The Literary Life Podcast

By Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins

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Subscribers: 168
Reviews: 3

Niveditha Christina
 Oct 31, 2021
homeschooling mom from India love the insightful details into each book. it's wonderful to know as a reader I'm not alone

Meg
 Jan 23, 2021
I am shamelessly addicted to this podcast! My love of classic literature has been renewed and I have been drawn to read books I might otherwise have overlooked. The hosts do a phenomenal job of explaining and exploring the literary world.

Shanlouise
 Oct 4, 2020
Great introduction to classic books and how to read them at an easy pace. The hosts do a good job of making it accessible without sacrificing detail or depth. They also have a helpful facebook discussion group.

Description

Not just book chat! The Literary Life Podcast is an ongoing conversation about the skill and art of reading well and the lost intellectual tradition needed to fully enter into the great works of literature. Experienced teachers Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks (of www.HouseOfHumaneLetters.com) join lifelong reader Cindy Rollins (of www.MorningtimeForMoms.com) for slow reads of classic literature, conversations with book lovers, and an ever-unfolding discussion of how Stories Will Save the World. And check out our sister podcast The Well Read Poem with poet Thomas Banks.

Episode Date
Episode 149: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, Ch. 12-17
01:15:16

Our hosts are back on The Literary Life podcast today to continue our series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This week we are covering chapters 12-17, and in the introduction to this episode, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas discuss the purpose of the Gothic novel in reorienting us to realize there is more to the world than the physical and empirical. As they cover the plot in these chapters, other ideas shared are the effective blending of modern technology with ancient wisdom in fighting evil, the many mythological and fairy tale elements in this story, the contrast between the true woman and the false woman, the parallels to Paradise Lost, and so much more.

Sign up for the mailing list at HouseofHumaneLetters.com so you don’t miss out on the upcoming Christmas sale. Kelly Cumbee will also be teaching a course on The Chronicles of Narnia and medieval cosmology in February, and registration is now open.

Now is the time to get your copy of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah in time for celebrating Advent with your family. You can also get a recording of the Advent to Remember webinar at MorningTimeforMoms.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

He was one of that not uncommon sort of men who, when they want something, must believe that they are right in wanting it.

Milton Waldman

Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night
    Sailed off in a wooden shoe–
Sailed on a river of crystal light,
    Into a sea of dew.
“Where are you going, and what do you wish?”
    The old moon asked of the three.
“We have come to fish for the herring fish
That live in this beautiful sea;
Nets of silver and gold have we!”
                  Said Wynken,
                  Blynken,
                  And Nod.

Eugene Field, from “Wynkin, Blynken, and Nod”

During the period when the forces of Christianity were nearly spent and materialism had dislodged spiritual values, the Gothic novelists planned their novels with an awareness of the Deity and the consciousness of a just fate. The villains learn in due course that the wages of sin is death.

Devendra Varma

Sonnet 71

by William Shakespeare

No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell.
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand that writ it, for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I, perhaps, compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse,
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.

Book List:

Rod of Iron by Milton Waldman

The Gothic Flame by Devendra Varma

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 22, 2022
Episode 148: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, Ch. 8-11
01:03:00

Welcome back to The Literary Life podcast today and our series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This week Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks cover chapters 8-11 of the book. Angelina explains both the “New Woman” and “Angel in the House” ideas of the Victorian era and makes some observations about Dr. Seward’s interactions with Renfield in contrast to the nuns ministrations to Jonathan Harker. We are also introduced to Dr. Van Helsing in this section of the book as the foil for Dracula, and we quickly learn that he is more than just a medical man. Our hosts discuss Stoker’s own medical knowledge and both the historical and metaphorical context of the blood transfusion procedures in these chapters.

Thomas will be offering a webinar on Henry VIII and his times, which you can register for at HouseofHumaneLetters.com. Kelly Cumbee will also be teaching a course on The Chronicles of Narnia and medieval cosmology in February, and registration is now open.

Now is the time to get your copy of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah in time for celebrating Advent with your family. You can also get a recording of the Advent to Remember webinar at MorningTimeforMoms.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Once the imagination has been awakened, it is procreative. Through it we can give more than we were given, say more than we had to say. This is a beautiful double proposition, that art enlarges our repertoire for being, and that it further enables a giving onwards of that enriched utterance, that broadened perception.

Lewis Hyde

The passions are more powerful than the gods. If the gods speak, which they seldom do, the passions drown their voices.

Walter Savage Lander

The gods love blood.

Leconte de Lisle
What can the world be to him who lives for thought, if there be no supreme and perfect Thought? None but such poor struggles after thought as he finds in himself? Take the eternal Thought from the heart of things, no longer can any beauty be real, no more can shape, motion, aspect of nature, have significance in itself or sympathy with human soul. George MacDonald

A Dream Within a Dream

by Edgar Allan Poe

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow —
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand —
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep — while I weep!
O God! Can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?

Book List:

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

The Gifts of Reading by Robert Macfarlane

The Gift by Lewis Hyde

Imaginary Conversations by Walter Savage Landor

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 15, 2022
Episode 147: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, Ch. 3-7
01:21:21

On The Literary Life Podcast this week, our hosts continue with part 2 of their series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas begin discussing how to properly read Dracula and other books written in this tradition. (Hint: It’s not the Freudian or psychoanalytical approach!) Angelina argues that Bram Stoker was trying, among other things, to reintroduce the traditional forms and metaphors into the modern era. Thomas shares the dark etymology of the name Dracula and how that relates to the image of Satan in this character. Cindy brings up Jonathan’s memory of Mina when he is in his darkest moments and the power of love against evil.

Now is the time to get your copy of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah in time for celebrating Advent with your family. You can also get a recording of the Advent to Remember webinar at MorningTimeforMoms.com.

Thomas will be offering a webinar on Henry VIII and his times, which you can register for at HouseofHumaneLetters.com. Kelly Cumbee will also be teaching a course on The Chronicles of Narnia and medieval cosmology in February, and registration is now open.

Commonplace Quotes:

I never desire to converse with a man who has written more than he has read.

Samuel Johnson

For, indeed, a change was coming upon the world, the meaning and direction of which even still is hidden from us, a change from era to era. The paths trodden by the footsteps of ages were broken up; old things were passing away, and the faith and the life of ten centuries were dissolving like a dream. Chivalry was dying; the abbey and the castle were soon together to crumble into ruins; and all the forms desires, beliefs, convictions of the old world were passing away, never to return. A new continent had risen up beyond the western sea. The floor of heaven, inlaid with stars, had sunk back into an infinite abyss of immeasurable space; and the firm earth itself, unfixed from its foundations, was seen to be but a small atom in the awful vastness the universe. In the fabric of habit in which they had so laboriously built for themselves, mankind were to remain no longer.

And now it is all gone–like an unsubstantial pageant faded; and between us and the old English there lies a gulf of mystery which the prose of the historian will never adequately bridge. They cannot come to us, and our imagination can but feebly penetrate to them. Only among the aisles of the cathedral, only as we gaze upon their silent figures sleeping on their tombs, some faint conceptions float before us of what these men were when they were alive; and perhaps in the sound of church bells, that peculiar creation of mediæval age, which falls upon the ear like the echo of a vanished world.

James Anthony Froude

A man no more creates the forms of which he would reveal his thoughts, than he creates thoughts themselves. For what are the forms by means of which a man may reveal his thoughts? Are they not those of nature?…What springs there is the perception that this or that form is already an expression of this or that phase of thought or of feeling. For the world around him is an outward figuration of the condition of his mind; an inexhaustible storehouse of forms whence he may choose exponents…The meanings are in those forms already, else they could be no garment of unveiling.

George MacDonald

A Selection from The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Alone, alone, all, all alone, 
Alone on a wide wide sea! 
And never a saint took pity on 
My soul in agony. 

The many men, so beautiful! 
And they all dead did lie: 
And a thousand thousand slimy things 
Lived on; and so did I. 

I looked upon the rotting sea, 
And drew my eyes away; 
I looked upon the rotting deck, 
And there the dead men lay. 

I looked to heaven, and tried to pray; 
But or ever a prayer had gusht, 
A wicked whisper came, and made 
My heart as dry as dust. 

Book List:

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

The History of England, from the Fall of Wolsey to the Death of Elizabeth by James Anthony Froude

The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

Studies in Words by C. S. Lewis

Wilkie Collins

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 08, 2022
Episode 146: Introduction to “Dracula” by Bram Stoker, Ch. 1 & 2
01:28:04

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford is joined as always by Thomas Banks and Cindy Rollins for the opening of their series on Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Today our hosts focus on the background and historical context for this piece of literature, as well as going over the highlights of the first two chapters. They talk about the question of the role of the monster in literature in modernity versus its historical interpretation. Understanding the form of the Gothic novel and the time period in which this book was written are important aspects of approaching Dracula.

Keep listening next week for more about how to read this book. We will be covering chapters 3-7.

Get the latest news from House of Humane Letters by signing up for their e-newsletter today!

Commonplace Quotes:

And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere modernity cannot kill.

Bram Stoker

That children should have the peace of God as a necessary condition of growth is a practical question. If we believe it is their right, not to be acquired by merit nor lost by demerit, we shall take less upon ourselves and understand that it is not we who pasture the young souls. The managing mother who interferes with every hour and every occupation of her child’s life, all because it is her duty, would tend to disappear. She would see with some amusement why it is that the rather lazy, self-indulgent mother, is often blessed with very good children. She, too, will let her children be, not because she is lazy, but being dutiful, she sees that, give children opportunity and elbow room, and they are likely to become natural persons, neither cranks nor prigs. And here is the hope for society–children so brought up are hardly likely to become managing persons in their turn, inclined to intrude upon the lives of others and be rather intolerable in whatever relation.

Charlotte Mason

Men of science spend much time and effort in the attempt to disentangle words from their metaphorical and traditional associations. The attempt is bound to prove vain, since it runs counter to the law of humanity.

Dorothy Sayers

Ghosts

by Elizabeth Jennings

Those houses haunt in which we leave
Something undone. It is not those
Great words or silence of love

That spread their echoes through a place
And fill the locked-up, unbreathed gloom.
Ghosts do not haunt with any face

That we have known; they only come
With arrogance to thrust at us
Our own omissions in a room.

The words we would not speak they use,
The deeds we dared not act they flaunt,
Our nervous silences they bruise;

It is our helplessness they choose
And our refusals that they haunt.

Book List:

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Wake Not the Dead by Johann Ludwig Tieck

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Vampyre by John Polidori

Varney the Vampire by James Malcolm Rymer

Carmilla by Sheridan Lefanu

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 01, 2022
Episode 145: The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis: A Conversation with Jason M. Baxter
01:16:19

On The Literary Life Podcast this week, our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks sit down for a special conversation with Jason Baxter, author of The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis. Jason is a speaker, writer, and college professor who writes primarily on medieval thought and is especially interested in Lewis’ ideas. You can find out more about him and his books at JasonMBaxter.com.

Our hosts and Jason discuss a wide range of ideas, including the values of literature, the sacramental view of reality, why it is important to understand medieval thought, the “problem” of paganism in Lewis’ writings, and how to approach reading ancient and medieval literature.

Be back next week when we will begin digging into Bram Stoker’s Dracula together and learning more about this late Victorian Gothic novel. It’s not what you might think!

Get the latest news from House of Humane Letters by signing up for their e-newsletter today!

Commonplace Quotes:

My part has been merely that of Walter Scott’s Old Mortality, who busied himself in clearing the moss, and bringing back to light the words, on the gravestones of the dead who seemed to him to have served humanity. This needs to be done and redone, generation after generation, in a world where there persists always a strong tendency to read newer writers, not because they are better, but because they are newer. The moss grows fast, and ceaselessly.

F. L. Lucas

It is the memory of time that makes us old; remembering eternity makes us young again.

Statford Caldecott

It is my settled conviction that in order to read old Western literature aright, you must suspend most of the responses and unlearn most of the habits you have acquired in reading modern literature.

C. S. Lewis, from “De Descriptione Temporum”

What then is the good of–what is even the defense for–occupying our hearts with stories of what never happened and entering vicariously into feeling which we should try to avoid in our own person?…The nearest I have yet got to an answer is that we seek an enlargement of our being. We want to be more than ourselves…[In] reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in the Greek poem, I see with myriad eyes, but it is still I who see. Here as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do.

C. S. Lewis

Victory

by C. S. Lewis

Roland is dead, Cuchulain’s crest is low,
The battered war-rear wastes and turns to rust,
And Helen’s eyes and Iseult’s lips are dust
And dust the shoulders and the breasts of snow.

The faerie people from our woods are gone,
No Dryads have I found in all our trees,
No Triton blows his horn about our seas
And Arthur sleeps far hence in Avalon.

The ancient songs they wither as the grass
And waste as doth a garment waxen old,
All poets have been fools who thought to mould
A monument more durable than brass.

For these decay: but not for that decays
The yearning, high, rebellious spirit of man
That never rested yet since life began
From striving with red Nature and her ways.

Now in the filth of war, the baresark shout
Of battle, it is vexed. And yet so oft
Out of the deeps, of old, it rose aloft
That they who watch the ages may not doubt.

Though often bruised, oft broken by the rod,
Yet, like the phoenix, from each fiery bed
Higher the stricken spirit lifts its head
And higher-till the beast become a god.

Book List:

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

The Art of Living: Four Eighteenth Century Minds by F. L. Lucas

Transposition by C. S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

The Divine Comedy by Dante

Nicholas of Cusa

The Life of St. Francis of Assisi by St. Bonaventure

The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius

Confessions by St. Augustine

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 18, 2022
Episode 144: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Bk. 3, Ch. 4-End
01:36:29

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts wrap up their series on Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Angelina opens the conversation about the book by highlighting Dickens’ masterful ability to tie up all the loose ends in his stories. They cover not only the major plot points here at the end of the book, but talk about the craft of Dickens and continue to teach us how to read this type of story. We see each character’s full arc and the positive changes that come when people choose repentance versus the fate of those who remain stubbornly on the road to destruction.

Join us next time for a special conversation with Jason Baxter, author of The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis.

After that, we will be digging into Bram Stoker’s Dracula together and learning more about this late Victorian Gothic novel. It’s not what you might think!

Head over to MorningTimeforMoms.com to get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism,” taking place later this week!

Get the latest news from House of Humane Letters by signing up for their e-newsletter today!

Commonplace Quotes:

It is not the business of poetry to go about distributing tracts.

Andrew Lang

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing people of very ordinary literary ability that they could write excellent continuations of The Screwtape Letters.

Fred Sanders

In the Bible, the opposite of Sin, with a capital ‘S,’ is not virtue – it’s faith: faith in a God who draws all to himself in his resurrection.

Robert Farrar Capon

Reviewers who have not had time to reread Milton have failed for the most part to digest your criticism of him, but it is a reasonable hope that of those who heard you in Oxford, many will understand henceforward that when the old poets made some virtue their theme they were not teaching but adoring, and that what we take for the didactic is often the enchanted.

C. S. Lewis

Say not the Struggle nought Availeth

by Arthur Hugh Clough

Say not the struggle nought availeth, 
     The labour and the wounds are vain, 
The enemy faints not, nor faileth, 
     And as things have been they remain. 

If hopes were dupes, fears may be liars; 
     It may be, in yon smoke concealed, 
Your comrades chase e’en now the fliers,
     And, but for you, possess the field. 

For while the tired waves, vainly breaking 
     Seem here no painful inch to gain, 
Far back through creeks and inlets making, 
     Comes silent, flooding in, the main. 

And not by eastern windows only, 
     When daylight comes, comes in the light, 
In front the sun climbs slow, how slowly, 
     But westward, look, the land is bright.
   

Book List:

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Between Noon and Three by Robert Farrar Capon

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Gifts of Reading by Robert MacFarlane

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 11, 2022
Episode 143: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Bk. 3, Ch. 1-3
01:35:15

On The Literary Life this week our hosts cover the next section of Hard Times by Charles Dickens. Angelina opens the conversation highlighting the structure of the book and the storytelling devices Dickens uses in this book. Cindy talks about the failure of educational systems in general, and the confrontation between Louisa and her father. Thomas shares a little about Jeremy Bentham and his utilitarian economic theory in relation to Hard Times. One of the main points they discuss in today’s episode is the importance of motherhood and the quiet work that goes on in the family unit.

Head over to MorningTimeforMoms.com to get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

Commonplace Quotes:

Persuasion enters like a sunbeam, quietly and without violence.

Jeremy Taylor

To me the greatness of the story, the horror of the story, and the threat to humanity the story portrays lie in the fact that Frankenstein has usurped the power, not of God, but of women. He has made a man without a mother. His science has eliminated the principle of femininity from the creation of human life.

Through the miracle of science a woman can now medicate her body so that men may use it for pleasure without consequence or attachment.

Andrew Klavan

In the first place, we naturally wish to help the students in studying those parts of the subject where we have most help to give and they need help most. On recent and contemporary literature their need is least and out help least. They ought to understand it better than we, and if they do not then there is something radically wrong either with them or with the literature. But I need not labour the point. There is an intrinsic absurdity in making current literature a subject of academic study, and the student who wants a tutor’s assistance in reading the works of his own contemporaries might as well ask for a nurse’s assistance in blowing his own nose.

C. S. Lewis, from “Our English Syllabus”

Death and the Lady

by Mary Elizabeth Coleridge

TURN in, my lord, she said ; 
    As it were the Father of Sin 
  I have hated the Father of the Dead, 
    The slayer of my kin ; 
  By the Father of the Living led, 
    Turn in, my lord, turn in. 
  We were foes of old ; thy touch was cold, 
    But mine is warm as life ; 
  I have struggled and made thee loose thy hold, 
   I have turned aside the knife. 
 Despair itself in me was bold, 
   I have striven, and won the strife. 
 But that which conquered thee and rose 
   Again to earth descends ; 
 For the last time we have come to blows. 
   And the long combat ends. 
 The worst and secretest of foes, 
   Be now my friend of friends.

Book List:

Holy Living and Dying by Jeremy Taylor

The Truth and the Beauty by Andrew Klavan

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 04, 2022
Episode 142: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Book 2, Ch. 6-9
01:39:09

Welcome back to The Literary Life this week and the continuation of our series on Hard Times by Charles Dickens. After some autumnal chit-chat, our hosts Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas dive into the plot of the end of Book 2. They open discussing Stephen’s fate and Tom Gradgrind’s destructive, devouring nature. They highlight Mrs. Sparsit and her similarities to a harpy and other imagery surrounding her denoting evil. Some other ideas discussed are good intentions with bad results, the concept of the fallen woman in Victorian times, Louisa’s homecoming and confession, and the failure of a formula in imparting virtue.

Head over to MorningTimeforMoms.com to get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

Commonplace Quotes:

Beware of the superficial knowledge of cold facts. Beware of sinful ratiocination, for it kills the heart, and when heart and mind have died in a man, there art cannot dwell.

Caspar David Friedrich

I don’t think they are noticeably worse at reading or writing than they were all those decades ago, though they’re less likely to have a lot of experience with the standard academic essay (introduction, three major points, conclusion) — which I do not see as a major deficiency. That kind of essay was never more than a highly imperfect tool for teaching students how to read carefully and write about what they have read, and, frankly, I believe that over the years I have come up with some better ones.

Alan Jacobs, from Snakes and Ladders

The hours of unsponsored, uninspected, perhaps even forbidden, reading, the ramblings, and the “long, long thoughts” in which those of luckier generations first discovered literature and nature and themselves are a thing of the past.

C. S. Lewis, from “Lilies that Fester”

A Daughter of Eve

by Christina Rossetti

A fool I was to sleep at noon, 
And wake when night is chilly 
Beneath the comfortless cold moon; 
A fool to pluck my rose too soon, 
A fool to snap my lily. 

My garden-plot I have not kept; 
Faded and all-forsaken, 
I weep as I have never wept: 
Oh it was summer when I slept, 
It’s winter now I waken. 

Talk what you please of future spring 
And sun-warm’d sweet to-morrow:— 
Stripp’d bare of hope and everything, 
No more to laugh, no more to sing, 
I sit alone with sorrow. 

Book List:

The World’s Last Night: and Other Essays by C. S. Lewis

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Esther Waters by George Moore

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 27, 2022
Episode 141: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Book 2, Ch. 1-5
01:11:50

The Literary Life Podcast’s new episode this week continues our series on Hard Times by Charles Dickens. After Angelina ties up a few loose ends from Book 1, Thomas leads us into Book 2 and introduces us to Mr. Harthouse. Cindy highlights the dangers of not allowing children learn self-government as illustrated in the character of Tom Gradgrind. They then look again at Stephen Blackpool and his position as the martyr in the story. Our hosts also discuss Dickens’ focus on demonstrating the problems facing people in his day, not moralizing or trying to present solutions.

Head over to MorningTimeforMoms.com to get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

You can also get the replay of Angelina’s mini-class on The Taming of the Shrew at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

It is ill for a country, Gentlemen – I fear we must acknowledge it – when her destiny passes into the guidance of professors.

Arthur Quiller-Couch, from “Studies in Literature”

It is the old story. Utilitarian education is profoundly immoral in that it defrauds a child of the associations which should give him intellectual atmosphere.

Charlotte Mason

That evil may spring from the imagination, as from everything except the perfect love of God cannot be denied. But infinitely worse evils would be the result of its absence. Selfishness, avarice, sensuality, cruelty, would flourish tenfold; and the power of Satan would be well established ere some children had begun to choose. Those who would quell the apparently lawless tossing of the spirit, called the youthful imagination, would suppress all that is to grow out of it. They fear the enthusiasm they never felt; and instead of cherishing this divine thing, instead of giving it room and air for healthful growth, they would crush and confine it–with but one result of their victorious endeavors–imposthume, fever, and corruption. And the disastrous consequences would soon appear in the intellect likewise which they worship. Kill that whence spring the crude fancies and wild day-dreams of the young, and you will never lead them beyond dull facts–dull because their relations to each other, and the one life that works in them all, must remain undiscovered. Whoever would have his children avoid this arid region will do well to allow no teacher to approach them–not even of mathematics–who has no imagination.

George MacDonald

The Golf Links

by Sarah Norcliffe Cleghorn

The golf links lie so near the mill
That almost every day 
The laboring children can look out
And see the men at play.

Book List:

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 20, 2022
Episode 140: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Book 1, Ch. 11-16
01:21:45

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts continue their series on Charles Dickens’ Hard Times. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas open the conversation with their commonplace quotes, which all lead into the discussion of Hard Times. They start out highlighting once again the fairytale and allegory aspects of this story, including the setting of Coketown. Together they talk about the two sides of Sissy Jupe’s education, along with the situations and portrayals of the other key characters in this section. A large part of the discussions centers around the ideas of input and output versus sowing and reaping.

Purchase the recordings of our 2022 Back to School Conference at MorningTimeforMoms.com. That is also where you can get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

You can also get the replay of Angelina’s mini-class on The Taming of the Shrew at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

The ways of authorship are dusty and stony, and the stones are only too handy for throwing at the few that, deservedly or undeservedly, have made a name.

Andrew Lang, from “How to Fail in Literature”

To taboo knowledge is not to secure innocence. We must remember that ignorance is not innocence, and also that ignorance is the parent of insatiable curiosity.

Charlotte Mason

Early in 1851, Dickens suggested in Household Words that a second exhibition be held of “England’s sins and negligences.” When he finally went to the Crystal Palace, he described it as “terrible duffery.” He wrote in July 1851, “I find I am used up by the exhibition. I don’t say there is nothing in it. There is too much. I have only been twice. So many things bewildered me. I have a natural horror of sights, and the fusion of so many sights in one has not decreased it. I’m not sure that I have seen anything but the fountain and perhaps the Amazon. It is a dreadful thing to be obliged to be false, but when anyone says, ‘Have you seen…?’ I say, ‘Yes’, because if I don’t he’ll explain it, and I can’t bear that.

Julia Baird, quoting Charles Dickens

from “Ode On a Distant Prospect of Clapham Academy”

by Thomas Hood

Ah me! those old familiar bounds! 
That classic house, those classic grounds 
My pensive thought recalls! 
What tender urchins now confine, 
What little captives now repine, 
Within yon irksome walls? 

Ay, that’s the very house! I know 
Its ugly windows, ten a-row! 
Its chimneys in the rear! 
And there’s the iron rod so high, 
That drew the thunder from the sky 
And turn’d our table-beer!

There I was birch’d! there I was bred! 
There like a little Adam fed 
From Learning’s woeful tree! 
The weary tasks I used to con!— 
The hopeless leaves I wept upon!— 
Most fruitless leaves to me!—

The summon’d class!—the awful bow!— 
I wonder who is master now 
And wholesome anguish sheds! 
How many ushers now employs, 
How many maids to see the boys 
Have nothing in their heads!

Book List:

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

The Ink Black Heart (Cormoran Strike Book 6) by Robert Galbraith

Victoria: The Queen by Julia Baird

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 13, 2022
Episode 139: “Hard Times” by Charles Dickens, Bk. 1, Ch. 1-10
01:48:17

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life, we begin our fall series on Charles Dickens’ Hard TimesAngelina, Cindy and Thomas start out the book chat by covering some of the differences between this book and other novels of his, as well as how to approach Dickens in general. They also discuss misrepresentations of Dickens as a social reformer, the allegorical and fairy tale elements of his works, and what keys to look for as you read through Hard Times. Thomas talks about Utilitarianism in educational reform, and Cindy highlights the ideas of Charlotte Mason in connection with Victorian times. Angelina brings out the references to imagination in these first chapters and the danger of distorting the child’s imagination.

Purchase the recordings of our 2022 Back to School Conference at MorningTimeforMoms.com. That is also where you can get signed up for Dawn Duran’s webinar on “A Reasoned Patriotism.”

You can also get the replay of Thomas’ webinar on Evelyn Waugh or register for Angelina’s mini-class on The Taming of the Shrew at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

But already the Utilitarian citadel had been more heavily bombarded on the other side by and lonely and unlettered man of genius. The rise of Dickens is like the rising of a vast mob. This is not only because his tales are indeed as crowded and populous as towns: for truly it was not so much that Dickens appeared as that as hundred Dickens characters appeared.

G. K. Chesterton, from The Victorian Age in Literature

The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship from a corkscrew to a cathedral is to know what it is–what it was intended to do and how it is meant to be used.

C. S. Lewis, from A Preface to Paradise Lost

Never be without a really good book on hand. If you find yourself sinking to a dull, commonplace level, with nothing particular to say, the reason is probably that you are not reading, and therefore, not thinking.

Charlotte Mason, as quoted by Essex Cholmondeley in The Story of Charlotte Mason

from “Among School Children”

by William Butler Yeats

Labour is blossoming or dancing where
The body is not bruised to pleasure soul,
Nor beauty born out of its own despair,
Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil.
O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer,
Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole?
O body swayed to music, O brightening glance,
How can we know the dancer from the dance?

Book List:

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Life of Our Lord by Charles Dickens

A Child’s History of England by Charles Dickens

“Why Should Businessmen Read Great Literature?” by Vigen Guroian

“The Fantastic Imagination” by George MacDonald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 06, 2022
Episode 138: In Search of the Austen Adaptation: Sense and Sensibility
01:49:10

Today on The Literary Life Podcast we bring you another fun episode in our “In Search of the Austen Adaptation” series. Hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are joined by resident film aficionado, Atlee Northmore to discuss film adaptations on Sense and Sensibility. The conversation opens by revisiting the question of what makes a good adaptation of a book when translating it for the screen. They talk about the challenges of showing modern audiences the characters and situations as Jane Austen meant them to be understood. Atlee gives a brief overview of the lesser known film adaptations, as well as a more in depth discussion of the 1995 and 2008 versions. You can access the PDF he created with links to watch here.

You are not too late to join in this year’s Back to School Online Conference! Go to MorningTimeforMoms.com to register and get in on the great talks, always live or later!

Commonplace Quotes:

Sound principles that are old may easily be laid on the shelf and forgotten, unless in each successive generation a few industrious people can be found who will take the trouble to draw them forth from the storehouse.

Thomas Ruper, as quoted by Karen Glass

His senile fury was not exhausted by endless repetition.

Eric Linklater

‘Remember, no one is made up of one fault, everyone is much greater than all his faults,’ and then she would add with a smile: ‘I find it much easier to put up with people’s faults than with their virtues!’

Charlotte Mason, as quoted by Essex Cholmondeley

The great abstract nouns of the classical English moralists are unblushingly and uncompromisingly used: good sense, courage, contentment, fortitude, some duty neglected, some failing indulged, impropriety, indelicacy, generous candor, blameable distrust, just humiliation, vanity, folly, ignorance, reason. These are the concepts by which Jane Austen grasps the world. In her we still breathe the air of the Rambler and Idler. All is hard, clear, definable; by some modern standards, even naïvely so. The hardness is, of course, for oneself, not for one’s neighbours. It reveals to Marianne her want ‘of kindness’ and shows Emma that her behaviour has been ‘unfeeling’. Contrasted with the world of modern fiction, Jane Austen’s is at once less soft and less cruel.

C. S. Lewis

Selection from With a Guitar, To Jane

by Percy Shelley

Ariel to Miranda:-- Take This slave of music, for the sake Of him who is the slave of thee; And teach it all the harmony In which thou canst, and only thou, Make the delighted spirit glow, Till joy denies itself again And, too intense, is turned to pain. For by permission and command Of thine own Prince Ferdinand, Poor Ariel sends this silent token Of more than ever can be spoken; Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who From life to life must still pursue Your happiness,-- for thus alone Can Ariel ever find his own. From Prospero's enchanted cell, As the mighty verses tell, To the throne of Naples he Lit you o'er the trackless sea, Flitting on, your prow before, Like a living meteor. When you die, the silent Moon In her interlunar swoon Is not sadder in her cell Than deserted Ariel.

Book List:

In Vital Harmony by Karen Glass

The Story of Charlotte Mason by Essex Cholmondeley

Robert the Bruce by Eric Linklater

C. S. Lewis’ Selected Literary Essays edited by Walter Hooper

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 02, 2022
Episode 137: Why Pastors Should Read Fiction
01:56:04

This week on The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks, we have a very special episode for you. Our hosts are joined by guests Dan Bunting and Anthony Dodgers, both of whom are pastors, for a discussion on why pastors should read fiction books. Dan is also host of the the Reading the Psalms podcast. Angelina starts off the conversation by asking why these men would prioritize taking literature classes. Anthony shares about his own literary life journey and how rediscovering literature has helped him personally. Dan talks about the book club that he and a couple of his pastor friends have and what kinds of books they read together. They discuss many other deep topics and crucial questions that we hope will be encouraging and thought-provoking to everyone who listens to and shares this episode.

Join us for the 2022 Back to School Conference, “Education: Myths and Legends” happening live online this August 1st-6th. Our special guest speakers will be Lynn Bruce and Caitlin Beauchamp, along with our hosts Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks. Learn more and register today at Morning Time for Moms.

Commonplace Quotes:

If education is beaten by training, civilization dies.

C. S. Lewis, from “Our English Syllabus”

How am I a hog and me both?

Flannery O’Connor

He who has done his best for his own time has lived for all times.

Freidrich Schiller

Whoever wants to become a Christian, must first become a poet.

St. Porphyrios of Kafsokalivia

It is hard to have patience with those Jeremiahs, in press or pulpit, who warn us that we are “relapsing into paganism”. It might be rather fun if we were. It would be pleasant to see some future Prime Minister trying to kill a large and lively milk-white bull in Westminster Hall. But we shan’t. What lurks behind such idle prophecies, if they are anything but careless language, is the false idea that the historical process allows mere reversal; that Europe can come out of Christianity “by the same door as in she went”, and find herself back where she was. It is not what happens. A post-Christian man is not a Pagan; you might as well think that a married woman recovers her virginity by divorce. The post-Christian is cut off from the Christian past, and therefore doubly from the Pagan past.

C. S. Lewis, from “De Descriptione Temporum”

A Boy in Church

by Robert Graves

‘Gabble-gabble, . . . brethren, . . . gabble-gabble!’
    My window frames forest and heather.
I hardly hear the tuneful babble,
    Not knowing nor much caring whether
The text is praise or exhortation,
Prayer or thanksgiving, or damnation.
 
Outside it blows wetter and wetter,
    The tossing trees never stay still.
I shift my elbows to catch better
    The full round sweep of heathered hill.
The tortured copse bends to and fro
In silence like a shadow-show.
 
