footnote to my posts about the last days of Mary, here’s a lovely little Middle English poem about the Assumption. It’s a pretty easy read, but I translated it anyway to clarify a couple of obscure words. Crist sayde to hur: “Com, my swete, com, my flour, Com, my culver, myn owne boure, Com, [Read More...]

When WH Auden Helped Dorothy Day

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Edward Mendelson, WH Auden’s executor, offers this anecdote in his article “The Secret Auden”: At times, he went out of his way to seem selfish while doing something selfless. When NBC Television was producing a broadcast of The Magic Flute for which Auden, together with Chester Kallman, had translated the libretto, he stormed into the producer’s [Read More...]

7 Book Takes

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I’ve never done one of Jen Fulwiler’s 7 Quick Takes before, but I see that Leah Libresco has turned Darwin Catholic’s Immediate Book Meme (and BTW, Darwins, your pizza recipe CHANGED OUR ENTIRE LIVES!) into a quick take thingie, and I know an idea worth stealing when I read one, so… — 1 —  What [Read More...]

Herman Melville to Sophia Hawthorne: “Life is a long Dardenelles”

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From a letter, a beautiful metaphor for life and heaven. [T]ho’ we know what we ought to be; & what it would be very sweet & beautiful to be; yet we can’t be it. That is most sad, too. Life is a long Dardenelles*, My Dear Madam, the shores whereof are bright with flowers, which [Read More...]

Storytelling With Maps

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Here’s a fine site for map lovers. Storytelling With Maps uses annotated maps to explain and teach. I found it through the interactive map of the journey of Odysseus, but there are plenty of other interesting ones as well, such as Santas Around the World and the flight of Wiley Post. They’re not deep, but they’re [Read More...]

Hear Hilaire Belloc Sing

Continuing yesterday’s theme of Wodehouse and Belloc, today we have not just the voice of Belloc, but we hear him sing his own songs! [Read more...]


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