The parson’s voice runs like a river
    Over smooth rocks, I like this church:
The pews are staid, they never shiver,
    They never bend or sway or lurch.
‘Prayer,’ says the kind voice, ‘is a chain
That draws down Grace from Heaven again.’
 
I add the hymns up, over and over,
    Until there’s not the least mistake.
Seven-seventy-one. (Look! there’s a plover!
    It’s gone!) Who’s that Saint by the lake?
The red light from his mantle passes
Across the broad memorial brasses.
 
It’s pleasant here for dreams and thinking,
    Lolling and letting reason nod,
With ugly serious people linking
    Sad prayers to a forgiving God . . . .
But a dumb blast sets the trees swaying
With furious zeal like madmen praying.

Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh

Asterix Comics by René Goscinny

Tin Tin by Herge

Sigrid Undset

Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag

Roald Dahl

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

John Donne

George Herbert

The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré

Graham Greene

Alfred Lord Tennyson

The New Oxford Book of Christian Verse edited by Donald Davie

Waiting on the Word by Malcolm Guite

Word in the Wilderness by Malcolm Guite

Neil Gaiman

Bill Bryson

Ursula Le Guin

Terry Pratchett

Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 26, 2022
Episode 136: Two for ’22 Reading Challenge Check-In
01:41:15

This week on The Literary Life podcast our hosts give an update on their progress with the “Two for ’22” Literary Life Reading Challenge. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share their commonplace quotes, then begin going over each category and talking about their progress and the various books they have chosen so far. Scroll down in the show notes for all the book titles mentioned and affiliate links to them on Amazon.

Download the adult reading challenge PDF here, and the kids’ reading challenge PDF here. The Literary Life Commonplace Books published by Blue Sky Daisies are always available for purchase, as well!

Join us for the 2022 Back to School Conference, “Education: Myths and Legends” happening live online this August 1st-6th. Our special guest speakers will be Lynn Bruce and Caitlin Beauchamp, along with our hosts Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks. Learn more and register today at Morning Time for Moms.

Check out Episode 3: The Importance of the Detective Novel.

Commonplace Quotes:

Nobody seems great to his dwarf.

Par Lagerkvist

What is true of nature is also true of freedom. The half-baked Rousseau-ism in which most of us have been brought up has given us a subconscious notion that the free act is the untrained act. But of course, freedom has nothing to do with the lack of training. We are not free to move until we have learned ot walk. We are not free to express ourselves musically until we have learned music. We are not capable of free thought unless we can think. Similarly, free speech cannot have anything to do with the mumbling and grousing of the ego. Free speech is cultivated and precise speech, which means that there are far too many people who are neither capable of it nor would know if they had lost it. A group of individuals who retain the power and desire of genuine communication is a society. An aggregate of egos is a mob.

Northrop Frye

He had had a choice, after all. The army had been keen to keep him, even with half his leg missing. Friends of friends had offered everything from management roles in the close protection industry to business partnerships, but the itch to detect, solve, and reimpose order on the moral universe could not be extinguished in him. He doubted it ever would be.

Robert Galbraith

The Composer

by W. H. Auden

 All the others translate: the painter sketches  A visible world to love or reject;  Rummaging into his living, the poet fetches  The images out that hurt and connect.  From Life to Art by painstaking adaption  Relying on us to cover the rift;  Only your notes are pure contraption,  Only your song is an absolute gift.   Pour out your presence, O delight, cascading  The falls of the knee and the weirs of the spine,  Our climate of silence and doubt invading;  You, alone, alone, O imaginary song,  Are unable to say an existence is wrong,  And pour out your forgiveness like a wine.

Book List:

The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist

The Well-Tempered Critic by Northrop Frye

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

Anatomy of Criticism by Northrop Frye

Lethal White by Robert Galbraith

Poet’s Corner by John Lithgow

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

The Wise Woman by George MacDonald

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Wood Beyond the World by William Morris

Phantastes by George MacDonald

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott

Evelina by Fanny Burney

The Boys by Ron and Clint Howard

The Most Reluctant Convert by David C. Downing

Dorothy L. Sayers by Colin Duriez

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

An Old Man’s Love by Anthony Trollope

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Two Gentlemen of Verona by William Shakespeare

Timon of Athens by Williams Shakespeare

The Trojan Women by Euripedes

Antigone by Sophocles

The Rehearsal by George Villiers

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

The Medieval Mind of C. S. Lewis by Jason M. Baxter

The Oxford Inklings by Colin Duriez

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Shepherd’s Life by James Rebanks

Wintering by Katherine May

The Eternal Husband by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Aeneid by Virgil

A Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

The Vision of the Anointed by Thomas Sowell

The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards

DC Smith Investigation Series by Peter Grainger

Nero Wolfe Series by Rex Stout

Anthony Horowitz

Simon Serrailler Series by Susan Hill

P. D. James

The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley

The Leavenworth Case by Anna Catherine Green

Trent’s Last Case by E. C. Bentley

David Bentley Hart

Joseph Epstein

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 19, 2022
Episode 135: The Literary Life of Jone Rose
01:29:00

Welcome back to this long awaited return of The Literary Life podcast and a new “Literary Life of…” interview episode with Angelina, Cindy and their guest Jone Rose. Jone is a “super-fan” of the podcast and is a homeschool mom living in North Carolina. Today Angelina starts off the interview asking about Jone’s childhood reading life and school experience. Jone shares how her own adult literary education didn’t start until after she had been homeschooling her own children for several years. In addition to discussing the redemption of Jone’s own education, they talk about what her reading life looks like now, how narration helps make connections and increase understanding, asking better questions, and so much more!

Join us for the 2022 Back to School Conference, “Education: Myths and Legends” happening live online this August 1st-6th. Our special guest speakers will be Lynn Bruce and Caitlin Beauchamp, along with our hosts Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks. Learn more and register today at Morning Time for Moms.

Commonplace Quotes:

Surely this great writer would provide me with a definitive definition which showed me all the answers. He didn’t, and I was naive to expect him to. Generally, what is more important than getting watertight answers is learning to ask the right questions.

Madeleine L’Engle

Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become named; and naming is one of the impulses behind all art, to give a name to the cosmos we see, despite all the chaos.

Madeleine L’Engle

I am inclined to think that her work is in danger of being overlaid by too many interpreters and the simplicity of her message needs preserving.

Essex Cholmondeley

from Ode: Intimations of Immortality

by William Wordsworth

 Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;           We will grieve not, rather find           Strength in what remains behind;           In the primal sympathy           Which having been must ever be;           In the soothing thoughts that spring           Out of human suffering;           In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind.

Book List:

Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle

What Is Art? by Leo Tolstoy

The Story of Charlotte Mason by Essex Cholmondeley

Brother Cadfael Series by Ellis Peters

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

The Magician’s Nephew by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 12, 2022
Episode 134: “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, Part 4
01:14:31

In this week’s episode of The Literary Life, our hosts wrap up their series on The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Angelina, Thomas and Cindy talk about these final chapters of the book, covering some key ideas such as the siren song of the Sea Rat, Toad’s inability to see himself rightly, the echoes of Homer’s Odyssey, examples of bad discussion questions, and what makes this such a lasting book.

It’s not too late to join Cindy’s Summer Discipleship group! Head over the MorningTimeforMoms.com to register.

Thomas will be teaching an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Secrets had an immense attraction for him, because he never could keep one.

Kenneth Grahame

It is a reasonable hope that those who heard you in Oxford, many will understand henceforth that when the old poets made some virtue their theme, they were not teaching, but adoring, and that which we take for the didactic is often the enchanted.

C. S. Lewis

A childhood without books–that would be no childhood. That would be like being shut out from the enchanted place where you can go and find the rarest kind of joy.

Astrid Lindgren

Mr. Toad’s Song

by Kenneth Grahame

The world has held great Heroes,
As history-books have showed;
But never a name to go down to fame
Compared with that of Toad!

The clever men at Oxford
Know all that there is to be knowed.
But they none of them knew one half as much
As intelligent Mr. Toad!

The animals sat in the Ark and cried,
Their tears in torrents flowed.
Who was it said, ” There’s land ahead ” ?
Encouraging Mr. Toad!

The Army all saluted
As they marched along the road.
Was it the King? Or Kitchener?
No. It was Mr. Toad!

The Queen and her Ladies-in-waiting
Sat at the window and sewed.
She cried, ” Look! who’s that handsome man? “
They answered, ” Mr. Toad. “

Book List:

Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren

Seacrow Island by Astrid Lindgren

Wild Wood by Jan Needle (not a recommendation)

The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame

Pagan Papers by Kenneth Grahame

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 07, 2022
Episode 133: “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, Part 3
01:20:39

On The Literary Life podcast this week, our hosts are joined in their discussion of The Wind in the Willows by Kelly Cumbee. Angelina, Cindy, Thomas and Kelly talk about chapters 7-8, focusing special attention on a section of this book that presents a potential problem for some readers. Angelina opens with background on the Enlightenment and Romanticism, the concept of “the Numinous,” and the popularity of the Pan character in Edwardian times. Thomas gives us a classical picture of who Pan was in mythology. Kelly then speaks to the Medieval understanding of the figure of Pan and the pastoral tradition along with their connections with Christ. They also address concerns over neo-paganism in relation to this book. If you want more discussion on mythology in literature, tune in to Episode 60: Why Read Pagan Myths.

Cindy’s 2022 Morning Time for Moms Summer Discipleship group is now open for registration. The theme this year is “Laughter and Lament.” Head over to morningtimeformoms.com to find out more and sign up!

Thomas will be teaching an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more about his classes, as well as Kelly Cumbee’s classes, and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Dictionaries are like watches. The worst is better than none, and the best cannot be expected to go quite true.

Samuel Johnson

“Here I am, sitting at a little oak table where in old times possibly some fair lady sat to pen, with much thought and many blushes, her ill-spelt love letter, and writing in my diary in shorthand all that has happened since I closed it last. It is the nineteenth century up-to-date with a vengeance. And yet, unless my senses deceive me, the old centuries had, and have, powers of their own which mere ‘modernity’ cannot kill.”

Bram Stoker

This malady of unbelief, again, is common to serious minds, educated to examine all things before they know the things they criticise by the slow, sure process of assimilating ideas. If we would but receive it, we are not capable of examining that which we do not know; and knowledge is the result of a slow, involuntary process, impossible to a mind in the critical attitude. Let us who teach spend time in the endeavour to lay proper and abundant nutriment before the young, rather than in leading them to criticise and examine every morsel of knowledge that comes their way. Who could live if every mouthful of bodily food were held up on a fork for critical examination before it be eaten?

Charlotte Mason

Suppose you were told that there was a tiger in the next room: you would know that you were in danger and would probably feel fear. But if you were told “There is a ghost in the next room,” and believed it, you would feel, indeed, what is often called fear, but of a different kind. It would not be based on the knowledge of danger, for no one is primarily afraid of what a ghost may do to him, but of the mere fact that it is a ghost. It is “uncanny” rather than dangerous, and the special kind of fear it excites may be called Dread. With the Uncanny one has reached the fringes of the Numinous. Now suppose that you were told simply “There is a might spirit in the room” and believed it. Your feelings would then be even less like the mere fear of danger: but the disturbance would be profound. You would feel wonder and a certain shrinking–described as awe, and the object which excites it is the Numinous.

C. S. Lewis

To Find God

by Robert Herrick

Weigh me the fire; or canst thou find
A way to measure out the wind?
Distinguish all those floods that are
Mixed in that wat’ry theater,
And taste thou them as saltless there,
As in their channel first they were.   
Tell me the people that do keep
Within the kingdoms of the deep;
Or fetch me back that cloud again,
Beshivered into seeds of rain.
Tell me the motes, dust, sands, and spears
Of corn, when summer shakes his ears;
Show me that world of stars, and whence
They noiseless spill their influence.
This if thou canst; then show me Him
That rides the glorious cherubim.

Book List:

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis

Letters to Children by C. S. Lewis

The Great God Pan by Arthur Machen

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 31, 2022
Episode 132: “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, Part 2
01:38:24

Today on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts continue their discussion of The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas kick off the book discussion by clarifying some confusion over the definition of a picaresque novel. They share some thoughts on the how stories communicate to us in a unique way that cannot easily be expressed in any other way. Other ideas brought up in this episode are the following: the home as a refuge from the world, the centrality of food and drink, friendship with an addict, the problem of trying to use books to teach virtue, and more!

Cindy’s 2022 Morning Time for Moms Summer Discipleship group is now open for registration. The theme this year is “Laughter and Lament.” Head over to morningtimeformoms.com to find out more and sign up!

Thomas will be teaching a webinar on Napoleon Bonaparte later this month, as well as an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

A work of art speaks a truth we can’t speak outright: the truth of the human experience. Love, joy, grief, guilt, beauty–no words can communicate these. We can only represent them in stories and pictures and songs. Art is the way we speak the meaning of our lives.

Andrew Klavan

He is led more by his ears than his understanding, taking the sound of words for their true sense…His ill-luck is not so much in being a fool, as in being put to such pains to express it to the world, for what in others is natural, in him (with much ado) is artificial.

Thomas Overbury, in “A Mere Scholar”

Granted that the average man may live for seventy years, it is a fallacy to assume that his life from sixty to seventy is more important than his life from five to fifteen. Children are not merely people: they are the only really living people that have been left to us in an over-weary world. Any normal child will instinctively to agree with your own American poet, Walt Whitman, when he said: “To me every house of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.”

In my tales about children, I have tried to show that their simple acceptance of the mood of wonderment, their readiness to welcome a perfect miracle at any hour of the day or night, is a think more precious than any of the laboured acquisition of adult mankind…

Kenneth Grahame

To Althea, from Prison

by Richard Lovelace

When Love with unconfinèd wings 
Hovers within my Gates, 
And my divine Althea brings 
To whisper at the Grates; 
When I lie tangled in her hair, 
And fettered to her eye, 
The Gods that wanton in the Air, 
Know no such Liberty. 

When flowing Cups run swiftly round 
With no allaying Thames
Our careless heads with Roses bound, 
Our hearts with Loyal Flames; 
When thirsty grief in Wine we steep, 
When Healths and draughts go free, 
Fishes that tipple in the Deep 
Know no such Liberty. 

When (like committed linnets) I 
With shriller throat shall sing 
The sweetness, Mercy, Majesty, 
And glories of my King; 
When I shall voice aloud how good 
He is, how Great should be, 
Enlargèd Winds, that curl the Flood, 
Know no such Liberty. 

Stone Walls do not a Prison make, 
Nor Iron bars a Cage; 
Minds innocent and quiet take 
That for an Hermitage. 
If I have freedom in my Love, 
And in my soul am free, 
Angels alone that soar above, 
Enjoy such Liberty.

Book List:

The Truth and Beauty by Andrew Klavan

First Whisper of “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

“On Three Ways of Writing for Children” by C. S. Lewis

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Children and Books by Mayhill Arbuthnot and Zena Sutherland

The Adventure of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 24, 2022
Episode 131: “The Wind in the Willows” by Kenneth Grahame, Part 1
01:39:44
Grahame. Angelina, Thomas and Cindy set out to introduce this book in its historical and literary context, as well as address a few of the challenges people may have on their first reading of The Wind in the Willows. They also discuss some other pertinent topics such as Edwardian cultural concerns, the form of this novel, the rebirth images in the opening chapters, and the echoes of this book in other literature.

Cindy’s 2022 Morning Time for Moms Summer Discipleship group is now open for registration. The theme this year is “Laughter and Lament.” Head over to morningtimeformoms.com to find out more and sign up!

Thomas will be teaching a webinar on Napoleon Bonaparte later this month, as well as an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

There is no vice so simple but assumes/ Some mark of virtue on his outward parts.

William Shakespeare, from The Merchant of Venice

A boat will not answer to the rudder unless it is in motion. The poet can work upon us only as long as we are kept on the move.

C. S. Lewis, from his Preface to Paradise Lost

One does not argue about The Wind in the Willows. The young man gives it to the girl with whom he is in love, and, if she does not like it, asks her to return his letters. The older man tries it on his nephew, and alters his will accordingly. The book is a test of character. We can’t criticize it, because it is criticizing us. But I must give you one word of warning. When you sit down to it, don’t be so ridiculous as to suppose that you are sitting in judgement on my taste, or on the art of Kenneth Grahame. You are merely sitting in judgment on yourself. You may be worth: I don’t know, but it is you who are on trial.

A. A. Milne

Sonnet to the River Otter

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Dear native brook! wild streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have passed,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! Yet so deep impressed
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes,
Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of childhood! oft have ye beguiled
Lone manhood’s cares, yet waking fondest sighs:
Ah! that once more I were a careless child!

Book List:

The Golden Age by Kenneth Grahame

Dream Days by Kenneth Grahame

The Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens by J. M. Barrie

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Our Island Story by H. E. Marshall

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers

P. G. Wodehouse

Leisure the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Kenneth Grahame: A Biography by Peter Green

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 17, 2022
Episode 130: "The Enchanted April" Film Adaptations
01:37:23

Our Literary Life podcast hosts are back this week, along with Atlee Northmore, to wrap up their discussion of The Enchanted April with some thoughts on the various film adaptations of this enchanting book. After expanding on their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Cindy, Thomas and Atlee start the film talk with the “dreadful” 1935 RKO version. Then they move on to dig in to how Enchanted April was and brought to the big screen in 1991 and why it worked so well as an adaptation of the novel.

Our next book will be The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham, starting May 17th, so be sure to join us for that as well!

Cindy’s 2022 Morning Time for Moms Summer Discipleship group is now open for registration. The theme this year is “Laughter and Lament.” Head over to morningtimeformoms.com to find out more and sign up!

Thomas will be teaching an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

No matter how much experience we may gather in life, we can never in life get the dimension of experience that the imagination gives us. Only the arts and sciences can do that; and of these, only literature gives us the whole sweep and range of human imagination as it sees itself. It seems to be very difficult for many people to understand the reality and intensity of literary experience.

Northrop Frye

Education is always an individual endeavor. In terms of a future renewal, much of it will depend on a commitment to individualism, something that has been much maligned in recent years. We hear so much trendy, tedious talk about how bad individualism is and how we need to think in terms of “the group.” The problem is that the group usually offers conformity, not genuine community.

Morris Berman

And yet, we are still being taught that fairy tales and myths are to be discarded as soon as we are old enough to understand “reality.” I received a disturbed and angry letter from a young mother who told me that a friend of hers with young children gave them only instructive books. She wasn’t going to allow their minds to be polluted with fairy tales. They were going to be taught the “real world.” This attitude is a victory for the powers of this world. A friend of mine, a fine storyteller, remarked to me, “Jesus was not a theologian. He was a God Who told stories.” Yes, God Who told stories.

Madeleine L’Engle

The general fate of sects is to obtain a high reputation for sanctity while they are oppressed, and to lose it as soon as they become powerful.

Thomas Macaulay

To Italy

by Percy Shelley

 As the sunrise to the night, As the north wind to the clouds, As the earthquake's fiery flight, Ruining mountain solitudes, Everlasting Italy, Be those hopes and fears on thee.

Book List:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye

The Twilight of American Culture by Morris Berman

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

The History of England by Thomas Macaulay

Tea with the Dames documentary

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 03, 2022
Episode 129: “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth von Arnim, Ch. 12-22
01:31:35

This week on The Literary Life podcatst, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas continue their discussion of The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, on chapters 12-22. Angelina and Thomas begin the conversation sharing some thoughts on modern literature and why we don’t hear of modern authors like Elizabeth von Arnim among “the academy.” Cindy tells us what stood out to her most in the second half of the book and the surprising turns von Arnim takes in the storyline. Angelina and Thomas also talk about the types of books they enjoy, and Cindy brings up the longings and fears of the various characters. The metaphors and fairy tale concepts found in this book are, of course, major topics of the conversation.

Return next week when we will discuss the film versions of The Enchanted April. Our next book will be The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham, starting in May, so be sure to join us for that as well!

Cindy’s 2022 Morning Time for Moms Summer Discipleship group is now open for registration. The theme this year is “Laughter and Lament.” Head over to morningtimeformoms.com to find out more and sign up!

Thomas will be teaching an introductory course on Russian Literature in July 2022. Learn more and register at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Keeping up with the Joneses was a full time job with my mother and father. It was not until many years later when I lived alone that I realized how much cheaper it was to drag the Joneses down to my level.

Quentin Crisp

Here is a matter which sometimes causes uneasiness to parents: they are appalled when they think of the casual circumstances and chance people that may have a lasting effect upon their children’s characters. But their part is, perhaps, to exercise ordinary prudence and not over-much direction. They have no means of knowing what will reach a child; whether the evil which blows his way may not incline him to good, or whether the too-insistent good may not predispose him to evil. Perhaps the forces of life as they come should be allowed to play upon the child, who is not, be it remembered, a product of educational care, but a person whose spiritual nurture is accomplished by that wind which bloweth whither it listeth.

Charlotte Mason, Formation of Character

Chaste and ardent eros for the Beautiful is the first task of human life, and falling in love with Beauty is the beginning of every adventure that matters.

Timothy Patitsas

To be sure, there are limits and patterns governing the transposition of beauty into truth, such that it can never be mapped fully in the reductive way some would insist. It was never my desire to write a truth-first book about the beauty-first approach to ethics. Beauty creates its own structure, a form that may not be perfectly linear and symmetrical, but which is still harmonious and beneficial, and in its odd way, perfectly accurate. Through the surprising order of the beautiful, reason participates in and discloses living mystery as mystery. That is, when it starts with an eros for the beautiful, reason is able to announce to the world what mystery is, that which interprets and changes us, just when we manage to engage with it and interpret it.

Timothy Patitsas

Summer Dawn

by William Morris

 Pray but one prayer for me 'twixt thy closed lips,  Think but one thought of me up in the stars.  The summer night waneth, the morning light slips,  Faint and grey 'twixt the leaves of the aspen, 
betwixt the cloud-bars That are patiently waiting there for the dawn: Patient and colourless, though Heaven's gold Waits to float through them along with the sun. Far out in the meadows, above the young corn, The heavy elms wait, and restless and cold The uneasy wind rises; the roses are dun; Through the long twilight they pray for the dawn, Round the lone house in the midst of the corn, Speak but one word to me over the corn, Over the tender, bow'd locks of the corn.

Book List:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Ethics of Beauty by Timothy Patitsas

Katherine Mansfield

Barbara Pym

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 26, 2022
Episode 128: “The Enchanted April” by Elizabeth von Arnim, Ch. 1-11
01:39:28
Welcome back to The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks. This week our hosts begin their discussion of The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim, covering chapters 1-11. Thomas gives some interesting biographical information about von Arnim, and Angelina shares some perspective on appreciating the art and the life of artist. Cindy highlights the fact that we see only caricatures of the women in England, and it isn’t until they get to Italy that we begin to see their real selves. Angelina also points out that all the women are on identity quests in this story. Angelina unpacks some of the metaphors in this book and the Dante-esque images, in addition to the key place beauty has in the story.

Commonplace Quotes:

Whoso maintains that I am humbled now

(Who await the Awful Day) is still a liar;

I hope to meet my Maker brow to brow

And find my own is higher.

Frances Cornford, “Epitaph for a Book Reviewer”

“(The) sufferer is by definition a customer.”

Wendell Berry, from The Art of the Commonplace

Beauty will save the world.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Sonnet 98

by William Shakespeare

 From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dressed in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything, That heavy Saturn laughed and leaped with him. Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Of different flowers in odour and in hue, Could make me any summer’s story tell, Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white, Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; They were but sweet, but figures of delight Drawn after you, – you pattern of all those.     Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,     As with your shadow I with these did play.

Book List:

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 19, 2022
Episode 127: The Literary Life of Kay Pelham
01:45:31

On The Literary Life podcast today, our hosts are bringing you another “Literary Life Of” interview episode. This week’s guest is Kay Pelham, a lifelong reader, veteran homeschooling mother, and accomplished pianist. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Cindy and Kay dig into their conversation about the journey of Kay’s reading life. She shares a little about her family of story-tellers and readers, her personal reading versus school studies, and how her reading life changed as a young adult. Kay also talks about how she came to homeschool using Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. The discussion turns to Kay’s self-education journey as an older adult and she gives encouragement for anyone coming to this later in life. You can read Kay’s own thoughts on books and more at KayPelham.com.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

When children come to school, they can read and speak. When they leave school they can do neither the one nor the other.

Arthur Burrell, from “Recitation, the Children’s Art” in The Parent’s Review

It is my settled conviction that in order to read Old Western Literature aright, you must suspend most of the responses and unlearn most of the habits you have acquired in reading modern literature.

C. S. Lewis

Mythology is the embryo of literature and the arts, not of science, and no form of art has anything to do with making direct statements about nature, mistaken or correct. Similarly, as science does not grow out of mythology, so it can never replace mythology. Mythology is recreated by the poets in each generation, while science goes its own way.

Northrup Frye

Mozart

by Maurice Baring

The sunshine, and the grace of falling rain,
The fluttering daffodil, the lilt of bees,
The blossom on the boughs of almond trees,
The waving of the wheat upon the plain—
And all that knows not effort, strife or strain,
And all that bears the signature of ease,
The plunge of ships that dance before the breeze
The flight across the twilight of the crane:
And all that joyous is, and young, and free,
That tastes of morning and the laughing surf;
The dawn, the dew, the newly turned-up turf,
The sudden smile, the unexpressive prayer,
The artless art, the untaught dignity,—
You speak them in the passage of an air.

Books Mentioned:

Creation and Recreation by Northrup Frye

If I Were Going: The Alice and Jerry Basic Reader by Mabel O’Donnell

My Bookhouse edited by Olive B. Miller

Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Boys by Ron and Clint Howard

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 29, 2022
Episode 126: "The Abolition of Man" by C. S. Lewis, Ch. 3
01:41:31

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, our hosts wrap up their series on The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Angelina kicks off today’s conversation about chapter 3 with more exploration and clarification of the concept of “the Tao.” Cindy talks about the importance of respect for the past and how much we have lost by letting go of that. Thomas highlights the fact that so many education theorists were men who never had reared children and the difference that a mother’s experience makes. One of the main themes of this discussion is the state of education and Lewis’ prescient insight into our current cultural climate. Lewis also goes beyond criticizing scientism by laying out his vision for good science.

We will be back next week with a “Literary Life of…” interview with a surprise guest. After that we will take a short break for the conference, and return in April with a read along of The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

Only in destroying I find ease for my relentless thoughts.

Satan in Paradise Lost, by John Milton

…the fact that the story does not turn on children, and does not foster that self-consciousness, the dawn of which in the child is, perhaps, the individual “Fall of Man.”

Charlotte Mason

The physical sciences, good and innocent in themselves, had already begun to be warped, had been subtly maneuvered in a certain direction. Despair of objective truth had been increasingly insinuated into the scientists; indifference to it, and a concentration upon mere power, had been the result.

C. S. Lewis, in That Hideous Strength

Who Has Seen the Wind?

by Christina Rossetti

Who has seen the wind? Neither I nor you: But when the leaves hang trembling, The wind is passing through.  Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I: But when the trees bow down their heads, The wind is passing by.

Book List:

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 22, 2022
Episode 125: “The Abolition of Man” by C. S. Lewis, Ch. 2
01:27:12

On The Literary Life podcast this week, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas continue their series of discussions on The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. They open the conversation with their commonplace quotes and give us a working definition of debunking. You can also read a fantastic post on debunking from Kelly Cumbee’s blog here. Other topics of this conversation include “the tao,” objective reality, utilitarianism, finding wisdom, and how this book speaks to our current culture.

Kelly Cumbee will be teaching a webinar on The Tempest by William Shakespeare this Thursday, March 17, 2022 at 5pm Eastern, so head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to register today.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

An ounce of mother is worth a pound of clergy.

A Scottish proverb, as quoted by Joseph Addison

“Well, at any rate there’s no Humbug here. We haven’t let anyone take us in. The Dwarfs are for the Dwarfs.”

“You see,” said Aslan. “They will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

C. S. Lewis

Do not remove the ancient landmark which your fathers have set.

Proverbs 22:28 (NKJV)

Inexpensive Progress

by John Betjeman

Encase your legs in nylons, Bestride your hills with pylons O age without a soul; Away with gentle willows And all the elmy billows That through your valleys roll.  Let's say goodbye to hedges And roads with grassy edges And winding country lanes; Let all things travel faster Where motor car is master Till only Speed remains.  Destroy the ancient inn-signs But strew the roads with tin signs 'Keep Left,' 'M4,' 'Keep Out!' Command, instruction, warning, Repetitive adorning The rockeried roundabout;  For every raw obscenity Must have its small 'amenity,' Its patch of shaven green, And hoardings look a wonder In banks of floribunda With floodlights in between.  Leave no old village standing Which could provide a landing For aeroplanes to roar, But spare such cheap defacements As huts with shattered casements Unlived-in since the war.  Let no provincial High Street Which might be your or my street Look as it used to do, But let the chain stores place here Their miles of black glass facia And traffic thunder through.  And if there is some scenery, Some unpretentious greenery, Surviving anywhere, It does not need protecting For soon we'll be erecting A Power Station there.  When all our roads are lighted By concrete monsters sited Like gallows overhead, Bathed in the yellow vomit Each monster belches from it, We'll know that we are dead.

Book List:

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 15, 2022
Episode 124: “The Abolition of Man” by C. S. Lewis, Ch. 1
01:46:09

On The Literary Life podcast this week, our hosts begin a much-anticipated series on The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Angelina, Thomas, and Cindy share their commonplace quotes to open the discussion, then they give some background on this particular work. They talk about the ideas behind the “new criticism” approach to literature and why it is so problematic. Angelina and Thomas expand on the significance of the concept of the sublime. Cindy shares some thoughts on learning to identify and to produce good writing. Angelina helps us connect Lewis’ points about ordo amoris with our current day dilemmas. Other topics touched on in their conversation are the nature of objective reality, the tripartite soul, the medieval view of Reason, debunking the ideal of honor, and so much more.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

The modern state exists not to protect our rights but to do us good or make us good–anyway, to do something to us or make us something. Hence the new name “leaders” for those who were once “rulers.” We are less their subjects than their wards, pupils, or domestic animals. There is nothing left of which we can say to them, “Mind your own business.” Our whole lives are their business.

C. S. Lewis, from “Is Progress Possible?”

It is good for a professional to be reminded that his professionalism is only a husk, that the real person must remain an amateur, a lover of the work.

May Sarton

In truth, he wished to command the respect at once of courtiers and of philosophers, to be admired for attaining high dignities, and to be at the same time respected for despising them.

Thomas Macaualy

Duty Surviving Self-Love, The Only Sure Friend Of Declining Life. A Soliloquy

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 Unchanged within, to see all changed without, Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt. Yet why at others' Wanings should'st thou fret? Then only might'st thou feel a just regret, Hadst thou withheld thy love or hid thy light In selfish forethought of neglect and slight. O wiselier then, from feeble yearnings freed, While, and on whom, thou may'st--shine on! nor heed Whether the object by reflected light Return thy radiance or absorb it quite: And tho' thou notest from thy safe recess Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air, Love them for what they are; nor love them less, Because to thee they are not what they were.

Book List:

The History of England from the Accession of James II by Thomas Macaulay

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 08, 2022
Episode 123: In Search of the Austen Adaptation – Emma
01:53:39

Our hosts are back on The Literary Life podcast this week with another fun episode in our series “In Search of the Austen Adaptation.” In this episode, Angelina, Cindy, and Thomas are joined again by Atlee Northmore to discuss the several film versions of Jane Austen’s Emma. To start the conversation, Angelina highlights the challenges of adapting Emma to film. Atlee outlines the major film adaptations of Emma. Then they discuss the ups and downs of the various adaptations, as well as casting, personal favorites and production choices.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

In all our literary experience there are two kinds of response. There is the direct experience of the world itself, while we’re reading a book or seeing a play, especially for the first time. This experience is uncritical, or rather pre-critical, so it’s not infallible. If our experience is limited, we can be roused to enthusiasm or carried away by something that we can later see to have been second-rate or even phony. Then there is the conscious, critical response we make after we’ve finished reading or left the theatre, where we compare what we’ve experienced with other things of the same kind, and form a judgment of value and proportion on it. This critical response, with practice, gradually makes our pre-critical responses more sensitive and accurate, or improves our taste, as we say. But behind our responses to our literary experience as a whole, as a total possession.

Northrup Frye

Reason thus with life:

If I do lose thee, I do lose a thing

That none but fools would keep.

William Shakespeare

A boat will not answer to the rudder unless it is in motion; the poet can work upon us only as long as we are kept on the move.

C. S. Lewis

The wit of Jane Austen has for partner the perfection of her taste. Her fool is a fool, her snob is a snob, because he departs from the model of sanity and sense which she had in mind, and conveys to us unmistakably even while she makes us laugh. Never did any novelist make more use of an impeccable sense of human values. It is against the disc of an unerring heart, an unfailing good taste, an almost stern morality, that she shows up those deviations from kindness, truth, sincerity which are among the most delightful things on English literature.

Virginia Woolf

Selection from “Epistle to a Lady, Of the Characters of Women”

by Alexander Pope

 Say, what can cause such impotence of mind?  A Spark too fickle, or a Spouse too kind.        Wise wretch! with pleasures too refin’d to please; With too much spirit to be e’er at ease;   With too much quickness ever to be taught;       With too much thinking to have common thought:   You purchase Pain with all that Joy can give,    And die of nothing but a rage to live.

Book List:

Emma by Jane Austen

Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian

The Educated Imagination by Northrup Frye

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare

Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 22, 2022
Episode 122: The Literary Life of Timilyn Downey
01:32:16

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are bringing you another Literary Life of interview episode. This week’s guest is Timilyn Downey, and together with hosts Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins dig into how Timilyn became a lifelong reader. Timilyn shares about the incredibly literary childhood education that she had without even realizing it at the time. She also tells the story of her trip to London during college, then goes into how she used a literary approach in her teaching career. Timilyn also describes her journey to homeschooling and the role that God’s grace clearly played in where she is now.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

The founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was not as programmatic or formal as its name suggests, but rather evolved out of a series of pub discussions and informal get-togethers.

Carolyn Weber

Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.

Charles MacKay

On a Saturday afternoon in winter, when nose and fingers might be pinched enough to give an added relish to the anticipation of tea and fireside, and the whole week-end’s reading lay ahead, I suppose I reached as much happiness as is ever to be reached on earth.

C. S. Lewis

from “Among School Children”

by William Butler Yeats

VII  Both nuns and mothers worship images, But those the candles light are not as those That animate a mother's reveries, But keep a marble or a bronze repose. And yet they too break hearts—O Presences That passion, piety or affection knows, And that all heavenly glory symbolise— O self-born mockers of man's enterprise;   VIII  Labour is blossoming or dancing where The body is not bruised to pleasure soul, Nor beauty born out of its own despair, Nor blear-eyed wisdom out of midnight oil. O chestnut tree, great rooted blossomer, Are you the leaf, the blossom or the bole? O body swayed to music, O brightening glance, How can we know the dancer from the dance?

Book List:

The Rossetti’s in Wonderland by Dinah Roe

Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

Little Britches by Ralph Moody

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

The Arabian Nights by Muhsin Mahdi

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins

Morning Time by Cindy Rollins

Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian

D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 15, 2022
Episode 121: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, Acts 4 and 5
01:20:55

On The Literary Life podcast this week, we will wrap up our series on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Our hosts, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas walk through the last two acts of the play, sharing their thoughts on the structure and ideas presented here. Angelina talks about why she thinks Shakespeare resolves the different conflicts the way he does. They discuss the importance of the play within the play, the fairy tale atmosphere, and the unreality of time and space. Cindy and Angelina both bring up plot points that feel slightly problematic to them. Angelina highlights the theme of harmonizing discord and bringing order from disorder.

On February 8th, Angelina will be offering a webinar on Jonathan Swift: Enemy of the Enlightenment. Check it out at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

Revolutionaries always hang their best friends.

Christopher Hollis

It is easy to forget that the man who writes a good love sonnet needs not only be enamored of a woman, but also to be enamored of the sonnet.

C. S. Lewis

For the end of imagination is harmony. A right imagination, being the reflex of the creation, will fall in with the divine order of things as the highest form of its own operation; “will tune its instrument here at the door” to the divine harmonies within; will be content alone with growth towards the divine idea, which includes all that is beautiful in the imperfect imagination of men; will know that every deviation from that growth is downward; and will therefore send the man forth from its loftiest representations to do the commonest duty of the most wearisome calling in a hearty and hopeful spirit. This is the work of the right imagination; and towards this work every imagination, in proportion to the rightness that is in it, will tend. The reveries even of the wise man will make him stronger for his work; his dreaming as well as his thinking will render him sorry for past failure, and hopeful of future success.

George MacDonald

Earth’s Secret

by George Meredith

Not solitarily in fields we find Earth's secret open, though one page is there; Her plainest, such as children spell, and share With bird and beast; raised letters for the blind. Not where the troubled passions toss the mind, In turbid cities, can the key be bare. It hangs for those who hither thither fare, Close interthreading nature with our kind. They, hearing History speak, of what men were, And have become, are wise.  The gain is great In vision and solidity; it lives. Yet at a thought of life apart from her, Solidity and vision lose their state, For Earth, that gives the milk, the spirit gives. 

Book List:

Fossett’s Memory by Christopher Hollis

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 08, 2022
Episode 120: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act III
01:12:43

Today on The Literary Life podcast, we continue our series on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with coverage of Act 3. Angelina talks about the pacing of this act and the importance of the characters’ madcap, lunatic behavior. She also highlight’s Shakespeare’s wrestling with the relationship between the imagination and art and reality. Thomas highlights the structure of the play as reflecting a dreamlike state. Cindy shares some of her thoughts on being concerned about making sure our children know what is real and pretend.

On February 8th, Angelina will be offering a webinar on Jonathan Swift: Enemy of the Enlightenment. Check it out at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

The most insipid, ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life.

Samuel Pepys, describing “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in his diary

Or the lovely one about the Bishop of Exeter, who was giving the prizes at a girls’ school. They did a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the poor man stood up afterwards and made a speech and said [piping voice]: ‘I was very interested in your delightful performance, and among other things I was very interested in seeing for the first time in my life a female Bottom.’

C. S. Lewis in a conversation with Kingsley Amis and Brian Aldiss

Still, if Homer’s Achilles isn’t the real Achilles, he isn’t unreal either. Unrealities don’t seem so full of life after three thousand years as Homer’s Achilles does. This is the kind of problem we have to tackle next–the fact that what we meet in literature is neither real nor unreal. We have two words, imaginary, meaning unreal, and imaginative, meaning what the writer produces, and they mean entirely different things.

Northrop Frye

A Dream

by William Blake

Once a dream did weave a shade O'er my angel-guarded bed, That an emmet lost its way Where on grass methought I lay.  Troubled, wildered, and forlorn, Dark, benighted, travel-worn, Over many a tangle spray, All heart-broke, I heard her say:  "Oh my children! do they cry, Do they hear their father sigh? Now they look abroad to see, Now return and weep for me."  Pitying, I dropped a tear: But I saw a glow-worm near, Who replied, "What wailing wight Calls the watchman of the night?  "I am set to light the ground, While the beetle goes his round: Follow now the beetle's hum; Little wanderer, hie thee home!" 

Book List:

Of Other Worlds by C. S. Lewis

The Educated Imagination by Northrop Frye

The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

The Golden Ass by Apuleius

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 01, 2022
Episode 119: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Acts I and II
01:31:38

Welcome back to The Literary Life podcast and our series on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After kicking off the episode with their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas start digging into the play itself. Thomas brings up the importance of the timing of this story being midsummer. Angelina gives a little background into the names and characters in this play as well as some of the major ideas we can be looking for in the story.

In February Angelina will be offering a webinar on Jonathan Swift: Enemy of the Enlightenment. Check it out at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

Cousin Swift, you will never be a poet.

John Dryden, in a letter to Jonathan Swift

It would be difficult indeed to define wherein lay the peculiar truth of the phrase “merrie England”, though some conception of it is quite necessary to the comprehension of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In some cases at least, it may be said to lie in this, that the English of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, unlike the England of today, could conceive of the idea of a merry supernaturalism.

G. K. Chesterton

And yet, there are people who say that Shakespeare always means, “just what he says.” He thinks that to find over and under meanings in Shakespeare’s plays is to take unwarranted liberties with them, is like a man who holds the word “spring” must refer only to a particular period of the year, and could not possibly mean birth, or youth or hope. He is a man who has never associated anything with anything else. He is a man without metaphors, and such a man is no man at all, let alone a poet.

Harold Goddard

Advice to Lovers

by Robert Graves

I knew an old man at a Fair Who made it his twice-yearly task To clamber on a cider cask And cry to all the yokels there:--  "Lovers to-day and for all time Preserve the meaning of my rhyme: Love is not kindly nor yet grim But does to you as you to him.  "Whistle, and Love will come to you, Hiss, and he fades without a word, Do wrong, and he great wrong will do, Speak, he retells what he has heard.  "Then all you lovers have good heed Vex not young Love in word or deed: Love never leaves an unpaid debt, He will not pardon nor forget."  The old man's voice was sweet yet loud And this shows what a man was he, He'd scatter apples to the crowd And give great draughts of cider, free.

Book List:

“Battle of the Books” by Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 25, 2022
Episode 118: An Intro to Shakespeare and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
01:19:44

Welcome to this new season of The Literary Life podcast! This week we bring you an introduction both to William Shakespeare and his play A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas seek to give new Shakespeare readers a place from which to jump into his work and more experienced readers eyes to see more layers in his stories. Cindy begins with some perspective on how to start cultivating a love for Shakespeare. Angelina shares her “hot take” on whether you should read the play or watch the play. They suggest some books for further digging into Shakespeare’s works, and Angelina gives an overview of the format of his comedies. Thomas goes into some detail about Roman comedy.

Next week we will be back with a discussion of Acts I and II of the play. Also, if you would like to join the free live read-along over at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Join us this spring for our next Literary Life Conference “The Battle Over Children’s Literature” featuring special guest speaker Vigen Guroian. The live online conference will take place April 7-9, 2022, and you can go to HouseofHumaneLetters.com for more information.

Commonplace Quotes:

If certain tendencies within our civilization were to proceed unchecked, they would rapidly take us towards a society which, like that of a prison, would be both completely introverted and completely without privacy. The last stand of privacy has always been, traditionally, the inner mind….It is quite possible, however, for communications media, especially the newer electronic ones, to break down the associative structures of the inner mind and replace them by the prefabricated structures of the media . A society entirely controlled by their slogans and exhortations would be introverted because nobody would be saying anything: there would only be echo, and Echo was the mistress of Narcissus….the triumph of communication is the death of communication: where communication forms a total environment, there is nothing to be communicated.

Northrop Frye

No writer can persist for five hundred pages in being funny at the expense of someone who is dead.

Harold Nicolson

Originality was a new and somewhat ugly idol of the nineteenth century.

Janet Spens

Unwisdom

by Siegfried Sassoon

 To see with different eyes From every day, And find in dream disguise Worlds far away—  To walk in childhood's land With trusting looks, And oldly understand Youth's fairy-books—  Thus our unwisdom brings Release which hears The bird that sings In groves beyond the years. 

Book List:

The Practice of Biography” by Harold Nicolson

The Modern Century by Northrop Frye

An Essay on Shakespeare’s Relation to Tradition by Janet Spens

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by Edith Nesbit

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

Stage Fright on a Summer Night by Mary Pope Osborne

Leon Garfield’s Shakespeare Stories by Leon Garfield

Stories from Shakespeare by Marchette Chute

Asimov’s Guide to Shakespeare by Isaac Asimov

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard

Shakespeare’s Problem Plays by E. M. Tillyard

Shakespeare’s Early Comedies by E. M. Tillyard

Shakespeare’s History Plays by E. M. Tillyard

Great Stage of Fools by Peter Leithardt

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 18, 2022
Episode 117: Our 2021 Literary Life Reading Wrap-up
01:24:48

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share a wrap up of their year in reading–their favorite books of the year, their most hated books read in 2021, and how they each did with covering the categories of the #LitLife192021 Reading Challenge. They also talk a little about how they will be approaching their reading for next year.

Download the Two for ’22 adult reading challenge PDF here, and the kids’ reading challenge PDF here.

The Literary Life Commonplace Books published by Blue Sky Daisies are back with new covers for 2022! Also, check out the Christmas sale at HouseofHumaneLetters.com!

Coming up on The Literary Life podcast in the new year, we have Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream coming up in January and after that, Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Then we will be reading The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim and Charles Dickens’ Hard Times later in the year. Our children’s classic novel this year will be The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Commonplace Quotes:

Literature’s world is a concrete human world of immediate experience. The poet uses images and objects and sensations much more than he uses abstract ideas. The novelist is concerned with telling stories, not with working out arguments.

Northrop Frye

The moon is the only one of the heavenly bodies that, whilst rising resplendently like the other luminaries, nevertheless changes and waxes and wanes as we do.

Malcolm Guite

I almost think that the same skin

For one without has two or three within.

Lord Byron, from “Don Juan”

The Poetry of Shakespeare

by George Meredith

Picture some Isle smiling green ‘mid the white-foaming ocean; –
Full of old woods, leafy wisdoms, and frolicsome fays;
Passions and pageants; sweet love singing bird-like above it;
Life in all shapes, aims, and fates, is there warm’d by one great
human heart.

Book List:

Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins

The Educated Imagination by Northrup Frye

Faith, Hope, and Poetry by Malcolm Guite

David’s Crown by Malcolm Guite

Savior of the World by Charlotte Mason

The Mirror Cracked from Side to Side by Agatha Christie

Anthony Horowitz

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Hiking Through by Paul Stutzman

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Wintering by Katherine May

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

In the Year of Our Lord 1943 by Alan Jacobs

Elizabeth Goudge

Assignment in Brittany by Helen Macinnes

Look Back with Love by Dodie Smith

The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

The Atonement by Ian McEwan

Desmond MacCarthay

David Cecil

Letters by a Young Contrarian by Christopher Hitchens

Ann Veronica by H. G. Wells

The Everlasting Man by G. K. Chesterton

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Odd Women by George Gissing

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

If Walls Could Talk by Lucy Worsley

Corsets and Codpieces by Karen Bowman

*The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall (not recommended)

*Tyrant: Shakespeare on Politics by Stephen Greenblatt (not recommended)

MacBeth by William Shakespeare

As the Indians Left It by Robert Sparks Walker

Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth

A Hobbit, A Wardrobe and A World War by Joseph Laconte

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

Neil Gaiman

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

Mythos by Stephen Fry

Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope

Christmas at Thompson Hall by Anthony Trollope

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 14, 2021
Episode 116: The “Two for ’22” Literary Life Reading Challenge
01:10:43

“Two for ’22” Literary Life Reading Challenge! This coming year Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are challenging us to read books in 11 categories, but choose 2 books in each category, with a bit of a twist. In today’s episode they briefly go over each category and give a few examples of books would fit into those categories. They also take us through the Kids’ “Two for ’22” Reading Challenge topics. Next time we will be back with a wrap-up episode for our 19 for 2022 Reading Challenge.

The Literary Life Commonplace Books published by Blue Sky Daisies are back with new covers for 2022!

Coming up on The Literary Life podcast in the new year, we have Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dreamcoming up in January and after that, Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis. Then we will be reading The Enchanted Aprilby Elizabeth von Arnim and Charles Dickens’ Hard Times later in the year. Our children’s classic novel this year will be The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

Commonplace Quotes:

The artist must be in his work as God is in creation, invisible and all-powerful. One must sense him everywhere, but not see him.

Gustave Flaubert

There reigns thro’ all the blank verse poems such a perpetual trick of moralizing every thing–which is very well, occasionally–but never to see or describe any interesting appearance in nature, without connecting it by dim analogies with the moral world, proves faintness of Impression. Nature has her proper interest; and he will know what it is, who believes and feels, that everything has a Life of its own, and that we are all one Life

Malcolm Guite

The principle behind modern methods of reading is stated in the form: if there is to be a meaning, it shall be ours.

C. S. Lewis

There is No Frigate Like a Book

by Emily Dickinson

There is no Frigate like a Book
To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

Book List:

Faith, Hope and Poetry by Malcolm Guite

The Allegory of the Faerie Queene by Pauline Parker

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Cranford by Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

The Splendid Century by W. H. Lewis

The Fellowship by Philip and Carol Zaleski

Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Goyer

Tolkein and The Great War by John Garth

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe and a Great War by Joseph Loconte

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin

Elizabeth and Essex by Lytton Strachey

Elizabeth the Great by Elizabeth Jenkins

The Daughter of Time by Josephine They

Elizabeth von Arnim

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Anthony Horowitz

Margery Allingham

E. C. Bentley

Nero Wolfe Series

Alan Bradley

J. K. Rowling/Roberth Galbraith

A Collection of Essays by George Orwell

Essays of G. K. Chesterton by G. K. Chesterton

David Bentley Hart

In a Cardboard Belt! by Joseph Epstein

Padraic Colum

The Wonder Book for Boys and Girls by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Bill Peet: An Autobiography by Bill Peet

Kingfisher Book of Russian Tales by James Mayhew

Paul Galdone

The Cooper Kids Adventure Series by Frank Peretti

Harriet the Spy Series by Louise Fitzhugh

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 07, 2021
Episode 115: In Search of the Austen Adaptation – Pride and Prejudice
02:11:03

This week on The Literary Life podcast we have a fun episode for you to kick off a fun series of episodes that will come up from time to time, “In Search of the Austen Adaptation.” This week our hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are joined by Atlee Northmore, and together they are debating which film version of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice is the best. Atlee shares some of the history of the Pride and Prejudice adaptations that were made for TV and film. Angelina highlights different ideas of what makes a good film adaptation of a book. Cindy brings up the importance of the casting, and Angelina talks about why she still feels like no film has gotten Mr. Darcy right. She also talks about the difficulty of embodying the virtues that Jane Austen gives her characters. Our hosts critique each major movies from over the decades, sharing what they like and dislike about each one.

Click here to download the PDF Atlee created for all the Pride and Prejudice film adaptations.

Commonplace Quotes:

If we cannot get the better of life, at any rate, we can be so free as to laugh at it.

Desmond MacCarthy

Jane Austen is thus a mistress of much deeper emotion than appears upon the surface. She stimulates us to supply what is not there. What she offers is, apparently a trifle, yet is composed of something that expands in the reader’s mind and endows with the most enduring form of life scenes which are outwardly trivial.

Virginia Woolf

The most extraordinary thing in the world is an ordinary man and an ordinary woman and their ordinary children.

G. K. Chesterton

Never judge a book by its movie.

Anonymous

False Though She Be

by William Congreve

 FALSE though she be to me and love,     I'll ne'er pursue revenge;  For still the charmer I approve,     Though I deplore her change.   In hours of bliss we oft have met:     They could not always last;  And though the present I regret,     I'm grateful for the past. 

Book List:

The Common Reader by Virginia Woolf

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 30, 2021
Episode 114: The Literary Life of Dr. Carolyn Weber
01:26:47

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are excited to bring you a much anticipated interview with Dr. Carolyn Weber, author of the popular memoir, Surprised by Oxford. She is also currently a professor at New College Franklin. To keep up with Carolyn, visit carolynweber.com or follow her on Facebook. Angelina and Cindy kick off the conversation by asking Carolyn about her childhood and how she came to love reading. They talk about her experience in school education and whether that differed from her personal reading life. Carolyn talks about her love of teaching and her immersive literary education experience at Oxford. She also expands on the way that reading the Bible for the first time opened her eyes to so many more of the truths in the literature she had read.

Commonplace Quotes:

Unexpectedly, it was Oxford that taught me it was okay to be both feminine and smart, that intelligence was, as a friend put it, a “woman’s best cosmetic.”

Carolyn Weber

I’m like an addict when it comes to books. Compelled to read, understand, savor, wrangle with, be moved by, learn to live from these silent companions who speak so loudly. Surely some language must have a word for such a “book junkie”?

Carolyn Weber

We must not, that is, try to behave as though the Fall had never occurred nor yet say that the Fall was a Good Thing in itself. But we may redeem the Fall by a creative act.

Dorothy Sayers

Batter my heart, three-person’d God

by John Donne

 Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp'd town to another due, Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end; Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain, But am betroth'd unto your enemy; Divorce me, untie or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me. 

Book List:

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Holy Is the Day by Carolyn Weber

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Robertson Davies

Margaret Atwood

Stephen Leacock

Flannery O’Connor

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Mousekins books by Edna Miller

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Crosswicks Journals by Madeleine L’Engle

Elizabeth Goudge

Frederick Buechner

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass by Adrian Plass

A Small Cup of Light by Ben Palpant

Letters from the Mountain by Ben Palpant

Lectures to My Students by Charles Spurgeon

Come Away, My Beloved by Frances J. Roberts

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 23, 2021
Episode 113: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 3, Ch. 9-17
01:35:08

Welcome to the final episode in our series covering Mansfield Park by Jane Austen here on The Literary Life podcast. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas dive right into the book chat today in order to cover as much as possible as they wrap up Fanny Price’s story. Angelina brings out the parallels to Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene. Cindy talks about how Julia and Maria’s upbringing is instructive for parents. Another topic is how, in a way, the characters continue their roles from “Lover’s Vows” in real life unless they repent. Our hosts also highlight Fanny’s journey toward finding a home throughout this story.

Get in on the Western Films and Fiction webinar on November 22nd with Thomas and James Banks! Register here to join in! Also, check out the House of Humane Letters newsletter to get in on the read-a-long of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

To view the schedule for upcoming episodes, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Commonplace Quotes:

To educate means to help the human soul enter into the totality of the real.

Luigi Giussani, from the forward to Beauty for Truth’s Sake

The man who is endowed with logical astuteness is very apt to keep himself in practice by taking up indefensible positions for the fun of defending them.

G. M. Young

Information can thrill, but only once.

Wendell Berry

Amoretti Sonnet XXII

by Edmund Spenser

 This holy season, fit to fast and pray, Men to devotion ought to be inclin'd: Therefore I likewise on so holy day, For my sweet saint some service fit will find. Her temple fair is built within my mind, In which her glorious image placed is, On which my thoughts do day and night attend, Like sacred priests that never think amiss. There I to her as th' author of my bliss, Will build an altar to appease her ire: And on the same my heart will sacrifice, Burning in flames of pure and chaste desire: The which vouchsafe, O goddess, to accept, Amongst thy dearest relics to be kept. 

Book List:

Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins

The Risk of Education by Luigi Giussani

Beauty for Truth’s Sake by Stratford Caldecott

Daylight and Champaign by G. M. Young

A Preface to the Faerie Queene by Graham Hough

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 16, 2021
Episode 112: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 3, Ch. 1-8
01:22:45

Welcome back for another installment in our series covering Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share their commonplace quotes which leads them into discussing Fanny’s character in contrast to the heroine of a gothic novel. They talk about what makes a good marriage in the Regency period and Jane Austen’s own personal life, as well as the contrast between the household of Sir Thomas compared to Fanny’s own family home.

Get in on the Western Films and Fiction webinar on November 22nd with Thomas and James Banks! Register here to join in! Also, check out the House of Humane Letters newsletter to stay in the know about our upcoming read-a-long of Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

To view the schedule for the episodes in this series, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Commonplace Quotes:

Fear the man who says he knows how things should be. He doesn’t

Alexander Galich

Things were easier for us. We were brought up on stories with happy endings and on the Prayer Book.

C. S. Lewis

One of the most dangerous of literary ventures is the little, shy, unimportant heroine whom none of the other characters value. The danger is that your readers may agree with the other characters. Something must be put into the heroine to make us feel that the other characters are wrong, that she contains the depths they never dreamed of. That is why Charlotte Brontë would have succeeded better with Fanny Price. To be sure, she would have ruined everything else in the book; Sir Thomas and Lady Bertram and Mrs. Norris would have been distorted from credible types of pompous dullness, lazy vapidity and vulgar egoism into fiends complete with horns, tails and rhetoric. But through Fanny there would have blown a storm of passion which made sure that we at least would never think her insignificant.

C. S. Lewis

Something Nasty in the Bookshop

by Kingsley Amis

Between the Gardening and the Cookery
Comes the brief Poetry shelf;
By the Nonesuch Donne, a thin anthology
Offers itself.

Critical, and with nothing else to do,
I scan the Contents page,
Relieved to find the names are mostly new;
No one my age.

Like all strangers, they divide by sex:
Landscape Near Parma
Interests a man, so does The Double Vortex,
So does Rilke and Buddha.

“I travel, you see”, “I think” and “I can read”
These titles seem to say;
But I Remember You, Love is my Creed,
Poem for J.,

The ladies’ choice, discountenance my patter
For several seconds;
From somewhere in this (as in any) matter
A moral beckons.

Should poets bicycle-pump the human heart
Or squash it flat?
Man’s love is of man’s life a thing apart;
Girls aren’t like that.

We men have got love well weighed up; our stuff
Can get by without it.
Women don’t seem to think that’s good enough;
They write about it.

And the awful way their poems lay them open
Just doesn’t strike them.
Women are really much nicer than men:
No wonder we like them.

Deciding this, we can forget those times
We stayed up half the night
Chock-full of love, crammed with bright thoughts, names, rhymes,
And couldn’t write.

Book List:

Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Pamela by Samuel Richardson

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Jane Austen by Peter Leithart

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 09, 2021
Episode 111: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 2, Ch. 6-13
01:16:07

On The Literary Life Podcast this week, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are back to discuss the next several chapters of Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. They pick back up with the continuation of the Cinderella theme in these chapters, and much of the conversation centers around the Crawfords and their ambitions and schemes. Once again, Fanny is demonstrated to be the embodiment of temperance.

Get in on the Western Films and Fiction webinar on November 22nd with Thomas and James Banks! Register here to join in!

To view the schedule for the episodes in this series, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Commonplace Quotes:

Lewis learnt that focusing on the state of his own mind was precisely the wrong way to obtain the imaginative pleasures that he had been seeking for ten years and more.

Michael Ward

Through seas of knowledge we our course advance,
Discov’ring still new worlds of ignorance;
And these discov’ries make us all confess
That sublunary science is but guess;
Matters of fact to man are only known,
And what seems more is mere opinion;
The standers-by see clearly this event;
All parties say they’re sure, yet all dissent;
With their new light our bold inspectors press,
Like Ham, to show their fathers’ nakedness,
By who example after ages may
Discover we more naked are than they.

Sir John Denham, “The Progress of Learning”

The Inklings is now really very well provided, with Fox as chaplain, you as army, Barfield as lawyer, Havard as doctor–almost all the estates, except of course, anyone who could actually produce a single necessity of life: a loaf, a boot, or a hut.

C. S. Lewis

Sly Thoughts

by Coventry Patmore

“I saw him kiss your cheek!”—“T’is true.”
“O Modesty!”—“’T was strictly kept:
He thought me asleep; at least, I knew
He thought I thought he thought I slept.”

Book List:

Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah by Cindy Rollins

After Humanity: A Guide to C.S. Lewis’s The Abolition of Man by Michael Ward

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 02, 2021
Episode 110: “The Masque of the Red Death” by Edgar Allan Poe
01:37:14

On this special Halloween episode of The Literary Life, Angelina (Harriet Vane), Cindy (Professor MacGonagall), and Thomas (Lord Peter Wimsey), talk about Edgar Allan Poe’s tale, “The Masque of the Red Death.” If you are a Patron, you can watch this episode and see our hosts in their costumes as they discuss the story!

Angelina begins the chat with a little background on Edgar Allan Poe and his thoughts on the imagination and why he wrote the way he did, as well as connections with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Thomas points out the connection between this story and Boccaccio’s Decameron. Highlights of the discussion include Poe’s use of medieval motifs, the imagery and symbolism in Poe’s writing, the modern person’s avoidance of considering death, and Poe’s idea of life as a play within a play.

Get in on the Western Films and Fiction webinar on November 22nd with Thomas and James Banks! Register here to join in!

Next week we will continue our series on Mansfield Park. To view the schedule for the episodes in the series, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Commonplace Quotes:

I am more concerned by what “the Bomb” is doing already. One meets young people who make the threat of it a reason for poisoning every pleasure and evading every duty in the present. Didn’t they know that, bomb or no bomb, all men die, many in horrible ways? There is no good moping and sulking about it.

C. S. Lewis

There are certain evil men who would be less dangerous if there were not some scrap of virtue in them.

La Rochefoucauld

This handmaiden (poesy) is not forbidden to moralize in her own fashion. She is not forbidden to depict but to reason and preach of virtue.

Edgar Allan Poe, from his review of Longfellow’s Ballads

Sonnet – To Science

by Edgar Allan Poe

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
   Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet’s heart,
   Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise,
   Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To seek for treasure in the jewelled skies,
   Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car,
   And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
   Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?

Source: The Complete Poems and Stories of Edgar Allan Poe (1946)

Book List:

Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis

Maxims and Reflections by François de La Rochefoucauld

“The Philosophy of Composition” by Edgar Allan Poe

The Murders in the Rue Morge by Edgar Allan Poe

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccacio

Comus by John Milton

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

The Castle of Utronto by Horace Walpole

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Oxford Book of English Verse ed. by Arthur Quiller-Couch

Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 26, 2021
Episode 109: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 2, Ch. 1-5
01:37:43

On The Literary Life Podcast this week, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas are continuing their series on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. This is the third episode in the series. They open their discussion talking about the virtue of temperance and how Fanny Price embodies temperance. In looking at the plot and the reaction of various characters to Sir Thomas’ return, they bring out more of Fanny’s virtues in contrast to the vices of other players in this section. Other themes highlighted in this section are the harp as a symbol of harmony, the problem of self-focus, the qualities of nature, and the Cinderella story parallels Austen is playing with.

Get in on the Western Films and Fiction webinar on November 22nd with Thomas and James Banks! Register here to join in!

To view the schedule for the episodes in this series, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Commonplace Quotes:

He had a head to contrive, a tongue to persuade, and a hand to execute any mischief.

Edward Hyde

Here, again, I would urge that appreciation is not a voluntary offering, but a debt we owe, and a debt we must acquire the means to pay by patient and humble study. In this, as in all the labours of the conscience seeking for instruction, we are enriched by our efforts; but self-culture should not be our object. Let us approach Art with the modest intention to pay a debt that we owe in learning to appreciate. So shall we escape the irritating ways of the connoisseur!

Charlotte Mason

The temperate man is so well-ordered that he does not feel the temptations of passion or desire. There is a difficulty about temperance, too, since it is a virtue that consists chiefly of not doing things. The liveliness of action and imagery must occur chiefly among its opponents, and we know what is liable to happen in this situation, even when there is no doubt about where our moral sympathy should lie. We have seen it in many works of fiction. But Guyon remains a colorless hero, and there is neither a heroic trial nor a radiant climax to his quest.

Graham Hough

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time

by Robert Herrick

Gather ye rose-buds while ye may, 
Old Time is still a-flying; 
And this same flower that smiles today 
Tomorrow will be dying. 

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun, 
The higher he’s a-getting, 
The sooner will his race be run, 
And nearer he’s to setting. 

That age is best which is the first, 
When youth and blood are warmer; 
But being spent, the worse, and worst 
Times still succeed the former. 

Then be not coy, but use your time, 
And while ye may, go marry; 
For having lost but once your prime, 
You may forever tarry.

Book List:

Lord Clarendon’s History of the Great Rebellion by Edward Hyde

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

A Preface to the Faerie Queene by Graham Hough

Tintern Abbey” by William Wordsworth

Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 19, 2021
Episode 108: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 1, Ch. 10-18
01:26:06

Today on The Literary Life, we continue our conversation on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share their commonplace quotes, then dive into the book chat, beginning with some commentary on Fanny’s education in contrast to that of the Bertram sisters. They also talk about the concepts of restraint, temptation, and boundaries and how we see these ideas play out in the various characters. Angelina points out how Fanny is the fixed moral center throughout this whole section. She also talks about the play within the novel and how Austen’s use of this form reflects Shakespeare. We hope that the discussion opens up new levels of understanding for you as you read this novel along with us!

To view the schedule for the episodes in this series, see our Upcoming Events page. Also, if you want to join our members-only forum off Facebook, check out our Patreon page to learn more!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

I entirely agree that it’s no good trying to coerce or argue artists into giving what they haven’t got. Either they burst into tears, or go sullen, or–if they are hearty extraverts–they cheerfully turn out fifteen new versions, each worse than the last. Actors too. They’re the most kittle cattle of the lot.

Dorothy Sayers, in a letter to C. S. Lewis

While affording some secrets of the way of the will to young people, we should perhaps beware of presenting the ideas of self-knowledge, self-reverence, and self-control. All adequate education must be outward bound, and the mind which is concentrated on self-emolument, even though it be the emolument of all the virtues, misses the higher and the simpler secrets of life. Duty and service are the sufficient motives for the arduous training of the will that the child goes through with little consciousness.

Charlotte Mason

She is almost a Jane Austen heroine condemned to a Charlotte Brontë situation. We do not even believe in what Jane Austen tells us of her good looks; whenever we are looking at the action through Fanny’s eyes, we feel ourselves sharing the consciousness of a plain woman.

C. S. Lewis, “A Note on Jane Austen”

Sonnet 23

by William Shakespeare

As an unperfect actor on the stage
Who with his fear is put beside his part,
Or some fierce thing replete with too much rage,
Whose strength’s abundance weakens his own heart;
So I for fear of trust forget to say
The perfect ceremony of love’s rite,
And in mine own love’s strength seem to decay,
O’ercharged with burden of mine own love’s might.
O, let my books be then the eloquence
And dumb presagers of my speaking breast,
Who plead for love and look for recompense
More than that tongue that more hath more expressed.
O, learn to read what silent love hath writ.
To hear with eyes belongs to love’s fine wit.

Book List:

Towards a Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 12, 2021
Episode 107: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen, Vol. 1, Ch. 1-9
01:28:44

Welcome back to The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks. Today our hosts embark on a new series of discussions as we read through Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park together. To view the schedule for the episodes in this series, see our Upcoming Events page.

Our hosts open the conversation with their first experience with this book and some thoughts on why people may struggle with Mansfield Park more than any other Austen novel. Angelina highlights the similarities some people note between Austen and Shakespeare and how this book illustrates that point. Thomas responds to criticisms that Fanny is a “prig.” Cindy brings up the importance of place in this book thematically. Other ideas they discuss in this episode are moving from blindness to sight, the importance of triangles in this book, and appearances versus reality.

Commonplace Quotes:

Many come to wish their tower a well…

W. H. Auden, from “The Quest”

Sadly, we do not have a Christian culture today that easily discriminates between a person of spiritual depth and a person of raw talent. Like the wheat and the tares of Jesus’ parable, they can be difficult to distinguish. The result is that more than a few people can be fooled into thinking they are being influenced by a spiritual giant when, in fact, they are being manipulated by a dwarf.

Gordon MacDonald

Would you think I was joking if I said that you can put a clock back, and that if the clock is wrong it is often a very sensible thing to do? But I would rather get away from that whole idea of clocks. We all want to progress. But progress mean getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man… If you look at the present state of the big mistake. We are on the wrong road. And if that is so, we must go back. Going back is the quickest way on.

C. S. Lewis

Fairy-tale Logic

by A. E. Stallings

Fairy tales are full of impossible tasks:
Gather the chin hairs of a man-eating goat,
Or cross a sulphuric lake in a leaky boat,
Select the prince from a row of identical masks,
Tiptoe up to a dragon where it basks
And snatch its bone; count dust specks, mote by mote,
Or learn the phone directory by rote.
Always it’s impossible what someone asks—

You have to fight magic with magic. You have to believe
That you have something impossible up your sleeve,
The language of snakes, perhaps, an invisible cloak,
An army of ants at your beck, or a lethal joke,
The will to do whatever must be done:
Marry a monster. Hand over your firstborn son.

As printed in Poetry Magazine, March 2010

Book List:

Ordering Your Private World by Gordon MacDonald

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 05, 2021
Episode 106: “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” Part 2
01:10:31

This week on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts are continuing their discussion of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. If you missed last week’s episode, you will want to go back and catch Part 1 here. Angelina kicks of the book chat with a look at the format of the story and how it keeps us in suspense. Thomas brings up the idea of forbidden knowledge found in this book and the similarities between it and Frankenstein. Some other topics covered in this episode include the dangers of dehumanizing victims of crime, the nature of sin and addiction, the Renaissance idea of the well-ordered man, and the mythic qualities of this story.

Be sure to check out Thomas’ class on The French Revolution and other fall webinars at House of Humane Letters. Don’t forget to check out our sister podcast, The Well Read Poem, as well as Cindy’s new podcast, The New Mason Jar! We will be back here on The Literary Life in two weeks with our first in a series of episodes on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park.

Commonplace Quotes:

One beautiful starry-skied evening, we two stood next to each other at a window, and I, a young man of about twenty-two who had just eaten well and had good coffee, enthused about the stars and called them the abode of the blessed. But the master grumbled to himself: “The stars, hum! hum! The stars are only a gleaming leprosy in the sky.”

Heinrich Heine

It is a mistake, perhaps, to think that, to do one thing well, we must just do and think about that and nothing else all the time. It is our business to know all we can and to spend a part of our lives in increasing our knowledge of Nature and Art, of Literature and Man, of the Past and the Present. That is one way in which we become greater persons, and the more a person is, the better he will do whatever piece of special work falls to his share. Let us have, like Leonardo, a spirit ‘invariably royal and magnanimous.’

Charlotte Mason

The poet’s job is not to tell you what happened, but what happens: not what did take place, but the kind of thing that always takes place.

Northrup Frye

The Land of Nod

by Robert Louis Stevenson

From breakfast on through all the day
At home among my friends I stay,
But every night I go abroad
Afar into the land of Nod.

All by myself I have to go,
With none to tell me what to do —
All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams.

The strangest things are there for me,
Both things to eat and things to see,
And many frightening sights abroad
Till morning in the land of Nod.

Try as I like to find the way,
I never can get back by day,
Nor can remember plain and clear
The curious music that I hear.

Book List:

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

The Educated Imagination by Northrup Frye

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 14, 2021
Episode 105: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by R. L. Stevenson, Part 1
01:17:28

Welcome to today’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast! Today our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks explore Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After their commonplace quote discussion, each cohost shares some personal thoughts on Robert Louis Stevenson. Be aware that this episode will contain some spoilers, though we will not spoil the full ending. Thomas shares some biographical information about R. L. Stevenson. Angelina points out the mythic quality of this story and the enduring cultural references inspired by Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. She and Thomas also discuss some of the differences between early and late Victorian writers. They also begin digging into the first section of the book.

Join us again next week for the second part of this discussion. The fall schedule for the podcast will be posted soon on our Upcoming Events page for those who want to know what we will be reading and talking about on the podcast next!

Don’t forget to check out our sister podcast, The Well Read Poem, as well as Cindy’s new podcast, The New Mason Jar!

Commonplace Quotes:

I would rather (said he) have the rod to be the general terrour to all, to make them learn, than tell a child, if you do thus, or thus, you will be more esteemed than your brothers or sisters. The rod produces an effect which terminates in itself. A child is afraid of being whipped, and gets his task, and there’s an end on’t; whereas, by exciting emulation and comparisons of superiority, you lay the foundation of lasting mischief; you make brothers and sisters hate each other.

Samuel Johnson, as quoted by James Boswell

Do not talk about Shakespeare’s mistakes: they are probably your own

G. M. Young

The most influential books, and the truest in their influence, are works of fiction. They do not pin the reader to a dogma, which he must afterwards discover to be inexact; they do not teach him a lesson, which he must afterwards unlearn… They disengage us from ourselves, they constrain us to the acquaintance of others; and they show us the web of experience, not as we see it for ourselves, but with a singular change–that monstrous, consuming ego of ours being, for the nonce, struck out.

Robert Louis Stevenson

R L S

by A. E. Houseman

Home is the sailor, home from sea:
Her far-borne canvas furled
The ship pours shining on the quay
The plunder of the world.

Home is the hunter from the hill:
Fast in the boundless snare
All flesh lies taken at his will
And every fowl of air.

‘Tis evening on the moorland free,
The starlit wave is still:
Home is the sailor from the sea,
The hunter from the hill.

Book List:

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Daylight and Champaign by G. M. Young

“Books Which Have Influenced Me” by Robert Louis Stevenson

David Balfour by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Silverado Squatters by Robert Louis Stevenson

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes by Robert Louis Stevenson

King Solomon’s Mines by H. Ryder Haggard

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Beowulf

Robert Louis Stevenson by G. K. Chesterton

God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Body Snatcher and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 07, 2021
Episode 104: Witches, Wizards, and Magic, Oh My!!
01:18:33

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast! Today our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks tackle the tough questions so many people ask about reading stories dealing with magic. First off, Angelina affirms the need to discernment and the desire to steer clear of that which would be a stumbling block for our children. Cindy shares a little about her own concern when her children were very young. Then they set the groundwork by defining some terms and considering the kinds of questions we need to ask, beginning with Scripture and the church fathers. Be sure to listen to the end when Angelina, Cindy and Thomas suggest some criteria for evaluating magic elements in books before handing them to their students.

Come back next week when we will explore Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Don’t forget to check out our sister podcast, The Well Read Poem, as well as Cindy’s new podcast, The New Mason Jar!

Commonplace Quotes:

I am not conscious of having ever bought a book from a motive of ostentation.

Edward Gibbon

There is no language and no knowledge without symbol and metaphor. Two consequences arise from this: one is that we require imagination both to make and to interpret symbols, and the other is that symbols themselves beckon us through language to that which is beyond language. In other words, symbols are energized between the two poles (as Coleridge would say) of immanence and transcendence.

Malcolm Guite

Incidentally, we do not know of a single healthy and powerful book used to educate people (and that includes the Bible) in which such delicate matters do not actually appear to an even greater extent. Proper usage sees no evil here, but finds, as an attractive saying has it, a document of our hearts. Children can read the stars without fear, while others, so superstition has it, insult angels by doing the same thing.

Wilhelm Grimm

The Queen Mab Speech

by William Shakespeare

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider web;
Her collars, of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket’s bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as ‘a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscades, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she!

Book List:

Memoirs of My Life by Edward Gibbon

Faith, Hope, and Poetry by Malcolm Guite

Wings and the Child by Edith Nesbit

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 31, 2021
Episode 103: “The Rocking Horse Winner” by D. H. Lawrence
01:13:52

We are back this week on The Literary Life with the final another episode in our 2021 Summer Short Story series, a discussion of D. H. Lawrence’s “The Rocking Horse Winner.” After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks begin the literary chat with some background information on the writer D. H. Lawrence. Cindy talks about her reaction to this story and the running thread of bitterness underlying throughout. Angelina highlights the significance of the cultural climate of the 1920s in this story. As the story unfolds, we see magical and fairy tale elements, as well as some significant symbols, including the rocking horse.

Come back next week for an important episode on magic in literature and how to approach books with magical elements. Following that, we will explore Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

Don’t forget to check out our sister podcast, The Well Read Poem, as well as Cindy’s new podcast, The New Mason Jar!

Commonplace Quotes:

Rather than being restricted to the simple material they can read on their own, young children need to listen to their teachers read more complex books aloud and engage in discussions about what they’ve heard—and, depending on their age, write about it.
At the same time, teaching disconnected comprehension skills boosts neither comprehension nor reading scores. It’s just empty calories. In effect, kids are clamoring for broccoli and spinach while adults insist on a steady diet of donuts.

Natalie Wexler

Our proper bliss depends on what we blame.

Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man”

Never trust the artist. Trust the tale. The proper function of a critic is to save the tale from the artist who created it.

D. H. Lawrence

The Wooden Horse of Myth

by Oscar Williams

 The wooden horse of myth stands on the air arching a traitorous neck on roofed mankind: the clocks are eyeballs round with mock despair hunting in sanguine skylines of the mind:  and cherub faces fluttering in position, dolls tethered by the nerves behind the curtain and soldiers draped about the foiled ignition portend an end momentously uncertain.  Meanwhile the white-haired meadows of the sea sing in the fixtures of the music box: the crowning glory of the verb to be marches its fields of fire among the rocks--  while tides of flowers topple from the blood and horseless hills affirm their mountainhood. 

Book List:

Studies in Classic American Literature by D. H. Lawrence

The Knowledge Gap by Natalie Wexler

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence (not recommended)

Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 24, 2021
Episode 102: The Literary Life of Atlee Northmore
01:20:25

On The Literary Life podcast this week, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are chatting with their indispensable assistant, Atlee Northmore, about his literary life. Atlee shares what it was like for him growing up in a family that supported reading and kept books around at all time. He talks about his school years and both his positive and negative memories of reading for school. Talking about college, Atlee tells about wanting to be a film maker and his experience studying writing screen plays. He shares how college and life circumstances temporarily dampened his love for story, but taking classes with Angelina and listening to the podcast has brought it all back.

Also, if you are listening to this episode on the day it drops, you are not too late to sign up and join our 2021 Back to School online conference with special guest James Daniels! Get all the info and register at morningtimeformoms.com!

On August 5th, Cindy Rollins’ New Mason Jar podcast will be officially launching, so head over to thenewmasonjar.com to learn more and subscribe!

Commonplace Quotes:

One’s life is more formed, I sometimes think, by books than by human beings: it is out of books one learns about love and pain at second hand. Even if we have the happy chance to fall in love, it is because we have been conditioned by what we have read, and if I had never known love at all, perhaps it was because my father’s library had not contained the right books.

Graham Greene

…there is also a sort of wild fairy interest in them, which makes me think them fully better adapted to awaken the imagination and soften the heart of childhood than the good-boy stories which have been in later years composed for them.

Sir Walter Scott, from German Popular Stories

Information can thrill, but only once.

Wendell Berry

All suffices reckoned rightly:

Spring shall bloom where now the ice is,

Roses make the bramble sightly,

And the quickening sun shine brightly,

And the latter wind blow lightly,

And my garden teem with spices.

Christina Rossetti, “Amen”

Inventory

by Dorothy Parker

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

Book List:

Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene

The Way of Ignorance by Wendell Berry

Stephen King

The Harry Potter Collection

The Spiderwick Chronicles

A Series of Unfortunate Events

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson

Notting Hill by Richard Curtis

How to Read the Bible at Literature by Leland Ryken

Dune by Frank Herbert

Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis

The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

The Chronicles of Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 03, 2021
Episode 101: “Reunion” by Fred Uhlman
01:43:34

Welcome back to this week’s episode of The Literary Life and our discussion of Fred Uhlman’s novella “Reunion.” After they finished sharing their commonplace quotes, Cindy shares how she came across this novella and why she wanted to discuss it on the podcast. Thomas talks about the historical backdrop of the book as well as a little biographical info about the Uhlman. Angelina points out how much this story drove home the point of how assimilated the Jewish people were into European society and culture. They talk about the friendship between Hans and Konradin and their common taste in great literature. Other topics discussed were the unreality of what was happening in Germany, personal loyalty versus political loyalty, the dilemma of understanding pre-World War II Germany, and the power of a faithful life. Join us back here next week for an episode on The Literary Life of Atlee Northmore!

We are excited to announce our third annual Literary Life Back to School Online Conference! This year’s theme is Awakening: The Pursuit of True Education, and our featured guest speaker is James Daniels. The conference will take place on August 4-7, 2021, and you can learn more and register at morningtimeformoms.com

Cindy also has some exciting announcements, including the debut of the new expanded edition of her book Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love, is now available! AND she is starting a new Charlotte Mason podcast called The New Mason Jar, set to begin airing on August 5, 2021! 

Commonplace Quotes:

Literature is full of teaching, by precept and example, concerning the management of our physical nature. I shall offer a lesson here and there by way of sample, but no doubt the reader will think of many better teachings; and that is as it should be; the way such teaching should come to us is, here a little and there a little, incidentally, from books which we read for the interest of the story, the beauty of the poem, or the grace of the writing.

Charlotte Mason

I acquired a hunger for fairy tales in the dark days of blackout and blitz in the Second World War. I read early and voraciously and indiscriminately–Andrew Lang’s colored Fairy Book, Hans Andersen, King Arthur, Robin Hood, and my very favorite book, Asgard and the Gods, a German scholarly text, with engravings, about Norse mythology, which my mother had used as a crib in her studies of Ancient Norse. I never really like stories about children doing what children do–quarreling and cooking and camping. I like magic, the unreal, the more than real. I learned from the Asgard book that even the gods can be defeated by evil. I knew nothing about the Wagnerian Nordic pageantry of the Third Reich. Nor did I have any inkling that the British occupying forces in Germany after the war were going to ban the Grimms because they fed a supposedly bloodthirsty German imagination. Indeed, I retreated into them from wartime anxieties.

A. S. Byatt

Every fairy tale worth recording at all is the remnant of tradition possessing true historical value; historical, at least, insofar as it has arisen out of the mind of a people under special circumstance, and risen not without meaning, nor removed altogether from their sphere of religious faith.

John Ruskin

Sonnet 104

by William Shakespeare

To me, fair friend, you never can be old,
For as you were when first your eye I eyed,
Such seems your beauty still. Three winters cold
Have from the forests shook three summers’ pride,
Three beauteous springs to yellow autumn turned
In process of the seasons have I seen,
Three April perfumes in three hot Junes burned,
Since first I saw you fresh, which yet are green.
Ah, yet doth beauty, like a dial-hand,
Steal from his figure, and no pace perceived;
So your sweet hue, which methinks still doth stand,
Hath motion, and mine eye may be deceived:
For fear of which, hear this, thou age unbred:
Ere you were born was beauty’s summer dead.

Book List:

Reunion by Fred Uhlman

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

Possession by A. S. Byatt

The Children’s Book by A. S. Byatt

Paris, 1919 by Margaret MacMillan

Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke (not recommended)

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 27, 2021
Celebrating Episode 100: Live Q&A with Patrons
01:34:40

Today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast is in celebration of our 100th episode! Our host held a LIVE Q&A session in the Patreon group, fielding questions from patrons and social media followers alike. Questions range from topics such as what has surprised them about their reading lives this year, to what writing projects they have going on behind the scenes, to literary landmarks and so much more! Thank you to all our listeners and supporters for making this journey possible and for just listening every week. We appreciate each and every one of you!

Join us again next week for our discussion of Frank Uhlman’s short story “Reunion.”

We are excited to announce our third annual Literary Life Back to School Online Conference! This year’s theme is Awakening: The Pursuit of True Education, and our featured guest speaker is James Daniels. The conference will take place on August 4-7, 2021, and you can learn more and register at morningtimeformoms.com

Cindy also has some exciting announcements, including the debut of the new expanded edition of her book Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love, is now available! AND she is starting a new Charlotte Mason podcast called The New Mason Jar, set to begin airing on August 5, 2021! 

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

If you’ve got something you want to say, just think first as to whether it’s really worthwhile, and you’re sure to find that it isn’t.

Hugh Walpole, “The Enemy in Ambush”

The vicar’s wife would not be quite that endless whimper of self-pity which she now is, if she did not in a sense “love” the family. The continued disappointment of her continued and ruthless demand for sympathy, for affection, for appreciation has helped to make her what she is. The greed to be loved is a fearful thing. Some of those who say, and almost with pride, that they live only for love, come at last to live in incessant resentment.

C. S. Lewis

Lastly, from the properties (the castle on the mountain, the cottage in the wood, the helpful beasts, the guardian dragons, the cave, the fountain, the trysting lane, etc.), he will acquire the basic symbols to which he can add railway trains, baths, wrist-watches and what-have-you from his own experience, and so build up a web of associations which are the only means by which his inner and outer life, his past and his present, can be related to, and mentally enrich, each other. Half our troubles, both individual neuroses and collective manias like nationalism, seem to me to be caused largely by our poverty of symbols, so that not only do we fail to relate one experience to another but also we have to entrust our whole emotional life to the few symbols we do have.

W.H. Auden, In Praise of the Brothers Grimm, The New York Times Book Review, 12 November 1944

Imagination

by John Davidson

There is a dish to hold the sea,
A brazier to contain the sun,
A compass for the galaxy,
A voice to wake the dead and done!

That minister of ministers,
Imagination, gathers up
The undiscovered Universe,
Like jewels in a jasper cup.

Its flame can mingle north and south;
Its accent with the thunder strive;
The ruddy sentence of its mouth
Can make the ancient dead alive.

The mart of power, the fount of will,
The form and mould of every star,
The source and bound of good and ill,
The key of all the things that are,

Imagination, new and strange
In every age, can turn the year;
Can shift the poles and lightly change
The mood of men, the world’s career.

Book List:

God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis

Live Not By Lies by Rod Dreher

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Religio Medici and Urne-Buriall by Sir Thomas Browne

The American Way of Death by Jessica Mitford

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

A. W. Tozer

Trusting God by Jerry Bridges

Between Walden and the Whirlwind by Jean Fleming

Edith Schaeffer

Esther de Waal

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Northrop Frye

George Lyman Kittredge

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

All God’s Children and Blue Suede Shoes by Ken Meyers

King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard

Dorothy L. Sayers

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 20, 2021
Episode 99: “The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster
01:22:20

This week on The Literary Life, we bring you another episode in our 2021 Summer Short Story series. This week Angelina, Cindy and Thomas talk about E. M. Forster’s short story “The Machine Stops.” If you are interested in more E. M. Forster chat, you can go listen to our hosts discuss “The Celestial Omnibus” in Episode 17. Angelina points out how this story made her think of Dante. Thomas and Cindy share their personal reactions to reading “The Machine Stops.” They marvel at how prescient Forster was to imagine a world that comes so close to our current reality. They also discuss how to stay human in an increasingly de-humanizing world.

On July 15, 2021, we will be celebrating our 100th episode hosting a LIVE Q&A episode in our Patreon group, and you can ask questions in our Facebook group with hashtag #litlife100. The recording will air on July 20th.

We are excited to announce our third annual Literary Life Back to School Online Conference! This year’s theme is Awakening: The Pursuit of True Education, and our featured guest speaker is James Daniels. The conference will take place on August 4-7, 2021, and you can learn more and register at morningtimeformoms.com

Cindy also has some exciting announcements, including the debut of the new expanded edition of her book Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love, is now available! AND she is starting a new Charlotte Mason podcast called The New Mason Jar, set to begin airing on August 5, 2021! 

Listen to The Literary Life:

 

Commonplace Quotes:

Imagination, in its earthbound quest,

Seeks in the infinite its finite rest.

Walter de la Mare (from “Books”)

from “The Hollow Men”

by T. S. Eliot

This is the dead land
This is cactus land
Here the stone images
Are raised, here they receive
The supplication of a dead man’s hand
Under the twinkle of a fading star.
     
Is it like this
In death’s other kingdom
Waking alone
At the hour when we are
Trembling with tenderness
Lips that would kiss
Form prayers to broken stone.

The eyes are not here
There are no eyes here
In this valley of dying stars
In this hollow valley
This broken jaw of our lost kingdoms
     
In this last of meeting places
We grope together
And avoid speech
Gathered on this beach of the tumid river
     
Sightless, unless
The eyes reappear
As the perpetual star
Multifoliate rose
Of death’s twilight kingdom
The hope only
Of empty men.

Book List:

Two Stories and a Memory by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

Howards End by E. M. Forster

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

The Worm Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison

1984 by George Orwell

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 13, 2021
Episode 98: “How Much Land Does a Man Need” by Leo Tolstoy
01:29:17

This week on The Literary Life, we bring you our first Summer Short Story episode covering “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy. To start off the discussion of this short story, Thomas gives us some background to help answer Angelina’s question about why this story seems so very different from other Tolstoy works. Angelina shares how to approach this story like a parable. Cindy brings up the question of the difference between ambition and vocation in terms of contentment.

On July 15, 2021, we will be celebrating our 100th episode hosting a LIVE Q&A episode in our Patreon group, and you can ask questions in our Facebook group with hashtag #litlife100. The recording will air on July 20th.

We are excited to announce our third annual Literary Life Back to School Online Conference! This year’s theme is Awakening: The Pursuit of True Education, and our featured guest speaker is James Daniels. The conference will take place on August 4-7, 2021, and you can learn more and register at morningtimeformoms.com.

Cindy also has some exciting announcements, including the debut of the new expanded edition of her book Morning Time: A Liturgy of Love, which will be available in early July. AND she is starting a new Charlotte Mason podcast called The New Mason Jar, set to drop on August 5, 2021!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

It is a mistake, perhaps, to think that, to do one thing well, we must just do and think about that and nothing else all the time. It is our business to know all we can and to spend a part of our lives in increasing our knowledge of Nature and Art, of Literature and Man, of the Past and the Present. That is one way in which we become greater persons, and the more a person is, the better he will do whatever piece of special work falls to his share. Let us have, like Leonardo, a spirit invariably royal and magnanimous.

Charlotte Mason

Earth’s Eternity

by John Clare

Man, Earth’s poor shadow! talks of Earth’s decay:
But hath it nothing of eternal kin?
No majesty that shall not pass away?
No soul of greatness springing up within?
Thought marks without hoar shadows of sublime,
Pictures of power, which if not doomed to win
Eternity, stand laughing at old Time
For ages: in the grand ancestral line
Of things eternal, mounting to divine,
I read Magnificence where ages pay
Worship like conquered foes to the Apennine,
Because they could not conquer. There sits Day
Too high for Night to come at–mountains shine,
Outpeering Time, too lofty for decay.

Book List:

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

Book of Virtues ed. by William Bennett

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 06, 2021
Season 3, Episode 97: Antigone by Sophocles, Part 2
01:37:27

Welcome back to the Literary Life Podcast and our series on Sophocles’ Greek drama Antigone. Thomas starts out the conversation setting up the background circumstances for this play. He talks about the different roles the main characters play in relation to each other. Angelina and Cindy share some parallels they see between Sophoclean and Shakespearean characters and dialogue. They look closely at Creon’s flaws and his interaction with his son, as well as his ultimate downfall.

Be sure to come back next week for our first Summer Short Story episode on “How Much Land Does a Man Need?” by Leo Tolstoy.

We are excited to announce our third annual Literary Life Back to School Online Conference! This year’s title is Awakening: The Pursuit of True Education, and our featured guest speaker is James Daniels. The conference will take place on August 4-7, 2021, and you can learn more and register at morningtimeformoms.com. We also will be celebrating our 100th episode hosting a LIVE Q&A episode in our Patreon group, and you can ask questions in our facebook group with hashtag #litlife100.

Commonplace Quotes:

All true poetry can be interpreted in manifold different ways, for it has arisen from life and it returns back to life. It hits us like sunshine no matter where we are standing. For that reason a moral precept or a relevant object lesson can be readily derived from these tales; it was never their purpose to instruct, nor were they made up for that reason, but a moral grows out of them, just as good fruit develops from healthy blossoms without help from man.

Wilhelm Grimm

A Dirge

by Christina Rossetti

Why were you born when the snow was falling? 
You should have come to the cuckoo’s calling, 
Or when grapes are green in the cluster, 
Or, at least, when lithe swallows muster 
For their far off flying 
From summer dying. 

Why did you die when the lambs were cropping? 
You should have died at the apples’ dropping, 
When the grasshopper comes to trouble, 
And the wheat-fields are sodden stubble, 
And all winds go sighing 
For sweet things dying.

Book List:

The Seven Against Thebes by Aeschylus

The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 29, 2021
Episode 96: Introduction to Antigone
01:11:22

Welcome to the first episode in our series on Sophocles’ Greek drama Antigone. After sharing a little about their background with this play, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas talk about the overall structure and the conventions of Greek Drama and Greek Tragedy. Thomas also gives an overview of the type of characters to expect in Greek Tragedy, and he highlights the ways in which Sophocles changed Greek Drama. Angelina explains the ideas of unity of time, unity of place, and unity of plot as presented by Aristotle. Thomas also summarizes the myth on which this play is based, talks about Creon’s character, and expands on some of the tensions present in Antigone.

Commonplace Quotes:

You don’t know what ideas my mind-spirit needs right now; I don’t know what your mind-spirit need; and we don’t know the mind-spirit needs of each child in a classroom. Vital ideas are not sold pre-measured in a bottle.

Anne White

She had a terror of solitary evenings, all the terror of one who did not care for books, who was soaked in superstition and loved lights and noise.

Hugh Walpole

When we are self-conscious, we cannot be wholly aware; we must throw ourselves out first. This throwing ourselves away is the act of creativity. So, when we wholly concentrate, like a child in play, or an artist at work, then we share in the act of creating. We not only escape time, we also escape our self-conscious selves.

The Greeks had a word for ultimate self-consciousness which I find illuminating: hubris: pride: pride in the sense of putting oneself in the center of the universe. The strange and terrible thing is that this kind of total self-consciousness invariably ends in self-annihilation. The great tragedians have always understood this, from Sophocles to Shakespeare.

Madeleine L’Engle

A Scot to Jeanne D’Arc

by Andrew Lang

DARK Lily without blame,  
Not upon us the shame,  
Whose sires were to the Auld Alliance true;  
They, by the Maiden’s side,  
Victorious fought and died; 
One stood by thee that fiery torment through,  
Till the White Dove from thy pure lips had passed,  
And thou wert with thine own St. Catherine at the last.  

Once only didst thou see, 
In artist’s imagery, 
Thine own face painted, and that precious thing  
Was in an Archer’s hand  
From the leal Northern land.

Book List:

Ideas Freely Sown by Anne White

The Thirteen Travellers by Hugh Walpole

The Sea Tower by Hugh Walpole

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

The Oresteia by Aeschylus

The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

Mythology by Edith Hamilton

The Poetics by Aristotle

Trojan Women by Euripides

The Bacchae by Euripides

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 22, 2021
Episode 95: An Introduction to Edmund Spenser with Kelly Cumbee
01:23:19

This week, your Literary Life podcast hosts, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are happy to be joined by Kelly Cumbee to talk about Edmund Spenser. They begin the conversation with Kelly giving a little biographical information on Spenser. Kelly shares how she came to read The Faerie Queene with her own children and for her education, then fell in love with it herself. Angelina talks about Spenser's style of writing and his vision for creating a medieval feel in his work. Kelly gives us a brief synopsis of the general outline of The Faerie Queene and the virtues that are the focus of each book. Some other topics they discuss are the courtly love tradition, the harmony between the court and the country, the journey of the soul pictured in the quest stories, and the levels of reading that may be applied to The Faerie Queene.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

You can find Kelly Cumbee on her blog at Landscape Plotted and Pieced.

Commonplace Quotes:

That best portion of a good man’s life,

His little, nameless, unremembered acts

Of kindness and of love…

William Wordsworth

That men have been burnt alive willingly is a fact of no little interest to anyone who has ever put his hand in the flame of a candle.

G. K. Chesterton

The poem is a great palace, but the door into it is so low that you must stoop to go in. No prig can be a Spenserian. It is, of course, much more than a fairy tale, but unless we can enjoy it as a fairy tale first of all, we shall not really care for it.

C. S. Lewis

I chose books that I wanted to read for my own education and brought the children along with me. This made homeschooling and morning time a feast for my soul as well as theirs.

Jamie Marstall

Amoretti LXXV: One Day I Wrote her Name

by Edmund Spenser

One day I wrote her name upon the strand,
But came the waves and washed it away:
Again I wrote it with a second hand,
But came the tide, and made my pains his prey.
“Vain man,” said she, “that dost in vain assay,
A mortal thing so to immortalize;
For I myself shall like to this decay,
And eke my name be wiped out likewise.”
“Not so,” (quod I) “let baser things devise
To die in dust, but you shall live by fame:
My verse your vertues rare shall eternize,
And in the heavens write your glorious name:
Where whenas death shall all the world subdue,
Our love shall live, and later life renew.”

Book List:

The Shepheard’s Calendar by Edmund Spenser

St. George and the Dragon by Margaret Hodges and Trina Schart Hyman

Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves by Edmund Spenser and Roy Maynard

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, ed. by A. C. Hamilton

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser, Penguin edition

Orlando Furioso by Lodovico Ariosto

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Allegory of Love by C. S. Lewis

The Last Romantics by Graham Hough

A Book of Emblems by Andrea Alciati

Stories from The Faerie Queene by Jenny Lang

Stories from The Faerie Queene by Mary Macleod

Hackett Classics Faerie Queene Collection

Amoretti by Edmund Spenser

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 25, 2021
Episode 94: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, Part 3
01:35:13

On The Literary Life podcast today, our hosts wrap up their series on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas open the discussion with some commentary on the wickedness in the heart of every human and the cost of courage to stand against the crowd. They examine Beatty’s character and why he might have wanted to die. Angelina brings up the way in which Montag’s courage convicts Faber of his own cowardice. They also talk about the detrimental effects of pleasure-seeking being the driving goal of people’s existence. Other topics of discussion include the images of death and rebirth, the importance of remembrance, and having humility instead of hubris.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Previous episodes you may want to check out if you are new The Literary Life: An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis (Episodes 20-23) and “Are Women Human” by Dorothy L. Sayers (Episode 9).

Commonplace Quotes:

There is no such thing as low brows, only low hearts.

C. S. Lewis

More unsolicited advice: if you really want a well-read, well-educated child, you will stop dropping books or subjects just because he doesn’t think he likes them. Education is the development of taste, not the reinforcement of a child’s lack of it.

Brandy Vencel

People ask me to predict the future when all I want to do is prevent it.

Ray Bradbury

from “Four Quartets”

by T. S. Elliot

The dove descending breaks the air
With flame of incandescent terror
Of which the tongues declare
The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair
    Lies in the choice of pyre or pyre-
    To be redeemed from fire by fire.

Who then devised the torment? Love.
Love is the unfamiliar Name
Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame
Which human power cannot remove.
    We only live, only suspire
    Consumed by either fire or fire.

Book List:

Selected Literary Essays by C. S. Lewis

An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 18, 2021
Episode 93: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, Part 2
01:29:01

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts continue with the second part of their series on Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. After sharing their commonplace quotes, Angelina, Thomas, and Cindy dive into the topics at hand, including but not limited to the following: Clarisse’s role as a Beatrice character, the gift of inspiration versus the gift of interpretation in art, living in an age of distraction, the passing down of cultural memory, and leisure as the basis of education.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Long and delicate maneuverings had bred in him a habit of deceit, and his success had convinced him that in politics, dishonesty was but a venial offense.

J. D. Mackie

“I would not have you think I was doing nothing then.” He might, perhaps, have studied more assiduously; but it may be doubted whether such a mind as his was not more enriched by roaming at large in the fields of literature than if it had been confined to any single spot. The analogy between body and mind is very general, and the parallel will hold as to their food, as well as any other particular. The flesh of animals who feed excursively, is allowed to have a higher flavour than that of those who are cooped up. May there not be the same difference between men who read as their taste prompts and men who are confined in cells and colleges to stated tasks?

James Boswell, quoting Samuel Johnson

Interviewer: How does the story of Fahrenheit 451 stand up in 1994?

Ray Bradbury: It works even better because we have political correctness now. Political correctness is the real enemy these days….It’s thought control and freedom of speech control.

Ray Bradbury

Dover Beach

by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.

Book List:

Cavalier and Puritan by J. D. Mackie

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

Politically Correct Bedtime Stories by James Finn Garner

The Divine Comedy by Dante

Leisure: the Basis of Culture by Josef Pieper

Range by David Epstein

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 11, 2021
Episode 92: "Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, Part 1
01:39:04

Welcome to another episode of The Literary Life podcast with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks! This week our hosts open a new series on Ray Bradbury’s well-known novel Fahrenheit 451. They talk about the form of the dystopian novel and why it is such a popular form in the modern world. Angelina shares some background on the form, as well as some of the foremost authors and books in this genre. Then they dive into the text, starting with the images of the hearth and the salamander. Looking at the world Bradbury has created, they take note of some of the major ideas and discuss any similarities to our current culture seen in these first several chapters.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

If someone tells you what a story is about, they are probably right. If they tell you that that is all the story is about, they are very definitely wrong.

Neil Gaiman

It will be a bad day for England when we have done with Shakspere; for that will imply, along with the loss of him, that we are no longer capable of understanding him.

George MacDonald

Libraries raised me. I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries because most students don’t have any money. When I graduated from high school it was during the Depression, and we had no money. I couldn’t go to college, so I went to the library three days a week for ten years.

Ray Bradbury

from “The Burning of the Leaves”

by Laurence Binyon

Now is the time for the burning of the leaves.
They go to the fire; the nostril pricks with smoke
Wandering slowly into a weeping mist.
Brittle and blotched, ragged and rotten sheaves!
A flame seizes the smouldering ruin and bites
On stubborn stalks that crackle as they resist.

The last hollyhock’s fallen tower is dust;
All the spices of June are a bitter reek,
All the extravagant riches spent and mean.
All burns! The reddest rose is a ghost;
Sparks whirl up, to expire in the mist: the wild
Fingers of fire are making corruption clean.

Now is the time for stripping the spirit bare,
Time for the burning of days ended and done,
Idle solace of things that have gone before:
Rootless hope and fruitless desire are there;
Let them go to the fire, with never a look behind.
The world that was ours is a world that is ours no more.

Book List:

A Dish or Orts by George MacDonald

Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Utopia by Thomas More

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

H. G. Wells

“The Machine Stops” by E. M. Forster

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

Dorothy Sayers

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 04, 2021
Episode 91: "The Death of Ivan Ilyich," Part 2
01:51:49

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts continue their discussion of The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy. After sharing some commentary on their commonplace quotes for the week, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas talk about the things that stood out to them as they read the second half of The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Some of the ideas they share are the following: the commonality of being ordinary, the responses people have to terminal illness, the one person who gives Ilyich comfort, and the humiliation of death. Angelina highlights the Orthodox metaphors and Christian imagery that are so prevalent in the end of this story.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

The only inconvenience is that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection, and in the meantime the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins and the people without food or clothes. By all which, instead of being discouraged, they are fifty times more violently bent upon prosecuting their schemes, driven equally on by hope and despair.

Jonathon Swift

The humanities do not always make a man humane–that is, liberal, tolerant, gentle, and candid as regards the opinions and status of other men. The fault does not lie in any one of these or in any other of the disciplinary subjects, but in our indolent habit of using each of these as a sort of mechanical contrivance for turning up the soil and sowing the seed.

Charlotte Mason

I should be cautious of censuring anything that has been applauded by so many suffrages.

Samuel Johnson

O Child Beside the Waterfall

by George Barker

O Child beside the Waterfall
what songs without a word
rise from those waters like the call
only a heart has heard-
the Joy, the Joy in all things
rise whistling like a bird.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I hear them too, the brief
heavenly notes, the harp of dawn,
the nightingale on the leaf,
all, all dispel the darkness and
the silence of our grief.

O Child beside the Waterfall
I see you standing there
with waterdrops and fireflies
and hummingbirds in the air,
all singing praise of paradise,
paradise everywhere.

Book List:

The Life of Samuel Johnson by Boswell

School Education by Charlotte Mason

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 27, 2021
Episode 90: “The Death of Ivan Ilyich” Part 1
01:28:48

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks delve into part one of a two-part discussion of Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich. Our hosts kick things off talking about their background with Russian literature, and Thomas gives some biographical information on Tolstoy. They also talk about the concept of the “holy fool.” Some ideas discussed in this episode include the characters’ responses to death, the mask of respectability, and the problem of discontent.

Cindy is hosting a new summer discipleship course for moms this year, so head over to morningtimeformoms.com for more info and to sign up! Thomas and Angelina also have some great summer classes coming up, and you can check those out at houseofhumaneletters.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Arrogance is a weed that ever grows in a dunghill.

Owen Feltham

To enhance the wonder, see
How arch his notices, how nice his sense
Of the ridiculous; . . . . he can read
The inside of the earth, and spell the stars;
He knows the policies of foreign lands;
Can string you names of districts, cities, towns,
The whole world over, tight as beads of dew
Upon a gossamer thread; he sifts, he weighs;
All things are put to question; he must live
Knowing that he grows wiser every day,
Or else not live at all, and seeing too
Each little drop of wisdom as it falls
Into the dimpling cistern of his heart:
For this unnatural growth the trainer blame,
Pity the tree…

Meanwhile old grandame earth is grieved to find
The playthings, which her love designed for him,
Unthought of: in their woodland beds the flowers
Weep, and the river sides are all forlorn.
Oh! give us once again the wishing-cap
Of Fortunatus, and the invisible coat
Of Jack the Giant-killer, Robin Hood,
And Sabra in the forest with St George!
The child, whose love is here, at least, doth reap
One precious gain, that he forgets himself.

William Wordsworth, from “Prelude”

[Fairy stories] never seek to criticize or moralize, to protest or plead or persuade; and if they have an emotional impact on the reader, as the greatest of them to, that is not intrinsic to the stories. They would indeed only weaken that impact in direct proportion as soon as they set out to achieve it. They move by not seeking to move; almost, it seems, by seeking not to move. The fairy-story that succeeds is in fact not a work of fiction at all; . . . It is a transcription of a view of life into terms of highly simplified symbols; and when it succeeds in its literary purpose, it leaves us with a deep indefinable feeling of truth.

C. M. Woodhouse, on Animal Farm, The Times Literary Supplement, 1954

Growing Old

by Matthew Arnold

What is it to grow old?
Is it to lose the glory of the form,
The luster of the eye?
Is it for beauty to forego her wreath?
—Yes, but not this alone.

Is it to feel our strength—
Not our bloom only, but our strength—decay?
Is it to feel each limb
Grow stiffer, every function less exact,
Each nerve more loosely strung?

Yes, this, and more; but not
Ah, ’tis not what in youth we dreamed ’twould be!
’Tis not to have our life
Mellowed and softened as with sunset glow,
A golden day’s decline.

’Tis not to see the world
As from a height, with rapt prophetic eyes,
And heart profoundly stirred;
And weep, and feel the fullness of the past,
The years that are no more.

It is to spend long days
And not once feel that we were ever young;
It is to add, immured
In the hot prison of the present, month
To month with weary pain.

It is to suffer this,
And feel but half, and feebly, what we feel.
Deep in our hidden heart
Festers the dull remembrance of a change,
But no emotion—none.

It is—last stage of all—
When we are frozen up within, and quite
The phantom of ourselves,
To hear the world applaud the hollow ghost
Which blamed the living man.

Book List:

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Resolves: Divine, Political, and Moral by Owen Feltham

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Anton Chekhov

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Papa Panov’s Special Day by Mig Holder

The Giagantic Turnip by Aleksei Tolstoy

Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia by James Mayhew

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Jane Austen at Home by Lucy Worsley

How Much Land Does a Man Need and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 20, 2021
Episode 89: The Literary Life of Adrienne Freas
01:25:23

On The Literary Life podcast this week, hosts Cindy Rollins and Angelina Stanford interview their friend and veteran homeschool mother of 4, Adrienne Freas. Adrienne is now the Classical Education Advisor for the K-12 Curriculum and Professional Development Project at University of Dallas Classical Education Master’s Degree program at the University of Dallas, and she is active in consulting and advocating for Charlotte Mason’s educational philosophy. Adrienne was a featured speaker in the 2019 Back to School Conference, available for replay at morningtimeformoms.com.

Adrienne describes her young life and how the fine arts were the highlight of her childhood and her early struggles to learn to read. She shares how high school literature teachers and reading the classics whet her appetite for even more great literature. She talks about the difference it makes to have a teacher who is enthusiastic and believes the students can step up to the challenge. Cindy, Angelina and Adrienne all share their love for Charlotte Mason and her philosophy of giving children a wide and generous curriculum.

Commonplace Quotes:

Whenever we are called to teach, our proclamation of goodness should be so wrapped in beauty as to console. This should apply to our daily actions as well, and it is an art.

Timothy Patitsas

Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.

Martin Luther

Q (Quiller-Couch) was all by himself my college education. I went down to the public library one day when I was 17 looking for books on the art of writing, and found five books of lectures which Q had delivered to his students of writing at Cambridge.
“Just what I need!” I congratulated myself. I hurried home with the first volume and started reading and got to page 3 and hit a snag:
Q was lecturing to young men educated at Eton and Harrow. He therefore assumed that his students—including me—had read Paradise Lost as a matter of course and would understand his analysis of the “Invocation to Light” in book 9. So I said, “Wait here,” and went down to the library and got Paradise Lost and took it home and started reading it and got to page 3 when I hit a snag:
Milton assumed I’d read the Christian version of Isaiah and the New Testament and had learned all about Lucifer and the War in Heaven, and since I’d been reared in Judaism I hadn’t. So I said, “Wait here,” and borrowed a Christian Bible and read about Lucifer and so forth, and then went back to Milton and read Paradise Lost, and then finally got back to Q, page 3. On page 4 or 5, I discovered that the point of the sentence at the top of the page was in Latin and the long quotation at the bottom of the page was in Greek. So I advertised in the Saturday Review for somebody to teach me Latin and Greek, and went back to Q meanwhile, and discovered he assumed I not only knew all the plays of Shakespeare, and Boswell’s Johnson, but also the Second Book of Esdras, which is not in the Old Testament and is not in the New Testament, it’s in the Apocrypha, which is a set of books nobody had ever thought to tell me existed.
So what with one thing and another and an average of three “Wait here’s” a week, it took me eleven years to get through Q’s five books of lectures.

Helene Hanff

After Reading “Antony and Cleopatra”

by Robert Louis Stevenson

As when the hunt by holt and field
Drives on with horn and strife,
Hunger of hopeless things pursues
Our spirits throughout life.

The sea’s roar fills us aching full
Of objectless desire –
The sea’s roar, and the white moon-shine,
And the reddening of the fire.

Who talks to me of reason now?
It would be more delight
To have died in Cleopatra’s arms
Than be alive to-night.

Book List:

The Ethics of Beauty by Timothy Patitsas

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

Macbeth by William Shakespeare

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Emily Dickinson

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Consider This: Charlotte Mason and the Classical Tradition by Karen Glass

A History of the English-Speaking People by Winston Churchill

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Divine Comedy by Dante Algieri

The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie

Perceval by Chretien de Troyes

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan

Lenten Lands by Douglas Gresham

The Betrothed: I Promesi Sposi by Alessandro Manzoni

The Consolation of Philosophy by Ancius Beothius

Range by David Epstien

Gene Stratton Porter

Elizabeth Goudge

Waverly by Sir Walter Scott

Reorienting Rhetoric by John D. O’Banion

Unbinding Prometheus by Donald Cowan

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fischer

The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle

Augustus Caesar’s World by Genevieve Foster

Beowulf translated by Burton Raffel

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Once and Future King by T. H. White

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle

Links Mentioned:

AmblesideOnline

The Well Read Poem

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 13, 2021
Episode 88: How to Read Don Quixote
01:26:19

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are joined by James Banks to discuss the value of reading Don Quixote and how to approach the book. They talk about translations and how to choose a translation of this particular work. James shares how he first read Miguel de Cervantes’ classic work and gives a little contextual background on him as an author. He also argues that Don Quixote is a romance in the tradition of Spenser and is more of a satire of modernity than of chivalry. Other ideas discussed are the comic duo, the Spanish Renaissance literature, the travel novel, and how to dive into reading Don Quixote.

It’s not too late to register for our next Literary Life Online Conference, happening April 7-10, 2021 with special guest speaker Wes Callihan. Head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to sign up today!

Listen to previous episodes with James Banks by going to The Literary Life podcast Episode 32 and Episode 33.

Commonplace Quotes:

Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new at all.

attributed to Abraham Lincoln

I take it to be part and parcel of the same great process of Internalisation which has turned genius from an attendant daemon into a quality of the mind. Always, century by century, item after item is transferred from the object’s side of the account to the subject’s. And now, in some extreme forms of Behaviourism, the subject himself is discounted as merely subjective; we only think that we think. Having eaten up everything else, he eats himself up too. And where we ‘go from that’ is a dark question.

C. S. Lewis

Say you’re an idiot. And say you’re a Congressman. But I repeat myself.

Mark Twain

I don’t like the word “allegorical.” I don’t like the word “symbolic.” The word I really like is “mythic,” and people always think that means “full of lies” when what it really means is full of a truth that cannot be told in any other way but a story.

William Golding, BBC interview

Clerihew

by G. K. Chesterton

The people of Spain think Cervantes
Equal to half a dozen Dantes:
An opinion resented most bitterly
By the people of Italy.

Book List:

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene

History of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

The Shadow of Cervantes by Wyndham Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at morningtimeformoms.com, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 06, 2021
Episode 87: The Literary Life of Wes Callihan
01:37:37

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts chat with Wes Callihan, founder of Schola Tutorials and primary instructor in the Old Western Culture series by Roman Roads Media. Thomas starts off our interview today asking Wes what he remembers about stories and reading as a young person. Wes shares how he came to be a teacher and how his literary life developed as he became an adult. Angelina asks Wes about his approach to challenging literature when he started out reading the great books. He shares the joy of reading aloud, even to yourself, rather than silently whenever possible. Wes also talks about how learning languages enhanced his reading as well. Find the Youtube video of Wes’ personal library here.

Don’t forget to head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to find out all about the exciting line-up for our next Literary Life Online Conference, happening April 7-10, 2021 for which Wes Callihan will be our keynote speaker.

Commonplace Quotes:

I have called this work “meadow” on account of the delight, the fragrance and the benefit which it will afford those who come across it, for the virtuous life and the habitual piety do not merely consist of studying divinity, not only of thinking on an elevated plane about things as they are here and now. they must also include the description and writing of the way of life of others. So I have striven to complete this composition to inform your love, oh child, and as I have put together a copious and accurate collection, so I have emulated the most wise bee, gathering up the spiritually beneficial deeds of the fathers.

John Moschos

The fact that various persons have written angrily to say that the Judas I have depicted seems to them to be a person of the utmost nobility, actuated by extremely worthy motives, confirms my impression that this particular agent of hell is at present doing his master’s work with singular thoroughness and success. His exploits go unrecognized – which is just what the devil likes best.

Dorothy Sayers

People enter politics or the Civil Service out of a desire to exert power and influence events; this, I maintain, is an illness. It is only when one realizes that great administrators and leaders of men have all been at any rate slightly mad that one has a true understanding of history.

Auberon Waugh

In essence, Tolkien was trying to recover the vision of Eden, the childhood of the race, when beauty was still connected with truth. Through story–the right kind of story, including traditional legends and fairy-tales–the ability to see all things with a pure heart and in the light of heaven could be evoked. He wanted to prove that poetic knowledge, George MacDonald’s “wise imagination,” could be awoken even in a world apparently closed to its very possibility.

Stratford Caldecott

On Shakespeare. 1630

by John Milton

What needs my Shakespeare for his honoured bones,
The labor of an age in pilèd stones,
Or that his hallowed relics should be hid   
Under a stary-pointing pyramid?
Dear son of Memory, great heir of fame, 
What need’st thou such weak witness of thy name?
Thou in our wonder and astonishment 
Hast built thyself a live-long monument. 
For whilst to th’ shame of slow-endeavouring art,   
Thy easy numbers flow, and that each heart   
Hath from the leaves of thy unvalued book 
Those Delphic lines with deep impression took,   
Then thou, our fancy of itself bereaving,   
Dost make us marble with too much conceiving; 
And so sepúlchred in such pomp dost lie,
That kings for such a tomb would wish to die.

Book List:

The Spiritual Meadow by John Moschos

The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

Papillon by Henri Charriere

Sailing Alone Around the World by Joshua Slocum

Two Years Before the Mast by Richard Henry Dana

Paul Thoreaux

Sailing the Inside Passage by Robb Keystone

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville by John Mandeville

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Ecco

The Land of Darkness by Ibn Fadlan

The Travels of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta

Monologium by St. Anselm

Cur Deus Homo by St. Anselm

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Iliad by Homer, trans. by Alexander Pope

Pacific and Other Stories by Mark Helprin

Ray Bradbury

The Novels of Charles Williams

G. K. Chesterton

Alexander Pope

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Leo Tolstoy

Anton Chekhov

Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

The Abolition of Man by C. S. Lewis

P. G. Wodehouse

Edward Gibbon

Philip Schaff

Taliessin through Logres, The Region of the Summer Stars by Charles Williams

Isaac Asimov

Theodore Sturgeon

Robert Heinlein

Arthur C. Clarke

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 16, 2021
Episode 86: “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, Ch. 16-End
01:36:22

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks wrap up their discussion of George Eliot’s Silas Marner. In this episode, Angelina reveals her light bulb moment connecting this story with Shakespeare’s play, The Winter’s Tale. Thomas talks about the changes in Silas as he has integrated back into the community through his love for Eppie. Cindy points out the characteristics we see in Nancy as a woman who has been through suffering and come out more gracious on the other side.

Don’t forget to head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to find out all about the exciting line-up for our next Literary Life Online Conference, happening April 7-10, 2021 with special guest speaker Wes Callihan.

Commonplace Quotes:

We are all willing enough to praise freedom when she is safely tucked away in the past and cannot be a nuisance. In the present, amidst dangers whose outcome we cannot foresee, we get nervous about her, and admit censorship.

E. M. Forster

Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keep the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can’t.

Aldous Huxley

The worst evil in the world is brought about not by the open and self-confessed vices but by the deadly corruption of the proud virtues.

Dorothy Sayers

A Prayer in Spring

by Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating ’round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
To which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

Book List:

Two Cheers for Democracy by E. M. Forster

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

The Man Born to Be King by Dorothy Sayers

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 09, 2021
Episode 85: "Silas Marner" by George Eliot, Ch. 10-15
01:45:10

Welcome to this episode of The Literary Life Podcast, in which our hosts discuss George Eliot's book Silas Marner, chapters 10-15. Thomas kicks off the discussion by highlighting the character of Dolly Winthrop. Angelina talks about Silas Marner opening himself to grace in these chapters. She also points out the way that Eliot uses Godfrey's character to point out our own potential lack of moral courage. Cindy points out the problem of addiction for Molly in causing her to neglect her own baby. Angelina also talks about the Rumpelstiltskin parallels and other fairy tale elements in the book thus far.

Don’t forget to head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to find out all about the exciting line-up for our next Literary Life Online Conference, happening April 7-10, 2021 with special guest speaker Wes Callihan.

Commonplace Quotes:

Idleness is a disease which must be combated; but I would not advise a rigid adherence to a particular plan of study. I myself have never persisted in any plan for two days together. A man ought to read just as inclination leads him; for what he reads as a task will do him little good. A young man should read five hours in a day, and so may acquire a great deal of knowledge.

Samuel Johnson

Philosophy, like medicine, has a great number of drugs, and precious few genuine remedies.

Nicolas Chamfort

The feudal ownership of land did bring dignity, whereas the modern ownership of moveables is reducing us again to a nomadic horde. We are reverting to the civilization of luggage, and historians of the future will note how the middle classes accreted possessions without taking root in the earth, and may find in this the secret of their imaginative poverty.

E. M. Forster

On My First Daughter

by Ben Johnson

Here lies, to each her parents’ Ruth,
Mary, the daughter of their youth;
Yet all heaven’s gifts being heaven’s due,
It makes the father less to rue.
At six months’ end she parted hence
With safety of her innocence;
Whose soul heaven’s queen, whose name she bears,
In comfort of her mother’s tears,
Hath placed amongst her virgin-train:
Where, while that severed doth remain,
This grave partakes the fleshly birth;
Which cover lightly, gentle earth!

Book List:

The Year of Our Lord, 1943 by Alan Jacobs

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Complete Maxims and Thoughts by Nicolas Chamfort

Howard’s End by E. M. Forster

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

The History of the Devil by Daniel Defoe

Sir Roger de Coverley by Joseph Addison

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Middlemarch by George Eliot

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 02, 2021
Episode 84: “Silas Marner” by George Eliot, Ch. 4-9
01:28:33

On today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks continue their discussion of George Eliot’s Silas Marner, covering chapters 4-9. They talk about the problems facing the Cass family and their tense relationships, examine George Eliot’s treatment of Silas Marner’s victim-hood, reflect on the changing times of the Victorian period, and Thomas breaks out his “Cheers” accent.

Don’t forget to check out Angelina and Thomas’ upcoming classes at HouseofHumaneLetters.com and Cindy’s Discipleship for Moms on Patreon.

Commonplace Quotes:

Perhaps the first thing that he can learn from the artist is that the only way of “mastering” one’s material is to abandon the whole conception of mastery and to co-operate with it in love: whosoever will be a lord of life, let him be its servant.

Dorothy Sayers

You said that we owe literature almost everything we are and what we have been. If books disappear, history will disappear, and human beings will also disappear. I am sure you are right. Books are not only the arbitrary sum of our dreams, and our memory. They also give us the model of transcendence. Some people think of reading only as a kind of escape: an escape from the “real” everyday world to an imaginary world, the world of books. Books are much more. They are way of being more fully human.

Susan Sontag

Just because a man is going to be hanged tomorrow it does not necessarily follow that he has anything interesting to say about it.

Desmond MacCarthy

Cradlesong

by William Blake

Sleep, sleep, beauty bright,
Dreaming in the joys of night;
Sleep, sleep; in thy sleep
Little sorrows sit and weep.

Sweet babe, in thy face
Soft desires I can trace,
Secret joys and secret smiles,
Little pretty infant wiles.

As thy softest limbs I feel
Smiles as of the morning steal
O’er thy cheek, and o’er thy breast
Where thy little heart doth rest.

O the cunning wiles that creep
In thy little heart asleep!
When thy little heart doth wake,
Then the dreadful night shall break.

Book List:

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

Criticism by Desmond MacCarthy

Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

The Aeneid by Virgil

Emma by Jane Austen

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 23, 2021
Episode 83: "Silas Marner" by George Eliot, Ch. 1-3
01:20:24

This week on The Literary Life podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks dig into George Eliot’s Silas Marner. Today’s discussion gives us an introduction to George Eliot and covers the first three chapters of the book. Thomas shares a little historical context for the setting of Silas Marner and how that affects the interpretation of this book. Angelina points out the ways in which Eliot uses some fairy tale and otherworldly elements to explore moral ideas.

Don’t forget to check out Angelina and Thomas’ upcoming classes at HouseofHumaneLetters.com and Cindy’s Discipleship for Moms on Patreon.

Commonplace Quotes:

A poem can be like two hands that lift you up and put you down in a new place. You look back with astonishment and find that because you have read a few lines on a printed page or listened for a couple of minutes to a voice speaking, you have arrived at somewhere quite different.

Elizabeth Goudge

Wheresoe’er I turn my view,
All is strange, yet nothing new;
Endless labour all along,
Endless labour to be wrong…

Samuel Johnson

These fellow mortals, every one, must be accepted as they are. You can neither straighten their noses, nor brighten their wits, nor rectify their dispositions; and it is these people amongst whom your life is passed, that it is needful you should tolerate, pity and love.

George Eliot

Adlestrop

by Edward Thomas

Yes. I remember Adlestrop—
The name, because one afternoon
Of heat the express-train drew up there
Unwontedly. It was late June.

The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
No one left and no one came
On the bare platform. What I saw
Was Adlestrop—only the name

And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
No whit less still and lonely fair
Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

And for that minute a blackbird sang
Close by, and round him, mistier,
Farther and farther, all the birds
Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.

Book List:

Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

The Dean’s Watch by Elizabeth Goudge

Adam Bede by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Romola by George Eliot

Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Selected Essays, Poems and Other Writings by George Eliot

Silly Novels by Lady Novelists by George Eliot

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 16, 2021
Episode 82: The Literary Life of Charlotte Mason
01:35:55

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are excited to bring some special guests in to speak to the literary life of the educator Charlotte Mason. Along with Angelina, Thomas and Cindy, we also have Donna-Jean Breckenridge and Karen Glass of the AmblesideOnline Advisory. They start off by sharing some biographical information about who Charlotte Mason was and her background.

Karen also talks about how and why Mason developed her practices and philosophy and her educational foundation, the PNEU. Donna-Jean mentions the interesting ephemera belonging to Charlotte Mason housed at the Armitt Museum in Ambleside. Finally, the talk turns to how widely Miss Mason read and how important books were to her throughout her whole life.

Join us next week for the beginning episode of our series on George Eliot's Silas Marner, covering chapters 1-3. Before you go, don’t forget that registration is opening soon at The House of Humane Letters for the spring. You can also check out Cindy’s Discipleship Group for Moms on Patreon.com.

Commonplace Quotes:

Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most

Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth,

The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life.

Lord Byron, from “Manfred”

God is a mystery and not a fellow conspirator.

J. B. Priestley

There seems good reason to believe that the limit to human intelligence arises largely from the limit to human interests.

Charlotte Mason

He was fortified by illimitable reading, by a present sense of a thousand possibilities that had been brought to pass, of a thousand things so wisely said that wise action was a necessary outcome.

Charlotte Mason

The thing is to keep your eye upon words and wait to feel their force and beauty, and when words are so fit that no other words can be put in their places, so few that none can be left out without spoiling the sense, and so fresh and musical that they delight you, then you may be sure that you are reading literature, whether in prose or poetry.

Charlotte Mason

The Village Schoolmaster

by Oliver Goldsmith

Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school;
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew:
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day’s disasters in his morning face;
Full well they laughed, with counterfeited glee,
At all his jokes, for many a joke had he;
Full well the busy whisper, circling round,
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned;
Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault.
The village all declared how much he knew —
‘Twas certain he could write, and cipher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e’en the story ran that he could gauge;
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill,
For, e’en though vanquished, he could argue still,
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew
That one small head could carry all he knew.

Book List:

In Vital Harmony by Karen Glass

Know and Tell by Karen Glass

Consider This by Karen Glass

Literature and Western Man by J. B. Priestley

Towards a Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

The Golden Thread by Norman McLeod

Scientific Dialogues by Jeremiah Joyce

Jacob Behmen by Alexander Whyte

The Cloud of Witness

The Hidden Life of the Soul by Jean Nicolas Grou

Anne of Geierstein: Maiden of the Mist by Sir Walter Scott

The Savior of the World by Charlotte Mason

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

The History of Pendennis by William Thackeray

The Egoist by George Meredith

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Joan and Peter by H. G. Wells

Adam Bede by George Eliot

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Areopagitica by John Milton

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

 

Feb 09, 2021
Episode 81: 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
01:33:47

Today’s book discussion on The Literary Life podcast centers around the book 84, Charing Cross Road. Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks share their first experiences reading this book of letters between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel. Cindy talks about her deep identification with Helene the first time she read 84, Charing Cross Road and how much she dreamed of going to England. Angelina and Thomas talk about the characteristics of Helene as a reader and as a person seeking self-education.

Come back again next week for a special guest episode look at the literary life of Charlotte Mason! After that, we dig into George Eliot’s Silas Marner.

Commonplace Quotes:

Our Japanese soldiers who came back from overseas were a pitiful sight. They looked thin, weak, and exhausted. And some of them were invalids, drained of color and borne on stretchers.

But among the returning soldiers there was one company of cheerful men. They were always singing, even difficult pieces in several parts and they sang very well. When they disembarked at Yokosuka the people who came to greet them were astonished. Everyone asked if they had received extra rations, since they seemed so happy.

These men had had no extra rations, but had practiced choral singing throughout the Burma campaign. Their captain, a young musician fresh from music school, had enthusiastically taught his soldiers how to sing. It was singing that kept up their morale through boredom or hardship and that bound them together in friendship and discipline during the long war years. Without it, they would never have come home in remarkable high spirits.

Michio Takeyama 

Men are apt to prefer a prosperous error before an afflicted truth.

Jeremy Taylor

Secondhand booksellers are the most friendly and most eccentric of all the characters I have known. If I had not been a writer, theirs would have been the profession I would most happily have chosen.

Graham Greene

Reading in Wartime

by Edwin Muir

Boswell by my bed,
Tolstoy on my table;
Thought the world has bled
For four and a half years,
And wives’ and mothers’ tears
Collected would be able
To water a little field
Untouched by anger and blood,
A penitential yield
Somewhere in the world;
Though in each latitude
Armies like forest fall,
The iniquitous and the good
Head over heels hurled,
And confusion over all:
Boswell’s turbulent friend
And his deafening verbal strife,
Ivan Ilych’s death
Tell me more about life,
The meaning and the end
Of our familiar breath,
Both being personal,
Than all the carnage can,
Retrieve the shape of man,
Lost and anonymous,
Tell me wherever I look
That not one soul can die
Of this or any clan
Who is not one of us
And has a personal tie
Perhaps to someone now
Searching an ancient book,
Folk-tale or country song
In many and many a tongue,
To find the original face,
The individual soul,
The eye, the lip, the brow
For ever gone from their place,
And gather an image whole.

Book List:

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

The Harp of Burma by Michio Takeyama 

Holy Living by Jeremy Taylor

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

P. G. Wodehouse

A Modest Proposal by Jonathon Swift

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The Dubliners by James Joyce

The Works of Lord Byron: Letters and Journals by Lord Byron

Selected Letters by Jane Austen

Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vere Hodgson

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 02, 2021
Episode 80: Why Read Old Books
01:28:26

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks discuss the importance of reading old books. They begin the conversation by addressing head on the idea that old books are irrelevant. They touch on the fact that when we use the phrase “old books” we mean not just any piece of literature from the past, but those which have stood the test of time.

Don’t forget to check out our brand new podcast, which has its very own feed, The Well Read Poem. The House of Humane Letters spring classes are opening for registration, so head over there to check out what is coming up!

Commonplace Quotes:

So, when his Folly opens
The unnecessary hells,
A Servant when He Reigneth
Throws the blame on some one else.

Rudyard Kipling

I am informed by philologists that the “rise to power” of these two words, “problem” and “solution” as the dominating terms of public debate, is an affair of the last two centuries, and especially of the nineteenth, having synchronised, so they say, with a parallel “rise to power” of the word “happiness”—for reasons which doubtless exist and would be interesting to discover. Like “happiness”, our two terms “problem” and “solution” are not to be found in the Bible—a point which gives to that wonderful literature a singular charm and cogency. . . . On the whole, the influence of these words is malign, and becomes increasingly so. They have deluded poor men with Messianic expectations . . . which are fatal to steadfast persistence in good workmanship and to well-doing in general. . . . Let the valiant citizen never be ashamed to confess that he has no “solution of the social problem” to offer to his fellow-men. Let him offer them rather the service of his skill, his vigilance, his fortitude and his probity. For the matter in question is not, primarily, a “problem”, nor the answer to it a “solution”.

L. P. Jacks, Stevenson Lectures

Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past. Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that the basic assumptions have been quite different in different periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fashion. A man who has lived in many places is not likely to be deceived by the local errors of his native village; the scholar has lived in many times and is therefore in some degree immune from the great cataract of nonsense that pours from the press and the microphone of his own age.

C. S. Lewis

To Walter de la Mare

by T. S. Elliot

The children who explored the brook and found
A desert island with a sandy cove
(A hiding place, but very dangerous ground,

For here the water buffalo may rove,
The kinkajou, the mungabey, abound
In the dark jungle of a mango grove,

And shadowy lemurs glide from tree to tree –
The guardians of some long-lost treasure-trove)
Recount their exploits at the nursery tea

And when the lamps are lit and curtains drawn
Demand some poetry, please. Whose shall it be,
At not quite time for bed?…

Or when the lawn
Is pressed by unseen feet, and ghosts return
Gently at twilight, gently go at dawn,
The sad intangible who grieve and yearn;

When the familiar is suddenly strange
Or the well known is what we yet have to learn,
And two worlds meet, and intersect, and change;

When cats are maddened in the moonlight dance,
Dogs cower, flitter bats, and owls range
At witches’ sabbath of the maiden aunts;

When the nocturnal traveller can arouse
No sleeper by his call; or when by chance
An empty face peers from an empty house;

By whom, and by what means, was this designed?
The whispered incantation which allows
Free passage to the phantoms of the mind?

By you; by those deceptive cadences
Wherewith the common measure is refined;
By conscious art practised with natural ease;

By the delicate, invisible web you wove –
The inexplicable mystery of sound.

Book List:

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 26, 2021
Episode 79: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
01:39:41

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts explore the popular Agatha Christie mystery novel, Death on the Nile. This discussion will contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read or listened to the book yet, stop this episode! But before we get to the book chat, we want to announce that our brand new The Well Read Poem podcast is now live! Also, head over to HouseofHumaneLetters.com to check out the Winter Webinar Series and Kelly Cumbee’s class on King Lear.

Angelina, Cindy and Thomas begin the book discussion with a comparison of the authors known as the “Queens of Crime.” They also talk about the form of detective novels and how Christie in particular plays with the form to keep readers on their toes. Thomas notes the similarities between Death on the Nile with Henry James’ novel The Wings of the Dove. In addition to covering the plot of the story, our hosts walk us through the ways in which Christie writes in order to keep us guessing.

If you haven’t heard it before, please go and listen to Episode 3: The Importance of the Detective Novel.

Commonplace Quotes:

The sacrifices of friendship were beautiful in her eyes as long as she was not asked to make them.

Saki (pen name of H. H. Munro)

Pious worshipers, whether or mortal or immortal artists, do their deities little honor by treating their incarnations as something too sacred for rough handling. They only succeed in betraying a fear lest the structure should prove flimsy or false.

Dorothy Sayers

“Once I went professionally to an archæological expedition–and I learnt something there. In the course of an excavation, when something comes up out of the ground, everything is cleared away very carefully all around it. You take away the loose earth, and you scrape here and there with a knife until finally your object is there, all alone, ready to be drawn and photographed with no extraneous matter confusing it. That is what I have been seeking to do–clear away the extraneous matter so that we can see the truth–the naked shining truth.”

Hercule Poirot, Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

When We First Met

by Robert Bridges

When first we met, we did not guess
That Love would prove so hard a master;
Of more than common friendliness
When first we met we did not guess.
Who could foretell the sore distress,
This irretrievable disaster,
When first we met? -- We did not guess
That Love would prove so hard a master.

Book List:

Beasts and Super-Beasts by Saki (H. H. Munro)

The Toys of Peace by Saki

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy Sayers

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

Ngaio Marsh

Margery Allingham

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

Leave It to Psmith by P. G. Wodehouse

Tim Powers

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 19, 2021
Episode 78: The Literary Life of Thomas Banks
01:38:57

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are excited to delve into the literary life of the mysterious Mr. Banks! But before we get started, we do want to let you know that we have posted the reading schedule for January-March, and you can view it on our Upcoming Events page. Also, Blue Sky Daisies Publishing is running a fun contest for kids involving our new Commonplace Books, so you will want to head over to their website and check that out! Finally, be looking out for The Well Read Poem podcast coming to a podcast app near you on January 18, 2021!

Cindy begins the interview asking Thomas about his family background and the influence of his parents on his own reading life. He shares about many of the books he loved in childhood and how that shaped his tastes in literature. He also talks about how he approached school learning as opposed to his personal reading. Angelina asks Thomas to tell about how he fell in love with poetry and how he ended up going to college even though that was not his original goal. He also shares more about his reading as an adult, as well as his habit of commonplacing quotations.

Commonplace Quotes:

…but I was glad to sing again too; it had been a greater loss that I realized in that particular wintering which saw the waning of my voice. It wasn’t about the vanity of being able to trill out a fine song; it was about the joy of singing for its own sake.

Katherine Ma

Michael explains to Adam in the last book of Milton’s Paradise Lost, that tyranny exists in human society because every individual in such a society is a tyrant within himself, or at least is if he conforms acceptably to his social surroundings.

Northrup Frye

The Gods that are wiser than Learning

But kinder than Life have made sure

No mortal may boast in the morning

That even will find him secure.

 

from “A Rector’s Memory” by Rudyard Kipling

Time, Real and Imaginary

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

On the wide level of a mountain’s head,
(I knew not where, but ’twas some faery place)
Their pinions, ostrich-like, for sails out-spread,
Two lovely children run an endless race,
A sister and a brother !
This far outstripp’d the other ;
Yet ever runs she with reverted face,
And looks and listens for the boy behind :
For he, alas! is blind!
O’er rough and smooth with even step he passed,
And knows not whether he be first or last.

Book List:

Wintering by Katherine May

The Double Vision by Northrup Frye

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

Beatrix Potter books

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Oxford Book of Children’s Verse

Praeterita by John Ruskin

The Golden Treasury of Myths and Legends

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

The Saga of the Volsungs by Anonymous

The Adventures of Tintin by Herge

Encyclopedia Brown by Donald J. Sobol

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Rifles for Watie by Harold Keith

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott

Julius Caesar by Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by Shakespeare

The Complete Poems of John Keats

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Hardy the Novelist by David Cecil

The James Bond Dossier by Kingsley Amis

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Mishima

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 12, 2021
Episode 77: Our Literary Lives of 2020
01:35:06

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we are bringing you our year end review of our own reading lives. Angelina kicks off the conversation by asking Thomas and Cindy how they would describe their reading lives this year. They talk about their favorites and highlights in books this year, as well as a few books that fell flat for them in 2020. They share about some authors they had not read before that they enjoyed this year. Finally, they tell us how they did with their own 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge lists.

Don’t forget to check out the upcoming reading challenge for next year, the Literary Life 19 Books for 2021 challenge! If you missed it, you will want to go back and listen to the previous episode full of ideas for each challenge category. Also, there is still time to order Literary Life Commonplace Books before the new year and begin recording your plans, progress, and favorite quotations!

Commonplace Quotes:

Our fathers find their graves in our short memories and sadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors.

Thomas Browne

“But, my, my! We don’t learn easy!” he chuckled mournfully. “Not to learn how to live till we’re about ready to die, it certainly seems to me dang tough!”. . . “But, papa,” she said, to console him, “don’t you think maybe there isn’t such a thing as a ‘finish’, after all! You say perhaps we don’t learn to live till we die, but maybe that’s how it is after we die, too–just learning some more, the way we do here, and maybe through trouble again, even after that.”

Booth Tarkington

Charlotte Mason says that books are one way that we grow, not for ourselves, but beyond ourselves. Where does she suggest we start? Here’s her list of suitable “Instructors of Conscience”:
1.Poetry, preferably spending time with one poet 2. Shakespeare’s plays 3. Novels, with characters who “become our mentors or our warnings” 4. Ever-delightful essayists 5. History, including ancient history 6. Philosophy, to allow reason to work upon knowledge 7. Theology, including the Bible 8. The things of nature 9. Science, so that “we no longer conduct ourselves in this world of wonders like a gaping rustic at a fair” (p. 101) 10. Art, approached “with the modest intention to pay a debt…” 11. Sociology and Self-Knowledge
Our aim is not to become know-it-alls, but rather to gain a sense of the Ought in all this, why we owe it to God and to the world to become people who observe carefully and think clearly, “with gentle, large, and humble thoughts.” And the ultimate result is not graduation, but gratitude, to the One who created “the beauty, glory, and fitness above our heads and about our feet and surrounding us on every side!”

Anne White

Ring Out, Wild Bells

by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

Urn Burial by Thomas Browne

Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington

Honest, Simple Souls: An Advent Meditation with Charlotte Mason by Anne White

Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliott Chaze

Cover Her Face by P. D. James

Margery Allingham

Ngaio Marsh

Towards Zero by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Range by David Epstein

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer

Poet’s Corner ed. by John Lithgow

The Year of Our Lord 1943 by Alan Jacobs

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

Taras Bulba by Nikolai Gogol

The Stricken Deer by Lord David Cecil

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Stephen Fry’s Greek Myths series

The Centre of Hilarity by Michael Mason

The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

Tenebrae by Geoffrey Hill

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Circe by Madeline Miller

G. R. Stirling Taylor

William Morris by Alfred Noyes

The Devil Takes a Holiday by Alfred Noyes

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amos

Terry Pratchett

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima

Saving the Appearances by Owen Barfield

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Four Quartets by T. S. Elliot

Good Things Out of Nazareth by Flannery O’Connor

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 22, 2020
Episode 76: The Literary Life 19 Books in 2021 Reading Challenge
01:30:05

Today on the podcast, your hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks take a deep dive into the Literary Life 19 Books for 2021 challenge! This episode is full of ideas and book suggestions to help inspire your #LitLife192021 reading, so be sure to scroll down in your podcast app to view the comprehensive book link list! They not only give reasons behind each category and suggests for the adult reading challenge, but many titles for the kids’ version of the challenge, as well!

Also, don’t forget that our Literary Life Commonplace Books are now available to order via Amazon! These high quality journals are perfect for recording what you are reading, as well as all your favorite quotes, and we have both adult and children’s versions. Our publisher, Blue Sky Daisies, is providing us with a fun giveaway, so head over to their Facebook page, our Facebook group, or our Instagram to find the social media image to share and find all the details!

Cindy’s List of Literature of Honor for Boys

Cindy’s List of Books for Fortitude linked at The Redeemed Reader

Commonplace Quotes:

In anything that can be called art, there is a quality of redemption.

Raymond Chandler

The right teacher would have his pupil easy to please, but ill to satisfy; ready to enjoy, unready to embrace; keen to discover beauty, slow to say, “Here I will dwell.”

George MacDonald

It is difficult for a moneylender to grow old gracefully

David Mathew

Christ’s Nativity

by Henry Vaughan

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

Book List:

The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

The Great Tudors ed. by Katharine Garvin

The Oxford Book of English Verse ed. by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch

The Classic Hundred Poems ed. by William Harmon

The Top 500 Poems ed. by William Harmon

Letters to An American Lady by C. S. Lewis

Selected Letters of Jane Austen ed. by Vivien Jones

Lord Chesterfield’s Letters ed. by David Roberts

The Habit of Being by Flannery O’Connor

The Iliad by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer

D’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar D’Aulaire

Mythology by Edith Hamilton

Metamorphoses by Ovid

Heroes by Stephen Fry

Mythos by Stephen Fry

From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun

The Educated Imagination by Northrup Frye

Silas Marner by George Eliot

The Warden by Anthony Trollope

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Leaf by Niggle by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad

The Shooting Party by Anton Chekov

Kristen Lavrensdatter Trilogy by Sigrid Undset

The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell

Milton by Rose Macaulay

Chaucer by G. K. Chesterton

Churchill by Paul Johnson

Napoleon by Paul Johnson

The Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne

Joseph Pearce

The Narnian by Alan Jacobs

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

The Chosen by Chaim Potok

The Natural by Bernard Malamud

The Brothers K by David James Duncan

Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

A Distant Mirror by Barbara Tuchman

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas Á Kempis

Edmund Burke

Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis

Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt

The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Macaulay

Imaginary Conversations by Walter Savage Landor

Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

P. G. Wodehouse

Gerald Durrell

A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger

The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz

Paul Thoreau

Travels with a Donkey by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

What I Saw in America by G. K. Chesterton

The History of the Second Boer War by Winston Churchill

The Heroes by Charles Kingsley

A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Tanglewood Tales by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Children of Odin Padraic Colum

Diane Stanley

Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling

Men of Iron by Howard Pyle

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kate Douglas Wiggin

E. B. White

Betsy-Tacy Treasury by Maud Hart Lovelace

All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Opal Wheeler

American Tall Tales by Adrian Stoutenberg

Black Ships Before Troy by Rosemary Sutcliff

The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum

The Golden Fleece by Padraic Colum

The Tale of Troy by Roger Lancelyn Green

Tales from the Odyssey by Mary Pope Osborne

Encyclopedia Brown series by Donald J. Sobol

Boxcar Children series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Detectives in Togas by Henry Winterfield

The Adventures of Tin-tin by Hergé

The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle

The Adventures of Robin Hood by Roger Lancelyn Green

King Arthur Trilogy by Rosemary Sutcliff

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E. Nesbit

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 15, 2020
Episode 75: Phantastes, Ch. 20-End
01:19:31

This week on The Literary Life podcast, we wrap up our series on George MacDonald’s Phantastes. Today Angelina, Cindy and Thomas discuss chapters 20-25. Thomas opens the conversations giving his impressions of the ending of this fantasy. Angelina talks more about the symbolism of death and rebirth, as well as the themes of the quest, the shadow self, and the presence of more dual images. Cindy shares some of her thoughts on this reading as well as the moment she first read the ending passages of this book.

Don’t forget to check out the upcoming reading challenge for next year, the Literary Life 19 Books for 2021 challenge! We will be back next time with an episode full of ideas and book suggestions to help inspire your #LitLife192021 reading. Also, we are pleased to be bringing you Literary Life Commonplace Books, perfect for recording what you are reading, as well as all your favorite quotes.

Commonplace Quotes:

People say that life is the things, but I prefer reading.

Logan Pearsall Smith

A great public position may create false values, endow its holder with gifts that are not his own, and make a great philosopher out of a corrupt lawyer.

Alfred Noye

And yet there are people who say that Shakespeare always means “just what he says”!…He thinks that to find over and undermeanings in Shakespeare’s plays is to take unwarranted liberties with them is like a man who holds the word “spring” must refer only to a particular period of the year and could not possibly mean birth, or youth, or hope. He is a man who has never associated anything with anything else. He is a man without metaphors. And such a man is not man at all, let alone a poet.

Harold Goddard

Joseph

by G. K. Chesterton

If the stars fell; night’s nameless dreams
Of bliss and blasphemy came true,
If skies were green and snow were gold,
And you loved me as I love you;

O long light hands and curled brown hair,
And eyes where sits a naked soul;
Dare I even then draw near and burn
My fingers in the aureole?

Yes, in the one wise foolish hour
God gives this strange strength to a man.
He can demand, though not deserve,
Where ask he cannot, seize he can.

But once the blood’s wild wedding o’er,
Were not dread his, half dark desire,
To see the Christ-child in the cot,
The Virgin Mary by the fire?

Book List:

Two Worlds for Memory by Alfred Noyes

The Meaning of Shakespeare by Harold Goddard

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

The Freedom of Self Forgetfulness by Timothy Keller

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 08, 2020
Episode 74: Phantastes, Ch. 15-19
01:27:27

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our series on George MacDonald’s Phantastes continues. Today Angelina and Cindy discuss chapters 15-19. But before they get started, they announce the upcoming reading challenge for next year, the Literary Life 19 Books for 2021 challenge! Also, we are pleased to be bringing you Literary Life Commonplace Books, perfect for recording what you are reading, as well as all your favorite quotes.

Angelina and Cindy open the book discussion with the idea of the “other world” structure in fantasy writing, as well as how influential MacDonald was on writers who came after him. They also go in depth with the concept of the Holy Spirit as the originator of creative thought in conjunction with MacDonald’s thoughts on the imagination. Angelina gets excited about the metaphorical descent into Hades in this section of the book. She and Cindy talk about the importance of the hope of redemption, the platonic ideal versus reality, and learning to let go instead of grasp at things. They also return to the idea of true education being noble unrest introduced in last week’s episode.

Don’t forget to check out the Advent and Christmas resources our hosts have ready for your holiday season. As mentioned before, Cindy’s new edition of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah is available now, and it is not to late to start if you purchase the Kindle version. Check our CindyRollins.net for more information. Also, Thomas and Angelina have a sale going on for an Advent Bundle of their popular webinars, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and The Poetry of Advent. Additionally, Kelly Cumbee will be teaching a webinar series called “Seeking the Discarded Image: Nature.”

Commonplace Quotes:

Thomas Merton recognized at once when he wrote in his journal for July 18, 1964, “I began it this morning, studying it as a tract on monastic life, the myth of pilgrimage, the quest for the impossible island, the earthly paradise, the ultimate ideal,” for it is above all liturgical prayer and liturgical time that provide the structure of the journey as it unfolds around the two key anchor points: the Easter cycle, spent in the environs of the island of sheep, and the Christmas cycle with the monastic community of Alba.

Esther de Waal

I never could believe that a man who did not find God in other places, as well as in the Bible, ever found Him there at all. To find God in other books enables us to see clearly that He is more in the Bible than in any other book or in all books put together.

George MacDonald

Nightingales

by Robert Bridges

Beautiful must be the mountains whence ye come,
    And bright in the fruitful valleys the streams, wherefrom
                        Ye learn your song:
Where are those starry woods? O might I wander there,
    Among the flowers, which in that heavenly air
                        Bloom the year long!

    Nay, barren are those mountains and spent the streams:
    Our song is the voice of desire, that haunts our dreams,
                        A throe of the heart,
Whose pining visions dim, forbidden hopes profound,
    No dying cadence nor long sigh can sound,
                        For all our art.

    Alone, aloud in the raptured ear of men
    We pour our dark nocturnal secret; and then,
                        As night is withdrawn
From these sweet-springing meads and bursting boughs of May,
    Dream, while the innumerable choir of day
                        Welcome the dawn.

Book List:W

The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther De Waal

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood by George MacDonald

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

The Mind of the Maker by Dorothy L. Sayers

Parents and Children by Charlotte Mason

Adam Bede by George Eliot

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 01, 2020
Episode 73: Phantastes, Ch. 10-14
01:31:32

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks continue their series on George MacDonald’s Phantastes, covering chapters 10-14. Angelina and Thomas open the book chat talking about disorientation and how MacDonald is using the mirror images to help us enter into Anados’ feelings. Some of the topics covered in these chapters are disenchantment and demystifying the world, the child of mysterious origin, seeing and not seeing, romanticism and the dark imagination.

Don’t forget to check out the Advent and Christmas resources our hosts have ready for your holiday season. As mentioned before, Cindy’s new edition of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah is available now, and you can access the replay of her special live event if you visit her website. Check our CindyRollins.net for more information. Also, Thomas and Angelina have a sale going on for an Advent Bundle of their popular webinars, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and The Poetry of Advent. Additionally, Kelly Cumbee will be teaching a webinar series called “Seeking the Discarded Image: Nature.”

Commonplace Quotes:

He extended the boundaries of the world, but he never shifted its center.

Alfred Noyes

"Absolute attention is prayer." When May Sarton quoted those words of Simone Weil in her journal, she went on to say, "I have used that sentence often in talking about poetry to students, to suggest that if one looks long enough at almost anything, looks with absolute attention at a flower, a stone, the bark of a tree, grass, snow, a cloud, something like revelation takes place. Something is given."

Simone Weil, May Sarton, Esther de Waal

For repose is not the end of education; its end is a noble unrest, an ever renewed awaking from the dead, a ceaseless questioning of the past for the interpretation of the future, an urging on the motions of life, which had better far be accelerated into fever, then retarded into lethargy.

George MacDonald

The Palm and the Pine

by Heinrich Heine

Beneath an Indian palm a girl
Of other blood reposes;
Her cheek is clear and pale as pearl
Amid that wild of roses.

Beside a northern pine a boy
Is leaning fancy-bound.
Nor listens where with noisy joy
Awaits the impatient hound.

Cool grows the sick and feverish calm,
Relaxed the frosty twine.–
The pine-tree dreameth of the palm,
The palm-tree of the pine.

As soon shall nature interlace
Those dimly-visioned boughs,
As these young lovers face to face
Renew their early vows.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

William Morris by Alfred Noyes

The Well at the World’s End by William Morris

The Celtic Way of Prayer by Esther De Waal

The Imagination: Its Functions and Its Culture by George MacDonald

William Morris Textiles Coloring Book

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams

The Four Men by Hilaire Belloc

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carol

The Arabian Nights translated by Sir Richard Burton

The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Goethe

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 24, 2020
Episode 72: Phantastes, Ch. 5-9
01:19:19

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast and the second episode of our series on George MacDonald's Phantastes, covering chapters 5-9. Angelina and Thomas kick off the book chat sharing some thoughts on the Duessa-type character in this section. Cindy mentions the connection she made to James Russell Lowell's poem, "The Vision of Sir Launfal." They go on to discuss the parallels between this section and the Pygmalion myth. Other mythological references abound throughout the story, as we will see. Our hosts go deep exploring the themes of deception, the fall, doppelgangers and spiritual death in these chapters.

Don’t forget to check out the Advent and Christmas resources our hosts have ready for your holiday season. As mentioned before, Cindy’s new edition of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah is available now, and she has a live celebration even happening on November 19, 2020. Check our CindyRollins.net for more information. Also, Thomas and Angelina have a sale going on for an Advent Bundle of their popular webinars, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and The Poetry of Advent. Additionally, Kelly Cumbee will be teaching a webinar series called “Seeking the Discarded Image: Nature.”

Be back next week when we will cover chapters 10-14. Remember to join the discussion in our Literary Life Discussion Group.

Commonplace Quotes:

A person reveals his character by nothing so clearly as the joke he resents.

Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

School isn’t supposed to be a polite form of incarceration, but a portal to the wider world.

Richard Louv

Milton’s point in Paradise Lost is that free man can be instructed only by the non-compulsive forms, whether vision, parable, or drama. Hence Paradise Lost is a series of interlocking visions, Adam warned by the cathartic contrapuntal vision of satanic fall, and fall through vision of Eve. To fall is to choose an illusion, not a wrong reason.

Northrup Frye

When I have Fears That I May Cease to Be

by John Keats

When I have fears that I may cease to be 
   Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, 
Before high-pilèd books, in charactery, 
   Hold like rich garners the full ripened grain; 
When I behold, upon the night’s starred face, 
   Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, 
And think that I may never live to trace 
   Their shadows with the magic hand of chance; 
And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, 
   That I shall never look upon thee more, 
Never have relish in the faery power 
   Of unreflecting love—then on the shore 
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think 
Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv

Notebooks on Renaissance Literature by Northrup Frye

The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carol

Undine by Friedrich de la Motte Fouquée

Faust (Parts One and Two) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 17, 2020
Episode 71: Phantastes, Ch. 1-4
01:32:16

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast and the beginning of our series on George MacDonald’s Phantastes. Before our hosts, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas begin the book chat, though, we wanted to let you know about some Advent and Christmas resources ready for the upcoming holiday season. As mentioned before, Cindy’s new edition of Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah is available now. Also, Thomas and Angelina have a sale going on for an Advent Bundle of their popular webinars, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and The Poetry of Advent.

Cindy shares a little about her past reading of many of MacDonald’s books and the effect they had on her. Angelina and Cindy also give some pertinent biographical information about MacDonald and put him in his Victorian context. Angelina brings out the connections between Spenser’s The Faerie Queene and MacDonald’s Phantastes, including the questing element. In answer to Cindy’s question about the German word “Maerchen”, Thomas shares some ideas about what sorts of stories are included in that term.

In this discussion, Angelina points out all the big themes of fairy tales and stories in general that we see right away in this story. Cindy highlights the role of the grandmother in this and other MacDonald stories. In light of the Faerie Queene connections, Thomas wonders if there will be a true woman and a false woman in this story. Angelina and Cindy go on to explore so many more of the ideas and themes presented in these chapters. Be back next week for chapters 5-9.

Commonplace Quotes:

There is no truth, however overpowering and clear, but men may escape from it by shutting their eyes.

Cardinal John Henry Newman

Hurry is a sort of violence on the soul.

John Mark Comer

I should have been shocked in my teens if anyone had told me that what I learned to love in Phantastes was goodness. But now that I know, I there was no deception. The deception is all the other way round–in that prosaic moralism which confines goodness to the region of Law and Duty, which never lets us feel in our face the sweet air blowing from “the land of righteousness,” never reveals that elusive Form which if once seen mus inevitably be desire with all but sensuous desire–the thing (in Sappho’s phrase) “more gold than gold.”

C. S. Lewis

Maerchen

by Walter de la Mare

Soundless the moth-flit, crisp the death-watch tick;
Crazed in her shaken arbour bird did sing;
Slow wreathed the grease adown from soot-clogged wick:
The Cat looked long and softly at the King.

Mouse frisked and scampered, leapt, gnawed, squeaked;
Small at the window looped cowled bat a-wing;
The dim-lit rafters with the night-mist reeked:
The Cat looked long and softly at the King.

O wondrous robe enstarred, in night dyed deep:
O air scarce-stirred with the Court’s far junketing:
O stagnant Royalty — A-swoon? Asleep?
The Cat looked long and softly at the King.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

The Princess and The Goblin by George MacDonald

Lilith by George MacDonald

Hallelujah by Cindy Rollins

The Christmas Stories and Poems of George MacDonald by George MacDonald

The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer

George MacDonald by C. S. Lewis

The Diary of an Old Soul by George MacDonald

At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Adam Bede by George Eliot

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

The Purple Island by Phineas Fletcher

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 10, 2020
Episode 70: Why Read Fairy Tales?
01:28:57

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins tackle the topic of fairy stories, discussing the what, why and how of reading them. Angelina shares the distinctive characteristics of fairy stories in contrast to other types of stories, such as myths. They deal with the question of whether fairy tales are “escapist”, the influence of the Grimm brothers scholarly work on interpreting fairy stories, and allowing the story to unveil its deeper truths without forcing meaning onto it.

Angelina gives an illustration of how to see the gospel messages in fairy tales by talking us through the story of Sleeping Beauty. She refutes the ideas that fairy tales are about human romance or are misogynistic. She also highlights some of the Enlightenment and Puritan responses to fairy tales that still linger with us today. Cindy and Angelina also discuss some common concerns such as the magical, weird, or scary aspects of fairy tales. Angelina also makes a distinction between folk tales, literary fairy tales, and cautionary tales.

Be sure to be back next week for the beginning of our series on George MacDonald’s Phantastes.

Commonplace Quotes:

After a certain kind of sherry party, where there have been cataracts of culture but never on word or one glance that suggested a real enjoyment of any art, any person, or any natural object, my heart warms to the schoolboy on the bus who is reading Fantasy and Science Fiction rapt and oblivious of all the world beside. 

C. S. Lewis

Children are not deceived by fairy tales. They are often and gravely deceived by school stories. Adults are not deceived by science fiction. They can be deceived by stories in women’s magazines.

C. S. Lewis

Both fairy stories and realistic stories engage in wish fulfillment, but it is actually the realistic stories that are more deadly. Fairy stories do awaken desires in children, but most often it is not a desire for the fairy world itself. Most children don’t really want there to be dragons in modern England. Instead, the desire is for they know not what. This desire for something beyond does not empty the real world, but actually gives it new depths. He does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods. The reading makes all real woods a little enchanted.

C. S. Lewis

Ancient History

by Siegfried Sassoon

Adam, a brown old vulture in the rain,   
Shivered below his wind-whipped olive-trees;  
Huddling sharp chin on scarred and scraggy knees,  
He moaned and mumbled to his darkening brain;  
‘He was the grandest of them all—was Cain!   
‘A lion laired in the hills, that none could tire;  
‘Swift as a stag; a stallion of the plain,
‘Hungry and fierce with deeds of huge desire.’

Grimly he thought of Abel, soft and fair—
A lover with disaster in his face,
And scarlet blossom twisted in bright hair.  
‘Afraid to fight; was murder more disgrace? …
‘God always hated Cain’ … He bowed his head—
The gaunt wild man whose lovely sons were dead.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

The World’s Last Night by C. S. Lewis

An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

“On Three Ways of Writing for Children” by C. S. Lewis

The Princess and The Goblin by George MacDonald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 03, 2020
Episode 69: The Literary Life of Wendi Capehart
01:35:09

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts Angelina and Cindy chat with Cindy’s longtime friend and, according to her, the “smartest woman on the internet,” Wendi Capehart. Wendi is an adventurous mom of many and has lived throughout Asia. Now she lives the life of an at home librarian caring for her disabled daughter and spending time with her 15 grandchildren. She also serves on the AmblesideOnline Advisory board.

Angelina starts off the conversation asking Wendi about her reading life beginning with her childhood memories of reading. Wendi talks a little about how books helped her survive and heal from the trauma of living in an abusive situation. They also discuss what the difference was for Wendi in leisurely reading and reading for school. Wendi shares some of the reasons she began homeschooling her own children, as well, and how she kept reading voraciously even after she became a mother.

Angelina and Wendi talk about the brain and changing your reading habits to digest and enjoy more challenging books. Wendi shares how she built a library while one a military budget and moving frequently. They talked about too many things to mention in this summary, but you can scroll down for the many book titles mentioned in this episode!

Commonplace Quotes:

“We’re all fools,” said Clemens, “all the time. It’s just we’re a different kind each day. We think, I’m not a fool today. I’ve learned my lesson. I was a fool yesterday but not this morning. Then tomorrow we find out that, yes, we were a fool today too. I think the only way we can grow and get on in this world is to accept the fact we’re not perfect and live accordingly.”

Ray Bradbury

Where science does not teach a child to wonder and admire it has perhaps no educative value.

Charlotte Mason

Now the story of Christ is simply a true myth, a myth working on us in the same way as the others, but with tremendous difference–that it really happened–and one must be content to accept it in the same way, remembering that it is God’s myth, where the others are men’s myths. That is, the pagan stories are God expressing himself through the minds of poets, using such images as he found there, while Christianity is God expressing Himself through real things.

C. S. Lewis

If Only I Were King

by A. A. Milne

I often wish I were a King,
And then I could do anything.

If only I were King of Spain,
I’d take my hat off in the rain.

If only I were King of France,
I wouldn’t brush my hair for aunts.

I think, if I were King of Greece,
I’d push things off the mantelpiece.

If I were King of Norroway,
I’d ask an elephant to stay.

If I were King of Babylon,
I’d leave my button gloves undone.

If I were King of Timbuctoo,
I’d think of lovely things to do.

If I were King of anything,
I’d tell the soldiers, “I’m the King!”

Book List:

The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury

Towards a Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs

Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

Gene Stratton Porter

The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

Jane Austen

The Little Prince by Antione de Saint-Exupéry

The Sea Around Us by Rachel Carson

The Heroes by Charles Kingsley

The Water-Babies by Charles Kingsley

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham

Kim by Rudyard Kipling

The Chestry Oak by Kate Seredy

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

The Rescuers by Marjorie Sharp

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

Booth Tarkington

Ben Hur by Lew Wallace

The Bears of Blue River by Charles Major

Thornton W. Burgess

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 20, 2020
Episode 68: Til We Have Faces, Pt. 2, Ch. 1-4
01:38:34

This week on The Literary Life Podcast we have our final installment of the series on C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece Til We Have Faces. This week, our hosts finish up with Part 2, Chapters 1-4. Opening the conversation, Angelina shares some of her feelings on just having finished the book. She points out the importance of understanding the Cupid and Psyche myth. Cindy brings up the concept of a “sin-eater” in relation to Orual’s taking on of Psyche’s trials.

They talk about the ways in which Orual begins to see more clearly and remember things differently at this point in the story. The theme of selfish love versus self-sacrificing love comes full circle as the book closes. Orual’s symbolic death and rebirth are key topics, and the allusions to Christ and the Gospel throughout this story are truly exciting.

Join us next week for a special interview with Wendi Capehart on her literary life!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

I can’t say I learned nothing, at St. Charles Borromeo. I learned bladder control; which is good for women, useful in later life. The second thing I learned was that I had got almost everything terribly wrong.

Hilary Mantel

We read Dante for his poetry and not for his theology because we have already met the theology elsewhere.

W. H. Auden

In the twinkling of an eye, in a time too small to be measured, and in any place, all that seems to divide us from God can flee away, vanish, leaving us naked before Him, like the first man, like the only man, as if nothing but He and I existed. And since that contact cannot be avoided for long, and since it means either bliss or horror, the business of life is to learn to like it. That is the first and greatest commandment.

C. S. Lewis

from “Autumn Journal”

by Louis Macneice

In a week I return to work, lecturing, coaching,
As impresario of the Ancient Greeks
Who wore the chiton and lived on fish and olives
And talked philosophy or smut in cliques;
Who believed in youth and did not gloze the unpleasant
Consequences of age;
What is life, one said, or what is pleasant
Once you have turned the page
Of love?
The days grow worse, the dice are loaded
Against the living man who pays in tears for breath;
Never to be born was the best, call no man happy
This side death.
Conscious – long before Engels – of necessity
And therein free
They plotted out their life with truism and humour
Between the jealous heaven and the callous sea.
And Pindar sang the garland of wild olive
And Alcibiades lived from hand to mouth
Double-crossing Athens, Persia, Sparta,
And many died in the city of plague, and many of drouth
In Sicilian quarries, and many by the spear and arrow
And many more who told their lies too late
Caught in the eternal factions and reactions
Of the city state.
And free speech shivered on the pikes of Macedonia
And later on the swords of Rome
And Athens became a mere university city,
And the goddess born of the foam
Became the kept hetaera, heroine of Menander,
And the philosopher narrowed his focus, confined
His efforts to putting his own soul in order
And keeping a quiet mind.
And for a thousand years they went on talking,
Making such apt remarks,
A race no longer of heroes but of professors
And crooked business men and secretaries and clerks
Who turned out dapper little elegiac verses
On the ironies of fate, the transience of all
Affections, carefully shunning the over-statement
But working the dying fall.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Hallelujah by Cindy Rollins

Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoire by Hilary Mantel

The Dyer’s Hand by W. H. Auden

The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs

Descent into Hell by Charles Williams

The Private Memoires and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 13, 2020
Episode 67: Til We Have Faces, Ch. 16-21
01:17:56

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast! This week, our hosts are covering chapters 16-21 of C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece Til We Have Faces. Also, to celebrate Cindy’s re-release of her book Hallelujah: Cultivating Advent Traditions with Handel’s Messiah, she is doing a social media giveaway over the next four weeks. To enter to win a copy, post about the book release with hashtag #hallelujahadvent.

They begin the conversation about Til We Have Faces with an examination of Lewis’ personal journey and its similarity to Orual’s own in this story. This opens up a discussion of education, Lewis’s schooling, and Charlotte Mason’s philosophy. Angelina then goes on to talk about the three types of veils worn by Orual, and Cindy and Thomas explore the idea of veils and their role in relationship and power. Orual’s friendships with Bardia and the Fox further highlight her continued blindness to her own disordered affections.

Join us next week for the last installment in our series on Til We Have Faces. The following episode will be a special interview with Wendi Capehart on her literary life!

Commonplace Quotes:

Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophesy, and religion. All is one.

John Ruskin

Since then I have always been addicted to something or other, usually something there’s no support group for. Semicolons, for instance, I can never give up for more than two hundred words at a time.

Hilary Mantel

The two hemispheres of my mind were in the sharpest contrast. On the one side, a many-islanded sea of poetry and myth; on the other, a glib and shallow “rationalism.” Nearly all that I loved, I believed to be imaginary. Nearly all that I believed to be real, I thought grim and meaningless.

C. S. Lewis

Moonlight

by Walter de la Mare

The far moon maketh lovers wise
In her pale beauty trembling down,
Lending curved cheeks, dark lips, dark eyes,
A strangeness not their own.
And, though they shut their lids to kiss,
In starless darkness peace to win,
Even on that secret world from this
Her twilight enters in.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Hallelujah by Cindy Rollins

Sesame and Lilies by John Ruskin

Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoire by Hilary Mantel

The Narnian: The Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Alan Jacobs

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Oct 06, 2020
Episode 66: Til We Have Faces, Ch. 12-15
01:15:44

Today on The Literary Life, our hosts discuss chapters 12-15 of C. S. Lewis' masterpiece Til We Have Faces. Don't forget that Thomas will be teaching a mini-class series on Shakespeare's Roman Plays in October. You can find out more and register at HouseofHumaneLetters.com. We are giving away one spot in the class to someone who shares about the class publicly on social media and tag it #houseofhumaneletters. The winner will be announced on October 2, 2020 on the House of Humane Letters Facebook page!

Angelina opens the discussions with the point that Lewis changes the story of Psyche throughout the book, especially in this section. Cindy shares how the last couple of chapters in this week's reading made her feel and the tension of wanting to choose sides. In these scenes, we see again the theme of disordered loves and the rift in the relationship between Orual and Psyche, as well as Orual's descent further into self-deception. Be back next time when we cover chapters 16-21.

Commonplace Quotes:

This is what I recommend to people who ask me how to get published. Trust your reader, stop spoon-feeding your reader, stop patronizing your reader, give your reader credit for being as smart as you at least, and stop being so bloody beguiling: you in the back row, will you turn off that charm. Stop constructing those piffling little similes of yours.

Hilary Mantel

He had an outstanding gift for attracting hatreds.

Rene Pichon

The first qualification for judging any piece of workmanship, from a corkscrew to a cathedral, is to know what it is–what it was intended to do and how it is meant to be used.

C. S. Lewis

The Laws of God, The Laws of Man

by A. E. Houseman

The laws of God, the laws of man,
He may keep that will and can;
Not I: let God and man decree
Laws for themselves and not for me;
And if my ways are not as theirs
Let them mind their own affairs.
Their deeds I judge and much condemn,
Yet when did I make laws for them?
Please yourselves, say I, and they
Need only look the other way.
But no, they will not; they must still
Wrest their neighbor to their will,
And make me dance as they desire
With jail and gallows and hell-fire.
And how am I to face the odds
Of man’s bedevilment and God’s?
I, a stranger and afraid
In a world I never made.
They will be master, right or wrong;
Though both are foolish, both are strong.
And since, my soul, we cannot fly
To Saturn nor to Mercury,
Keep we must, if keep we can,
These foreign laws of God and man.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

Giving Up the Ghost: A Memoire by Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

Paradise Lost by John Milton

God in the Dock by C. S. Lewis

The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 29, 2020
Episode 65: Til We Have Faces, Ch. 8-11
01:21:46

This week on The Literary Life, we continue our series on C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece Til We Have Faces, and our hosts discuss chapters 8-11 today. Before we get started, we want you to know there is still time to sign up for Cindy’s Morning Time Q&A on September 23. Register at CindyRollins.net today! Also, Thomas will be teaching a mini-class series on Shakespeare’s Roman Plays in October, and you can find out more and register at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Angelina starts off the conversation asking for everyone’s impressions of this section of reading, and Thomas and Cindy bring up the melancholy nature of much of this story. Themes discussed in this episode include: seeing and not seeing, reason’s response to faith, the dream motif, the similarities with the story of Iphigenia, baptism and crossing the river, and the ways relationships change over time. Another topic our hosts highlight is the tension between mysticism and rationalism and the truth that transcends the inadequacy of these.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

“Self-consciousness is a great barrier to faith.

A. B. Simpson

It is a mark of true folklore that even the tale that is evidently wild is eminently sane.

G. K. Chesterton

The poet’s job is not to tell you what happened, but what happens: not what did take place, but the kind of thing that always takes place.

Northrup Frye

Requiescat

by Matthew Arnold

Strew on her roses, roses,
And never a spray of yew!
In quiet she reposes;
Ah, would that I did too!

Her mirth the world required;
She bathed it in smiles of glee.
But her heart was tired, tired,
And now they let her be.

Her life was turning, turning,
In mazes of heat and sound.
But for peace her soul was yearning,
And now peace laps her round.

Her cabin’d, ample spirit,
It flutter’d and fail’d for breath.
Tonight it doth inherit
The vasty hall of death.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The Secret Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns & Fairies by Robert Kirk

St. Francis of Assisi by G. K. Chesterton

The Educated Imagination by Northrup Frye

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 22, 2020
Episode 64: Til We Have Faces, Ch. 6-7
01:08:41

Today on The Literary Life Podcast our hosts Angelina, Cindy and Thomas discuss chapters 6-7 of C. S. Lewis’ mythical retelling Til We Have Faces. Before we get started, we want you to know about Cindy’s Morning Time Q&A on September 23. Register at CindyRollins.net. They open the discussion this week talking about Lewis’ writings on love and jealousy. Angelina points out similarities to this story and other classical myths and even Spenser’s Faerie Queene. They also talk about Orual’s desires as opposed to Psyche’s expectations.

Cindy mentioned Peter Kreeft’s talk on Til We Have Faces a couple of times. Here is the link to that audio for those who are interested in listening to that.

Commonplace Quotes:

The stage is an epitome, a better likeness of the world, with the dull part left out.

William Hazlitt

The motto was Pax, but the word was set in a circle of thorns. Pax: peace, but what a strange peace, made of unremitting toil and effort, seldom with a seen result; subject to constant interruptions, unexpected demands, short sleep at nights, little comfort, sometimes scant food; beset with disappointments and usually misunderstood; yet peace all the same, undeviating, filled with joy and gratitude and love. “It is My own peace I give unto you.” Not, notice, the world’s peace.

Rumer Godden

If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. . . . I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; . . . I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.

C. S. Lewis

A Woman Homer Sung

by William Butler Yeats

If any man drew near
When I was young,
I thought, “He holds her dear,’
And shook with hate and fear.
But O! ’twas bitter wrong
If he could pass her by
With an indifferent eye.
Whereon I wrote and wrought,
And now, being grey,
I dream that I have brought
To such a pitch my thought
That coming time can say,
“He shadowed in a glass
What thing her body was.’
For she had fiery blood
When I was young,
And trod so sweetly proud
As ’twere upon a cloud,
A woman Homer sung,
That life and letters seem
But an heroic dream.

Book List:

Affiliate links are used in this content.

In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

Christian Behavior by C. S. Lewis

The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 15, 2020
Episode 63: Til We Have Faces, Ch. 3-5
01:17:47

Welcome back to our series on C. S. Lewis’ mythical retelling Til We Have Faces here on The Literary Life Podcast. Today Angelina, Cindy and Thomas discuss chapters 3-5. Angelina opens the book chat with an exploration of the tensions that are becoming evident in this first part of the book. Cindy talks about the character of the Fox and our changing perspective on him as the story develops. Thomas highlights the priest and the ways that we as moderns struggle with the religion presented here.

Another topic expounded upon is the relationship between the sisters and the affects jealousy as the story progresses. Angelina also brings up the idea of terrifying holiness as presented in these chapters. Our hosts share their thoughts on the tension between the elevation of logic and reason and the devaluation of superstition and mystery. (Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Commonplace Quotes:

Riddle: I have eaten the Muses, yet I have profited nothing.

Answer: A bookworm.

Symphosius

He insists upon the point: under no circumstances will he leave his home or violate his routines in order to facilitate an investigation. The exceptions are few and remarkable. Instead of spreading the principles of order and justice throughout his society, Wolfe imposes them dogmatically and absolutely within the walls of his house–the brownstone on West Thrity-fifth Street–and he invites those who are troubled by an incomprehensible and threatening environment to enter the controlled economy of the house and to discover there the source of disorder in their own lives. The invitation is extended to readers as well as to clients.

J. Kenneth Van Dover

In our culture of betrayal, we are quick to impose our own views on layers of established systems. Thus, even a work of art is to be distrusted. Rather than trying to “under-stand” the work, we stand over it and dismiss it as unreadable. Or worse yet, we impose a critical ideology upon it without first allowing the work to affect us.

Makoto Fujimura

Selection from “Ode to Psyche”

by John Keats

Yes, I will be thy priest, and build a fane
         In some untrodden region of my mind,
Where branched thoughts, new grown with pleasant pain,
         Instead of pines shall murmur in the wind:
Far, far around shall those dark-cluster’d trees
         Fledge the wild-ridged mountains steep by steep;
And there by zephyrs, streams, and birds, and bees,
         The moss-lain Dryads shall be lull’d to sleep;
And in the midst of this wide quietness
A rosy sanctuary will I dress
   With the wreath’d trellis of a working brain,
         With buds, and bells, and stars without a name,
With all the gardener Fancy e’er could feign,
         Who breeding flowers, will never breed the same:
And there shall be for thee all soft delight
         That shadowy thought can win,
A bright torch, and a casement ope at night,
         To let the warm Love in!

Book List:

Refractions by Makoto Fujimura

The Hundred Riddles of Symphosius by Symphosius

At Wolfe’s Door: The Nero Wolfe Novels of Rex Stout by J. Kenneth Van Dover

Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

Reason and Imagination in C. S. Lewis by Peter Schakel

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 08, 2020
Episode 62: The Literary Friendship of Dorothy and Jack with Gina Dalfonzo
01:02:47

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life, our hosts Angelina, Thomas and Cindy have a special guest on the podcast. Gina Dalfonzo is an author whose work has been featured in First Things, The Atlantic, Christianity Today, The Weekly Standard, National Review, The Gospel Coalition, and more! Gina has written a new book called Dorothy and Jack: The Transforming Friendship of Dorothy L. Sayers and C. S. Lewis which is the topic of discussion on today’s episode. Angelina opens the conversation asking Gina to share how she came to write this book exploring the relationship between Lewis and Sayers. (Affiliate links are used in this content.)

Other topics explored in this episode are the following: the influence of Oxford in Dorothy Sayers’ life and work, how Dorothy and Jack finally met one another, Lewis’ personal distaste for detective novels, and his praise for Sayers’ other work. They also talk at length about how Sayers and Lewis support each other in pushing the boundaries of their literary careers.

Find Gina Dalfonzo:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ginadalfonzo.author Twitter: https://twitter.com/ginadalfonzo
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gina.dalfonzo/ Dickensblog: https://dickensblog.typepad.com/

Commonplace Quotes:

For life in general, there is but one decree: youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret.

Benjamin Disraeli

There’s always surrender to humiliation and crucifixion, an emptying, before the glory. There’s no way around it. For my own part, I wish there were. Emptiness comes before fullness. We have to empty ourselves of anything that crowds out the life or grace of God in our lives. When we cooperate with the Spirit in this way, we become receptacles of grace.

Marlena Graves

People of former times had convictions; we moderns only have opinions. And it needs more than a mere opinion to erect a Gothic cathedral.

Heinrich Heine

When the pioneers of university training for women demanded that women should be admitted to the universities, the cry went up at once: “Why should women want to know about Aristotle?” The answer is NOT that all women wwould be the better for knowing about Aristotle–still less, as Lord Tennyson seemed to think, that they would be more companionable wives for their husbands if they did know about Aristotle–but simply: “What women want as a class is irrelevant. I want to know about Aristotle. It is true that most women care nothing about him, and a great many male undergraduates turn pale and faint at the thought of him–but I, eccentric individual that I am, do want to know about Aristotle, and I submit that there is nothing in my shape or bodily functions which need prevent my knowing about him.

Dorothy L. Sayers

They Told Me Heraclitus

by William Johnson Cory

They told me, Heraclitus, they told me you were dead,
They brought me bitter news to hear and bitter tears to shed.
I wept, as I remembered, how often you and I
Had tired the sun with talking and sent him down the sky.
And now that thou art lying, my dear old Carian guest,
A handful of grey ashes, long long ago at rest,
Still are thy pleasant voices, thy nightingales, awake;
For Death, he taketh all away, but these he cannot take.

Book List:

Dorothy and Jack by Gina Dalfonzo

The Gospel in Dickens by Gina Dalfonzo

The Way Up is Down by Marlena Graves

Writing for the Masses by Christine A. Colón

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay

Are Women Human by Dorothy Sayers

Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers

Phantastes by George MacDonald

Letters to an American Lady by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Sep 01, 2020
Episode 61: Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, Ch. 1-2
01:12:30

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, we begin our new series on C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece, Til We Have Faces. (Affiliate links are used in this content.) This week, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks cover the first two chapters and share their observations as they reread this oftentimes challenging book. To help us gain a framework for this novel, Thomas summarizes the myth of Cupid and Psyche, the first telling of which is found in The Golden Ass by Apuleius. Angelina shares about some similarities in this myth with several familiar fairy tales. Cindy points out how Lewis changes some key pieces of the story to make it less mythical and more tethered to historical time and place.

In opening the first chapter, Angelina tells her theory about this being a story about a character finding her identity as she looks back on her life. Our hosts talk about the strange nature of the paganism in Glome and also the interesting role of The Fox. They point out many of the classical Greek references that we need to pay attention to as we read this story.

Tune in next week for a special interview episode with the author of Dorothy and Jack, Gina Dalfonzo. Following that, we will be back with chapters 3-5 of Till We Have Faces.

Commonplace Quotes:

A good carpenter is known by his chips.

Jonathan Swift

All too often, the legends old men tell are closer to the truth than the facts young professors tell. The wildest fairy tales of the ancients are far more realistic than the scientific phantasms imagined by moderns.

Hilaire Belloc

Earth’s crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God,
But only he who sees takes off his shoes…

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Song

by John Donne

Go and catch a falling star,
    Get with child a mandrake root,
Tell me where all past years are,
    Or who cleft the devil’s foot,
Teach me to hear mermaids singing,
Or to keep off envy’s stinging,
            And find
            What wind
Serves to advance an honest mind.

If thou be’st born to strange sights,
    Things invisible to see,
Ride ten thousand days and nights,
    Till age snow white hairs on thee,
Thou, when thou return’st, wilt tell me,
All strange wonders that befell thee,
            And swear,
            No where
Lives a woman true, and fair.

If thou find’st one, let me know,
    Such a pilgrimage were sweet;
Yet do not, I would not go,
    Though at next door we might meet;
Though she were true, when you met her,
And last, till you write your letter,
            Yet she
            Will be
False, ere I come, to two, or three.

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 25, 2020
Episode 60: Why Read Pagan Myths
01:20:09

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins are having a conversation about why everyone ought to read myths. Angelina begins by explaining what a myth is in terms of literary genre. She talks about the characteristics that run through myths, such as explanations of origins and natural phenomena, common characters, and a universe that hangs together. Cindy poses a question about why we have come to interpret the word myth to mean something untrue since the time of the Enlightenment.

Angelina helps parents feel more confident about their children’s ability to know the difference between reality and fantasy. Cindy talks about how knowing mythology is a key to understanding other stories and literature. Unfolding a portion of church history, Angelina explains how early Christians wrestled with pagan stories and Old Testament stories at the same time. When we go looking only for morality tales in the Bible, Cindy points out, then we miss the main idea. Getting a bit more practical, Angelina gives some examples of the role of pre-Christian storytellers who pointed to the Truth.

Be sure to be back next week for the beginning of our series on Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis, in which we will be covering chapters 1 and 2. (Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Commonplace Quotes:

The imagination of man is made in the image of the imagination of God. Everything of man must have been of God first; and it will help much towards our understanding of the imagination and its functions in man if we first succeed in regarding aright the imagination of God, in which the imagination of man lives and moves and has its being.

George MacDonald

Those who do not know that this great myth became fact when the Virgin conceived are, indeed, to be pitied. But Christians also need to be reminded–we may thank Corineus for reminding us–that what became fact was a myth, that it carries with it into the world of fact all the properties of a myth. God is more than a god, not less; Christ is more than Balder, not less. We must not be ashamed of the mythical radiance resting on our theology. We must not be nervous about “parallels” and “pagan Christs”: they ought to be there–it would be a stumbling block if they weren’t. We must not, in false spirituality, withhold our imaginative welcome. If God chooses to be mythopoeic–and is not the sky itself a myth–shall we refuse to be mythopathic? For this is the marriage of heaven and earth: perfect myth and perfect fact: claiming not only our love and our obedience, but also our wonder and delight, addressed to the savage, the child, and the poet in each one of us no less than to the moralist, the scholar, and the philosopher.

C. S. Lewis

from “Mythopoeia”

by J. R. R. Tolkien

The heart of Man is not compound of lies,
but draws some wisdom from the only Wise,
and still recalls him. Though now long estranged,
Man is not wholly lost nor wholly changed.
Dis-graced he may be, yet is not dethroned,
and keeps the rags of lordship once he owned,
his world-dominion by creative act:
not his to worship the great Artefact,
Man, Sub-creator, the refracted light
through whom is splintered from a single White
to many hues, and endlessly combined
in living shapes that move from mind to mind.
Though all the crannies of the world we filled
with Elves and Goblins, though we dared to build
Gods and their houses out of dark and light,
and sowed the seed of dragons, ’twas our right
(used or misused). The right has not decayed.
We make still by the law in which we’re made.

Book List:

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

“Myth Became Fact” by C. S. Lewis

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

Wings and the Child by Edith Nesbit

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

50 Famous Stories by James Baldwin

English Literature for Boys and Girls by H. E. Marshall

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

D’Aulaires’ Book of Norse Myths

Tanglewood Tales and A Wonder Book by Nathaniel Hawthorn

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 18, 2020
Episode 59: "Leaf by Niggle" by J. R. R. Tolkien, Part 2
01:23:41

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks continue their discussion of J. R. R. Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle“. If you missed the Back to School 2020 Conference when it was live, you can still purchase access to the recordings at CindyRollins.net. Angelina opens the book chat highlighting Tolkien’s mirroring of Dante’s Divine Comedy with Niggle’s journey, and our hosts move through a recap of the story. The questions we should be asking as we read are whether this story deals with the recovery of our vision and whether it ends with a eucatastrophe.

Cindy brings out more of the autobiographical nature of this story for Tolkien. Angelina tosses around the idea that Parish and Niggle may be doubles and be a picture of Tolkien’s two selves. Thomas talks about what Niggle has to do in the “purgatory” section of the story. They also talk about the themes of art and the artist, sub-creation, and redemption. Come back next week to hear a discussion about why we ought to read myths.

Commonplace Quotes:

It is when a writer first begins to make enemies that he begins to matter.

Hilton Brown

Kill that whence spring the crude fancies and wild day-dreams of the young, and you will never lead them beyond dull facts—dull because their relations to each other, and the one life that works in them all, must remain undiscovered. Whoever would have his children avoid this arid region will do well to allow no teacher to approach them—not even of mathematics—who has no imagination.

George MacDonald

There were people who cared for him and people didn’t, and those who didn’t hate him were out to get him. . . But they couldn’t touch him. . . because he was Tarzan, Mandrake, Flash Gordon. He was Bill Shakespeare. He was Cain, Ulysses, the Flying Dutchman; he was Lot in Sodom, Deidre of the Sorrows, Sweeney in the nightingales among trees.

Joseph Heller

On the Death of Dr. Robert Levet

by Samuel Johnson

Condemned to Hope’s delusive mine,
    As on we toil from day to day,
By sudden blasts, or slow decline,
    Our social comforts drop away.

Well tried through many a varying year,
    See Levet to the grave descend;
Officious, innocent, sincere,
    Of every friendless name the friend.

Yet still he fills Affection’s eye,
    Obscurely wise, and coarsely kind;
Nor, lettered Arrogance, deny
    Thy praise to merit unrefined.

When fainting Nature called for aid,
    And hovering Death prepared the blow,
His vigorous remedy displayed
    The power of art without the show.

In Misery’s darkest cavern known,
    His useful care was ever nigh,
Where hopeless Anguish poured his groan,
    And lonely Want retired to die.

No summons mocked by chill delay,
    No petty gain disdained by pride,
The modest wants of every day
    The toil of every day supplied.

His virtues walked their narrow round,
    Nor made a pause, nor left a void;
And sure the Eternal Master found
    The single talent well employed.

The busy day, the peaceful night,
    Unfelt, uncounted, glided by;
His frame was firm, his powers were bright,
    Though now his eightieth year was nigh.

Then with no throbbing fiery pain,
    No cold gradations of decay,
Death broke at once the vital chain,
    And freed his soul the nearest way.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Rudyard Kipling by Hilton Brown

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 11, 2020
Episode 58: "Leaf by Niggle" by J. R. R. Tolkien, Part 1
01:11:01

Welcome to another episode of The Literary Life with Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins, and Thomas Banks. Both this week and next, our hosts will be discussing J. R. R. Tolkien's short story "Leaf by Niggle". When this episode goes live, Cindy, Angelina and Thomas will be in the thick of the second annual Back to School Online Conference, happening August 3-8, 2020. It's not too late to register at CindyRollins.net for access both this week and later on!

Angelina sets the stage with a little historical background on Tolkien’s writing of this story as well as some thoughts on allegory and how to read a fairy tale. She talks about this story as an exploration of the struggle of the ideals and demands of art against the demands of practical life and the question of whether or not art is useful. Cindy shares her ideas about the importance of the Inklings for Tolkien to get his work out into the world. Angelina shares about the type of journey on which the main character, Niggle, is called to go on in this story. As you read, we encourage you to look for how Tolkien harmonizes the different tensions within the story.

Commonplace Quotes:

Here are some of the points which make a story worth studying to tell to the nestling listeners in many a sweet “Children’s Hour”;––graceful and artistic details; moral impulse of a high order, conveyed with a strong and delicate touch; sweet human affection; a tender, fanciful link between the children and the Nature-world; humour, pathos, righteous satire, and last, but not least, the fact that the story does not turn on children, and does not foster that self-consciousness, the dawn of which in the child is, perhaps, the individual “Fall of Man.”

Charlotte Mason

The essay began by noting that total war was underway, with fighting not only “in the field and on the sea and in the air,” but also in “the realm of ideas.” It said: “The mightiest single weapon this war has yet employed” was “not a plane, or a bomb or a juggernaut of tanks”–it was Mein Kampf. This single book caused an educated nation to “burn the great books that keep liberty fresh in the hearts of men.” If America’s goal was victory and world peace, “all of us will have to know more and think better than our enemies think and know,” the council asserted. “This was is a war of books. . . Books are our weapons.”

Molly Guptill Manning, quoting from the essay “Books and the War”

In everything I have sought peace and not found it, save in a corner with a book.

Thomas à Kempis

Milton

by Edward Muir

Milton, his face set fair for Paradise,
And knowing that he and Paradise were lost
In separate desolation, bravely crossed
Into his second night and paid his price.
There towards the end he to the dark tower came
Set square in the gate, a mass of blackened stone
Crowned with vermilion fiends like streamers blown
From a great funnel filled with roaring flame.
Shut in his darkness, these he could not see,
But heard the steely clamour known too well
On Saturday nights in every street in Hell.
Where, past the devilish din, could Paradise be?
A footstep more, and his unblinded eyes
Saw far and near the fields of Paradise.

Book List:

Formation of Character by Charlotte Mason

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

The Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis

Planet Narnia by Michael Ward

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer

Smith of Wooten Major by J. R. R. Tolkien

Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien

A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte

Spirits in Bondage by C. S. Lewis

Enemies of Promise by Cyril Connolly

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Aug 04, 2020
Episode 57: On Fairy Stories by J. R. R. Tolkien
01:37:59

Today on The Literary Life podcast, we will be discussing J. R. R. Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy Stories“. Tune in again over the next two weeks as we continue the conversation with Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle“. Cindy, Angelina and Thomas are also excited to announce the second annual Back to School Online Conference, happening August 3-8, 2020. Register today at CindyRollins.net for access both live and later.

Angelina sets the stage for this discussion by orienting us to the context for the essay by Tolkien as a critique of what is considered a fairy story. She points out the difference between cautionary tales like those by Charles Perrault and the German folk and fairy tales collected by the Grimm Brothers. Our hosts highlight Tolkien’s definition of true fairy stories, ones that take place in the “perilous realm” and involve a journey element. He critiques Andrew Lang as including many stories as fairy tale that are not truly fairy stories. They also discuss topics from the essay including sub-creation, magic and spells, suspension of disbelief, and children’s responses to fairy stories.

Commonplace Quotes:

One should forgive one’s enemies, but only after they are hanged.

Heinrich Heine

The German folk soul can again express itself. These flames do not only illuminate the final end of the old era. They also light up the new. Never before have the young men had so good a right to clean up the debris of the past. If the old men do not understand what is going on, let them grasp that we young men have gone and done it. The old goes up in flames. The new shall be fashioned from the flame of our hearts.

Joseph Goebbles

Human beings are not human doings.

Nigel Goodwin

Into My Heart an Air That Kills

by A. E. Houseman

Into my heart an air that kills
From yon far country blows;
What are those far remembered hills,
What spires, what towns are those?

That is the land of lost content,
I see it shining plain,
The happy highways where I went
And cannot go again.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

When Books Went to War by Molly Guptill Manning

Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare

Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Glyer

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

Til We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Phantastes by George MacDonald

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 28, 2020
Episode 56: The Literary Life of Emily Raible
01:32:52

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts Angelina and Cindy chat with Emily Raible. First, though, they announce our #20for2020LitLife reading challenge giveaway winners! If you were one of our winners, please email Cindy at Rollinsfamily11(at)gmail(dot)com to give her your contact information and get your prize! Also, coming up August 3-7, 2020, we will be having our second annual Back to School Online Conference. This year’s featured speaker will be Karen Glass. Register at CindyRollins.net to get access live or later!

Our guest today is Lit Life “superfan” Emily Raible. Emily is a homeschool mom, an avid reader, birdwatcher, baker and probably Angelina’s most loyal student. In telling the story of her reading life, Emily talks about her childhood and how she was not a reader as a young person. She shares how she finally started getting interested in reading through Janette Oke and Hardy Boys books. Then she tells about borrowing books from a local family’s home library and starting to fall in love with true classics.

After getting married to an avid reader, Emily started going through her husband’s own library during her long hours at home alone. Even after she became of lover of reading, Emily still didn’t define herself as a real reader. Emily shares her journey to becoming a homeschooling parent, how she learned about Charlotte Mason and classical education, and her first time meeting Angelina and Cindy. They continue the conversation expanding on the feast of ideas, what it means to be a “reader,” and how we learn and enter into the literary world throughout our lives.

Stay tuned next week when we will be discussing Tolkein’s essay “On Fairy Stories“, followed by a conversation about his short story “Leaf by Niggle” for the next two weeks.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

But the object of my school is to show how many extraordinary things even a lazy and ordinary man may see, if he can spur himself to the single activity of seeing.

G. K. Chesterton

Time can be both a threat and a friend to hope. Injustice, for example, has to be tediously dismantled, not exploded. This is often infuriating, but it is true.

Makoto Fujimura

The poet is traditionally a blind man, but the Christian poet, and story-teller as well, is like the blind man whom Christ touched, who looked then and saw men as if they were trees but walking. This is the beginning of vision, and it is an invitation to deeper and stranger visions than we shall have to learn to accept if we are to realize a truly Christian literature.

Flannery O’Connor

Armies in the Fire

by Robert Louis Stevenson

The lamps now glitter down the street;
Faintly sound the falling feet;
And the blue even slowly falls
About the garden trees and walls.

Now in the falling of the gloom
The red fire paints the empty room:
And warmly on the roof it looks,
And flickers on the back of books.

Armies march by tower and spire
Of cities blazing, in the fire;—
Till as I gaze with staring eyes,
The armies fall, the lustre dies.

Then once again the glow returns;
Again the phantom city burns;
And down the red-hot valley, lo!
The phantom armies marching go!

Blinking embers, tell me true
Where are those armies marching to,
And what the burning city is
That crumbles in your furnaces!

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

Tremendous Trifles by G. K. Chesterton

Culture Care by Makoto Fujimura

Rascal by Sterling North

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Poppy Ott by Leo Edwards

Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

The Once and Future King by T. H. White

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkein

The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan

Agatha Christie

James Patterson

Tom Clancy

Harry Potter series

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Howards End by E. M. Forster

The Divine Comedy by Dante (trans. by Dorothy Sayers)

Illiad and Odyssey by Homer

Dorothy L. Sayers

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Why Should Businessmen Read Great Literature? by Vigen Guroian

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

Arabian Nights

Are Women Human? by Dorothy Sayers

Confessions by Augustine

Beatrix Potter Treasury

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Babe the Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith

Brambly Hedge by Jill Barklem

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jul 21, 2020
Episode 55: 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge Check-In
01:30:11

Welcome to our 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge Check-In episode! Before we dig into the content, Angelina announces Thomas’ next webinar coming up this summer, “The Fable: From Aesop to Brer Rabbit.” Sign up at HouseofHumaneLetters.com to find out when registration opens!

After a brief discussion on the merits of reading fiction, our hosts begin listing what they have read in each category of the 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge so far. This episode is brimming over with book references, so be sure to scroll down to the book list any titles you might have missed!

Enter our 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge giveaway! Take a photo of your reading stack or your printed list with titles you are reading and post it to Instagram or Facebook with the tag #20for2020LitLife. We will announce our winners on the next episode of the podcast! We can’t wait to see what you are reading for the challenge!

Commonplace Quotes:

To know God therefore as He is, is to frame the most beautiful idea in all worlds. He delighteth in our happiness more than we, and is of all others the most lovely object.

Thomas Traherne

And often my father would read us things that he loved, without a single word of ‘explanation’. Of these the Ancient Mariner stands out beyond the rest. O happy living things! Why do people murder them by explanations?

M. V. Hughes

The mere fact that a story is a work of fiction, however, does not prevent its having a deep and significant truth of its own. We find, then, that the distinction between true stories and works of pure imagination, though convenient, is not quite essential. For fiction may be just as true, in the higher sense of the word, as history, or travel or any other record of actual experience.

George Lyman Kittredge

I Remember, I Remember

by Thomas Hood

I remember, I remember,
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon,
Nor brought too long a day,
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away!

I remember, I remember,
The roses, red and white,
The vi’lets, and the lily-cups,
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday,—
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember,
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then,
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow!

I remember, I remember,
The fir trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky:
It was a childish ignorance,
But now ’tis little joy
To know I’m farther off from heav’n
Than when I was a boy.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

A London Child of the Seventies by M. V. Hughes

Centuries of Meditations by Thomas Traherne

The Mother Tongue by George Lyman Kittredge

The Darkest Hour (film)

The Winter’s Tale by Shakespeare

Two Gentlemen of Verona by Shakespeare

The Comedy of Errors by Shakespeare

Titus Andronicus by Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew by Shakespeare

MacBeth by Shakespeare

A Question of Proof by Nicholas Blake

Simon Serraille Mystery Series by Susan Hill

Ian Rutledge Mystery Series by Charles Todd

The Magic Apple Tree by Susan Hill

Howards End is on the Landing by Susan Hill

Dorothy Sayers

Agatha Christie

Ngaio Marsh

Margery Allingham

The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliot Chaze

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Koshka’s Tales: Stories from Russia by James Mayhew

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Munich by Robert Harris

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Taras Bulba by Nicolai Gogol

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers

Plain Tales from the Hills by Rudyard Kipling

The Collected Stories of Caroline Gordon

Penhally by Caroline Gordon

The Life You Save May Be Your Own by Paul Elie

Jeremy Taylor by Hugh Williamson

Holy Living and Dying by Jeremy Taylor

Swinburne by Harold Nicolson

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Romantic Outlaws by Charlotte Gordon

The Terrible Speed of Mercy by Jonathan Rogers

The Bark of the Bog Owl by Jonathan Rogers

The Path of Loneliness by Elisabeth Elliot

Reflections on the Psalms by C. S. Lewis

Anatomy of Criticism by Northrup Frye

Bandersnatch by Diana Pavlac Glyer

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlac Glyer

The Personal Heresy by C. S. Lewis and E. M. Tillyard

The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard

The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki

Ibn Fadlan and The Land of Darkness by Ibn Fadlan

The Sailor Who Fell From Grace with the Sea by Yukio Mishima

An Anthology of Invective and Abuse by Hugh Kingsmill

Penmarric by Susan Howatch

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spencer

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

The Clouds by Aristophanes

Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury

Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor

Love in the Void by Simone Weil

The Fine Art of Reading by David Cecil

Abigail by Magda Szabo

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaula

The Turmoil (Growth Trilogy #1) by Booth Tarkington

The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge

To Bless The Space Between Us by John O’Donohue

The Word in the Wilderness by Malcolm Guite

Tenebrea by Geoffrey Hill

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 30, 2020
Episode 54: Our Favorite Poems
01:22:09

This week on The Literary Life, our hosts talk about their favorite poems and poets. Cindy starts off by sharing the early influences on her developing a love of poetry. Thomas also shares about his mother reading poetry to him as a child and the poetry that made an impression on him as a child. Angelina talks about coming to poetry later in life and how she finally came to love it through learning about the metaphysical poets.

Cindy and Thomas talk about the powerful effect of reading and reciting poetry in meter. Thomas also brings up the potential of hymn texts as beautiful, high-ranking poetry. From classic to modern, they share many poems and passages from their most beloved poetry, making this a soothing, lyrical episode. If you want to learn more, check out Thomas’ webinar How to Love Poetry.

Next week our hosts will be checking in with their 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge progress, and we hope you will share your progress on Instagram and Facebook, too. Hint: there will be giveaways!

Affiliate links are used in this content.

Commonplace Quotes:

The knowledge-as-information vision is actually defective and damaging. It distorts reality and humanness, and it gets in the way of good knowing.

Esther Lightcap Meek

Perhaps it would be a good idea for public statues to be made with disposable heads that can be changed with popular fashion. But even better would surely be to make statues without any heads at all, representing simply the “idea” of a good politician.

Auberon Waugh

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock–to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the almost blind you use large and startling figures.

Flannery O’Connor

Reading in War Time

by Edwin Muir

Boswell by my bed,
Tolstoy on my table;
Thought the world has bled
For four and a half years,
And wives’ and mothers’ tears
Collected would be able
To water a little field
Untouched by anger and blood,
A penitential yield
Somewhere in the world;
Though in each latitude
Armies like forest fall,
The iniquitous and the good
Head over heels hurled,
And confusion over all:
Boswell’s turbulent friend
And his deafening verbal strife,
Ivan Ilych’s death
Tell me more about life,
The meaning and the end
Of our familiar breath,
Both being personal,
Than all the carnage can,
Retrieve the shape of man,
Lost and anonymous,
Tell me wherever I look
That not one soul can die
Of this or any clan
Who is not one of us
And has a personal tie
Perhaps to someone now
Searching an ancient book,
Folk-tale or country song
In many and many a tongue,
To find the original face,
The individual soul,
The eye, the lip, the brow
For ever gone from their place,
And gather an image whole.

Book List:

A Little Manual for Knowing by Esther Lightcap Meek

The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

Songs of Innocence and of Experience by William Blake

The Book of Virtues by William Bennett

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne

Now We are Six by A. A. Milne

Emma by Jane Austen

Oxford Book of English Verse

Immortal Poems of the English Language ed. by Oscar Williams

Motherland by Sally Thomas

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 23, 2020
Episode 53: The Trojan Women, Part 2
01:27:14

Welcome to the second part of our discussion of Euripides’ The Trojan Women here on The Literary Life podcast. This week Angelina, Cindy and Thomas really get into the meat of the play. If you missed last week’s introduction episode, you will want to go back and listen to that first to set the stage, so to speak. Cindy and Angelina talk about how much emotion is evoked by Euripides’ portrayal of these women and their situation. Thomas brings in some of the surrounding myths that connect to the characters in this play, as well.

Angelina and Cindy highlight the characteristics of Hecuba and Andromache amidst such trying circumstances. In discussing Helen’s role in the play, Cindy mentions a short story C. S. Lewis wrote about Helen of Troy called “After Ten Years.” It can be found in The Dark Tower: and Other Stories and Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories. Our hosts share their emotional responses to the utter heartbreak of the mothers on top of the demise of Troy itself.

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Commonplace Quotes:

There are decades where nothing happens, and weeks where decades happen.

Vladimir Lenin

While affording some secrets of ‘the way of the will’ to young people, we should perhaps beware of presenting the ideas of ‘self-knowledge, self-reverence, and self-control.’ All adequate education must be outward bound, and the mind which is concentrated upon self-emolument, even though it be the emolument of all the virtues, misses the higher and the simpler secrets of life. Duty and service are the sufficient motives for the arduous training of the will that a child goes through with little consciousness.

Charlotte Mason

Perhaps the surest measure of O’Connor’s sense of calling was her willingness to be misunderstood.

Jonathan Rogers

All the World’s a Stage

by William Shakespeare

All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. At first the infant,
Mewling and puking in the nurse’s arms;
And then the whining school-boy, with his satchel
And shining morning face, creeping like snail
Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
Made to his mistress’ eyebrow. Then a soldier,
Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard,
Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
Seeking the bubble reputation
Even in the cannon’s mouth. And then the justice,
In fair round belly with good capon lin’d,
With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws and modern instances;
And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
Into the lean and slipper’d pantaloon,
With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
His youthful hose, well sav’d, a world too wide
For his shrunk shank; and his big manly voice,
Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
And whistles in his sound. Last scene of all,
That ends this strange eventful history,
Is second childishness and mere oblivion;
Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.

Book List:

The Trojan Women by Euripides

Towards a Philosophy of Education by Charlotte Mason

The Terrible Speed of Mercy by Jonathan Rogers

As You Like It by William Shakespeare

Agamemnon by Aeschylus

Iphigenia in Aulis by Euripedes

The Illiad by Home

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Trojan Women (film) starring Katharine Hepburn

The Dark Tower: and Other Stories by C. S. Lewis

Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 16, 2020
Episode 52: Intro to Greek Drama and The Trojan Women
01:28:06

Welcome to the first episode in our series on Greek drama and The Trojan Women by Euripides. Classicist Thomas Banks will be leading the discussion with Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins asking questions and adding their own thoughts along the way. If you enjoy these podcasts, you can also check out the HouseofHumaneLetters.com for the summer intensive on Classical Greek Drama.

Thomas begins with some background on the development on Greek drama in history. He also explains the role of the chorus in typical Greek plays in contrast to how Euripides uses it in this play. He then gives us a little biographical information on Euripides and places him, along with the other Greek dramatists, in the context of history. He also talks about the questions of theodicy that come up in The Trojan Women and other of Euripides’ works. Thomas points out some resources to give readers background on Greek mythology and characters you will see in these plays. He continues with a brief overview of the Trojan War. Our host wrap up with some thoughts on the prologue of The Trojan Women.

Commonplace Quotes:

This the story of my life, that while I lived it weighed upon me and pressed against me and filled all my senses to overflowing and now is like a dream dreamed…..This is my story, my giving of thanks.

Wendell Berry

Sophocles is wise, Euripedes is wiser, but Socrates is wisest of them all.

The Oracle of Delphi

The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

L. P. Hartley

The Wife of Flanders

by G. K. Chesterton

Low and brown barns, thatched and repatched and tattered,
Where I had seven sons until to-day,
A little hill of hay your spur has scattered. . . .
This is not Paris. You have lost your way.

You, staring at your sword to find it brittle,
Surprised at the surprise that was your plan,
Who, shaking and breaking barriers not a little,
Find never more the death-door of Sedan —

Must I for more than carnage call you claimant,
Paying you a penny for each son you slay?
Man, the whole globe in gold were no repayment
For what you have lost. And how shall I repay?

What is the price of that red spark that caught me
From a kind farm that never had a name?
What is the price of that dead man they brought me?
For other dead men do not look the same.

How should I pay for one poor graven steeple
Whereon you shattered what you shall not know?
How should I pay you, miserable people?
How should I pay you everything you owe?

Unhappy, can I give you back your honour?
Though I forgave, would any man forget?
While all the great green land has trampled on her
The treason and terror of the night we met.

Not any more in vengeance or in pardon
An old wife bargains for a bean that’s hers.
You have no word to break: no heart to harden.
Ride on and prosper. You have lost your spurs.

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links)

Trojan Women by Euripides

The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry

The Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

The Oresteia by Aeschylus

The Bacchae by Euripides

Mythology by Edith Hamilton

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 09, 2020
Episode 51: Discussing Simone Weil's Essay on Education
01:47:37

On this week’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, our hosts have a converation about Simone Weil’s essay “Reflections on the Right Use of School Studies with a View to the Love of God“. Angelina Stanford opens this discussion talking about stories as a lens to see other perspectives, rather than our own. Thomas Banks gives some biographical information on Simone Weil. Cindy Rollins highlights the connections she made from this essay to Charlotte Mason and Stratford Caldecott, especially in regards to attention and remembrance.

They talk about the problems of being counter-cultural in education, pride versus humility as an end of education, and training of the will. Cindy and Angelina emphasize the importance of the work of education over “making the grade.” Thomas reads a quote from Weil on keeping periods of focused work brief, and Cindy expounds on how this concept was also very important to Charlotte Mason. Angelina talks about her own conviction in reading Weil’s words about learning from those subjects which do not come easily for us. The conversation wraps up with our hosts talking about waiting on God instead of trying to force results, in all areas of our lives. 

Until next time, check out our Upcoming Events page to view our summer schedule and see what we will be reading together next! Don’t forget to check out the summer courses and webinars that Angelina and Thomas have coming up over at HouseofHumaneLetters.com!

Commonplace Quotes:

When we think of a friend, we do not count that a lost thought, though the friend never knew of it.

John Donne

Oxford is, Lewis said, a “dangerous place for a book lover. Every second shop has something you want.” According to Warren Lewis, his brother soon learned to discipline such inclinations: “In his younger days he was something of a bibliophile, but in middle and later life very seldom bought a book if he could consult it in the Bodleian: long years of poverty, self-inflicted but grinding, had made this economical habit second nature to him—a fact that contributed, no doubt, to the extra-ordinarily retentive character of his memory.”

Clyde Kilby

Children are always seeking out new experiences, and they find them in stories when adults do not spoil these stories by superimposing concepts or rules over the narrative.

Vigen Guroian

Peace

by Henry Vaughn

My Soul, there is a country 
Afar beyond the stars, 
Where stands a winged sentry 
All skillful in the wars; 
There, above noise and danger 
Sweet Peace sits, crown’d with smiles, 
And One born in a manger 
Commands the beauteous files. 
He is thy gracious friend 
And (O my Soul awake!) 
Did in pure love descend, 
To die here for thy sake. 
If thou canst get but thither, 
There grows the flow’r of peace, 
The rose that cannot wither, 
Thy fortress, and thy ease. 
Leave then thy foolish ranges, 
For none can thee secure, 
But One, who never changes, 
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.

Book List:

(Affiliate links are used in this content.)

C. S. Lewis: Images of His World by Douglas R. Gilbert and Clyde Kilby

Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian

Phantastes by George MacDonald

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

Range by David Epstein

Love in the Void by Simone Weil

Trojan Women by Euripedes

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jun 02, 2020
Episode 50: The Great Divorce, Ch. 11-14
01:30:41

This week on The Literary Life Podcast, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas wrap up their discussion of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce with the final chapters 11-14. Before starting their talk about the book, Cindy shares about her upcoming Summer Discipleship Program, Morning Time for Moms. Angelina and Thomas also have some exciting summer courses coming up on Classical Greek Drama and Flannery O’Connor. Also, this Thursday, May 21, 2020, Thomas is giving a webinar on George Orwell.

Cindy and Angelina talk about the dangers of familial love becoming the end-all-be-all, as well as Lewis’ exploration of Dante’s idea of sin. They go in depth with this exploration of sin as a distortion of something that might naturally seem good and the way Lewis pairs people to demonstrate that in these chapters. Angelina talks about the medieval view of ordered man versus the disordered man and how that relates to the man with the horse. They wrap up with the importance of stories in depicting truth in a veiled way, instead of only theological argument and discourse, in helping us live out our faith in a properly ordered way.

Until next time, check out our Upcoming Events page to view our summer schedule and see what we will be reading together next!

Commonplace Quotes:

We chose from the library shelves any book of Tales for the Young, and took much pleasure in prophesying the events. We could rely on Providence to punish the naughty and bring to notice the heroism of the good, and generally grant an early death to both. Why was there a bull in a field? To gore the disobedient. Why did cholera break out? To kill the child who went down a forbidden street. The names told us much: Tom, Sam, or Jack were predestined to evil, while a Frank could do nothing but good. Henry was a bit uncertain: he might lead his little sister into that field with bravado, or he might attack the bull to save her life at the cost of his own. We had bettings of gooseberries on such points.

M. V. Hughes

Exaggeration is one of art’s great devices.

J. B. Priestley

Hell is inaccurate.

Charles Williams

There is a Pleasure in the Pathless Woods

by Lord Byron

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society where none intrudes,
By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
I love not Man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne’er express, yet cannot all conceal.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

A London Child of the Seventies by M. V. Hughes

Cautionary Tales for Children by Hilaire Belloc

An Inspector Calls by J. B. Priestley

The Good Companions by J. B. Priestley

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry

Paradise Lost by John Milton

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Allegory of Love by C. S. Lewis

A Woman of the Pharisees by François Mauriac

Perelandra by C. S. Lewis

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 19, 2020
Episode 49: The Great Divorce, Ch. 7-10
01:30:29

On The Literary Life podcast today, our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks discuss chapters 7-10 of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. Angelina points out the way in which Lewis uses the “newcomer” character to explain the world he has created. They discuss the various personalities Lewis presents who choose not to take the journey to heaven, sharing how these sketches often hit a little too close to home.

They also talk about the influence of George MacDonald on Lewis and his role in this story. Thomas helps us make some connections with Lewis and Virgil, as well as explaining some of the references made by MacDonald’s character. Cindy points out how our loves can be entryways into either heaven or hell. Join us again next week as we finish up our discussion of The Great Divorce together! (Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Commonplace Quotes:

Meanwhile, you will write an essay on self-indulgence. There will be a prize of half a crown for the longest essay, irrespective of any possible merit.

Evelyn Waugh

Shame belongs, rather, to the bookish recluse who knows not how to apply his reading to the good of his fellows or to manifest its fruit to the eyes of all.

Cicero

It is simply my lifelong experience—that men are more likely to hand over to others what they ought to do themselves, and women more likely to do themselves what others wish they would leave alone. Hence both sexes must be told “Mind your own business,” but in two different senses!

C. S. Lewis

To The Skylark

by William Wordsworth

Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine;
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
True to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

Book List:

Letters to an American Lady by C. S. Lewis

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh

Pro Archia Poeta by Cicero

Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

George MacDonald

Surprised by Joy by C. S. Lewis

Psychomachia by Prudentius

Holy Living and Dying by Jeremy Taylor

Satires of Circumstance by Thomas Hardy

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 12, 2020
Episode 48: The Great Divorce, Ch. 2-6
01:21:04

On The Literary Life podcast today, our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks discuss chapters 2-6 of C. S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce. Angelina reminds us as we begin this exploration of Lewis’ narrative not to read too much theology into the details of this dreamlike world he creates. Cindy points out the similarities between these chapters and his descriptions at the end of The Last Battle. Thomas highlights the passage on Napoleon from chapter 2, showing what Lewis envisioned hell to be like. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas talks about the description of the land near heaven, the various characters’ responses, as well as the weight of the actual environment and Lewis’ picture of those who people it. (Affiliate links are used in this content.)

Commonplace Quotes:

We long for paradise because we were created for paradise. We were created to live in an environment that cooperates with, not fights against, our desires. We were created for Eden, a place we’ve never been, and so we desire a perfect life full of healthy relationships.

Julie Sparkman

Anyone who puts himself forward to be elected to a position of political power is almost bound to be socially or emotionally insecure, or criminally motivated, or mad.

Auberon Waugh

“The secret is not to dream,” she whispered. “The secret is to wake up. Waking up is harder. I have woken up and now I am real. I know where I come from and where I’m going. You cannot fool me anymore. Or touch me. Or anything that is mine.”

Terry Pratchett

The Stricken Deer

by William Cowper

I was a stricken deer, that left the herd
Long since; with many an arrow deep infixt
My panting side was charg’d, when I withdrew
To seek a tranquil death in distant shades.
There was I found by one who had himself
Been hurt by th’ archers. In his side he bore,
And in his hands and feet, the cruel scars.
With gentle force soliciting the darts,
He drew them forth, and heal’d, and bade me live.
Since then, with few associates, in remote
And silent woods I wander, far from those
My former partners of the peopled scene;
With few associates, and not wishing more.
Here much I ruminate, as much I may,
With other views of men and manners now
Than once, and others of a life to come.
I see that all are wand’rers, gone astray
Each in his own delusions; they are lost
In chace of fancied happiness, still wooed
And never won. Dream after dream ensues,
And still they dream that they shall still succeed,
And still are disappointed; rings the world
With the vain stir. I sum up half mankind,
And add two-thirds of the remainder half,
And find the total of their hopes and fears
Dreams, empty dreams. The million flit as gay
As if created only like the fly
That spreads his motley wings in th’ eye of noon
To sport their season and be seen no more.

Book List:

Unhitching from the Crazy Train by Julie Sparkman

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis

The Personal Heresy by C. S. Lewis and E. M. Tillyard

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom

Paradise Lost by John Milton

The Brook Kerith by George Moore

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

May 05, 2020
Episode 47: The Great Divorce, Preface & Ch. 1
01:23:55

On The Literary Life podcast today, Cindy Rollins, Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks begin their series on The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis. Today you are going to get a crash-course in Medievalism through Lewis’ story, and we hope you will enjoy this book as much as our hosts do. Angelina kicks off the discussion even while sharing her commonplace quote, sharing some information about the epigraph and front matter. She gives us some historical context, both for where this books comes in Lewis’ own timeline, as well as some ideas of the journey of the soul and medieval dream literature.

Thomas gives some background on Prudentius and his allegorical work The Psychomachia. Angelina goes into some comparisons between The Great Divorce and Dante’s Divine Comedy. Thomas talks about Nathanial Hawthorne’s short story The Celestial Railroad as a satire of Pilgrim’s Progress. Also, if you haven’t read and listened to E. M. Forster’s Celestial Omnibus, see Episode 17. As they get into discussing the Preface, Thomas give us some information on William Blake. We will be back next week with a discussion on Chapters 2-6.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

We do not obtain the most precious gifts by going in search of them but by waiting for them. Man cannot discover them by his own powers and if he sets out to seek for them he will find in their place counterfeits of which he will be unable to discern the falsity.

Simone Weil

No, there is no escape. There is no heaven with a little of hell in it–no plan to retain this of that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather.

George MacDonald

A poet is not a man who says “look at me”, but rather a man who points at something and says “look at that.”

C. S. Lewis

MCMXIV

by Philip Larkin

Those long uneven lines
Standing as patiently
As if they were stretched outside
The Oval or Villa Park,
The crowns of hats, the sun
On moustached archaic faces
Grinning as if it were all
An August Bank Holiday lark;

And the shut shops, the bleached
Established names on the sunblinds,
The farthings and sovereigns,
And dark-clothed children at play
Called after kings and queens,
The tin advertisements
For cocoa and twist, and the pubs
Wide open all day–

And the countryside not caring:
The place names all hazed over
With flowering grasses, and fields
Shadowing Domesday lines
Under wheat’s restless silence;
The differently-dressed servants
With tiny rooms in huge houses,
The dust behind limousines;

Never such innocence,
Never before or since,
As changed itself to past
Without a word–the men
Leaving the gardens tidy,
The thousands of marriages,
Lasting a little while longer:
Never such innocence again.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald

The Personal Heresy by C. S. Lewis and E. M. Tillyard

The Aeneid by Virgil

The Divine Comedy by Dante

Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

The Holy War by John Bunyan

Ourselves by Charlotte Mason

A Preface to Paradise Lost by C. S. Lewis

The Scarlett Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory by C. S. Lewis

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

This episode is brought to you by New College Franklin. We want to encourage you to check out their 2020 Spring Preview Days happening online via Zoom conferencing.

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 28, 2020
Episode 46: "The Importance of Being Earnest" Act 3
01:22:30

On today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, our fearless hosts discuss Oscar Wilde’s unraveling of the tangle of plot points in Act 3 of The Importance of Being Earnest. Cindy Rollins talks about her reaction to Act 3 and how it gets resolved. Thomas Banks observes how Wilde sets up the conflict with the possibility to become a tragedy like Oedipus Rex instead of a comedy. Angelina Stanford talks about the theme of the identity quest, tokens of identity and foundlings in literature. The conversation, as in previous episodes, centers around the way Wilde pokes fun at Victorian ideals and cliches.

Commonplace Quotes:

Wear your learning like your watch, in a private pocket; and do not pull it out and strike it merely to show that you have one.

Lord Chesterfield

We must travel this path as lovers, amateurs, of the Word and of words because all things reveal themselves more truly to the eyes of love.

Stratford Caldecott

Time’s glory is to calm contending kings,

To unmask falsehood, and bring truth to light, To stamp the seal of time in aged things, To wake the morn and sentinel the night, To wrong the wronger till he render right; To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours, And smear with dust their glittering golden towers.

William Shakespeare

Easter Wings

by George Herbert

Lord, who createdst man in wealth and store,
     Though foolishly he lost the same,
           Decaying more and more,
                 Till he became
                       Most poore:
                       With thee
                 O let me rise
           As larks, harmoniously,
     And sing this day thy victories:
Then shall the fall further the flight in me.

My tender age in sorrow did beginne
     And still with sicknesses and shame.
           Thou didst so punish sinne,
                 That I became
                       Most thinne.
                       With thee
                 Let me combine,
           And feel thy victorie:
        For, if I imp my wing on thine,
Affliction shall advance the flight in me.

Book List:

Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

The White Company by Arthur Conan Doyle

Brigadier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle

Sir Nigel by Arthur Conan Doyle

Howards End by E. M. Forster

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

A Woman of No Importance by Oscar Wilde

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

This episode is brought to you by New College Franklin. We want to encourage you to check out their 2020 Spring Preview Days happening online via Zoom conferencing.

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 21, 2020
Episode 45: "The Importance of Being Earnest" Act 2
01:24:31

On today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, Cindy, Thomas and Angelina cover Act 2 of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Angelina is excited to share her research on the connection between the work of Oscar Wilde and P. G. Wodehouse. Cindy brings up Booth Tarkington’s Penrod books as another example of witty, humorous literature. Thomas points out the importance of cultural lens for appreciating humor in art. They also talk about all the puns that Wilde gives his characters in this play.

Angelina discusses the reformed rake motif in Victorian literature and how Wilde plays with this theme. Thomas gives a little background on the mentions of lending libraries and the three-volume novel. Cindy talks about the parallels between the Victorians’ high view of earnestness and our modern valuation of transparency. Angelina contrasts Oscar Wilde and his contemporary Thomas Hardy in the way that Wilde handles heavy topics with a light touch. They all agree that Wilde has an almost Shakespearean plot in complexity and manages to pull it all together at the end.

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

About the lack of religious education: of course you must be grieved, but remember how much religious education has exactly the opposite effect to that which was intended, how many hard atheists come from pious homes. May we not hope, with God’s mercy, that a similarly opposite effect may be produced in her case? Parents are not Providence: their bad intentions may be frustrated as their good ones.

C. S. Lewis

It is faintly amusing when one reads about society lapsing back into paganism. I, for one, would think it rather a picturesque incident if the Prime Minister were to sacrifice an ox in the temple of Venus.

C. S. Lewis

Hell is a state of mind – ye never said a truer word. And every state of mind, left to itself, every shutting up of the creature within the dungeon of its own mind – is, in the end, Hell. But Heaven is not a state of mind. Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.

C. S. Lewis

Ye Meaner Beauties

by Sir Henry Wotton

Ye meaner beauties of the night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
More by your number than your light;
Ye common people of the skies,
What are you when the sun shall rise?

Ye curious chanters of the wood,
That warble forth Dame Nature’s lays,
Thinking your voices understood
By your weak accents; what’s your praise
When Philomel her voice shall raise?

Ye violets that first appear,
By your pure purple mantles known,
Like the proud virgins of the year,
As if the spring were all your own;
What are you when the rose is blown?

So, when my mistress shall be seen
In form and beauty of her mind,
By virtue first, then choice, a queen,
Tell me, if she were not design’d
Th’ eclipse and glory of her kind?

Book List:

(Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.)

Letters to an American Lady by C. S. Lewis

The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewi

Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Pamela by Samuel Richardson

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Psmith, Journalist by P. G. Wodehouse

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

 

Apr 14, 2020
Episode 44: "The Importance of Being Earnest" Act 1
01:27:02

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts dive into Act 1 of Oscar Wilde’s satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest. Angelina, Cindy and Thomas share their commonplace quotes, which leads into a conversation on education before they begin talking about the play. Thomas talks about the name of the play as well as the name “Ernest” in context of this time period. Angelina highlights her excitement of noticing the connection between Wilde’s humor and P. G. Wodehouse. Angelina talks about the changing roles of social classes in the late Victorian age and how that comes into this story. Our hosts go through this first act and discuss the social conventions at which Wilde is poking fun.

Commonplace Quotes:

We find that the mind is better fed by digesting a page than by devouring a volume.

Thomas Macaulay

Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Oscar Wilde

The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way. Hundreds of people can talk for one who can think, but thousands can think for one who can see. To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion, all in one.

John Ruskin

Kew Gardens

by D. M. Black

(in memory of Ian Armstrong Black, d. 1971)

Distinguished scientist, to whom I greatly defer
(old man, moreover, whom I dearly love),
I walk today in Kew Gardens, in sunlight the colour of honey
which flows from the cold autumnal blue of the heavens to light these tans and golds,
these ripe corn and leather and sunset colours of the East Asian liriodendrons,
of the beeches and maples and plum-trees and the stubborn green banks of
the holly hedges –
and you walk always beside me, you with your knowledge of names
and your clairvoyant gaze, in what for me is sheer panorama
seeing the net or web of connectedness. But today it is I who speak
(and you are long dead, but it is to you I say it):

‘The leaves are green in summer because of chlorophyll
and the flowers are bright to lure the pollinators,
and without remainder (so you have often told me)
these marvellous things that shock the heart the head can account for.
But I want to sing an excess that is not so simply explainable,
to say that the beauty of the autumn is a redundant beauty,
that the sky had no need to be this particular shade of blue,
nor the maple to die in flames of this particular yellow,
nor the heart to respond with an ecstasy that does not beget children.
I want to say that I do not believe your science
although I believe every word of it, and intend to understand it;
that although I rate that unwavering gaze higher than almost everything,
there is another sense, a hearing, to which I more deeply attend.
Thus I withstand and contradict you, I, your child,
who have inherited from you the passion that causes me to oppose you.’

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

The Lays of Ancient Rome by Thomas Macaulay

The Modern Painters, Vol. 3 by John Ruskin

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

“A Few Maxims for the Instruction of the Over-Educated” by Oscar Wilde

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

The Buccaneers by Edith Wharton

The Allegory of Love by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Apr 07, 2020
Episode 43: The Literary World of Oscar Wilde
01:18:59

On today's episode of The Literary Life, our hosts, Cindy Rollins, Thomas Banks and Angelina Stanford introduce us to Oscar Wilde and our next literary selection, his satirical play The Importance of Being Earnest. They begin with a discussion on the purpose of art and literature in depicting truth without preaching it at us, making so many connections along the way. Thomas gives us a biographical sketch of Oscar Wilde, both his life and work. Angelina expands on the emphasis on respectability in Victorian society. Cindy talks about her first experience with reading Oscar Wilde and the accessibility of his plays.

Commonplace Quotes:

For your face I have exchanged all faces.

Philip Larkin

Just as conscience, or the moral sense, recognizes duty; just as the intellect deals with the truth; so is it the part of taste alone to form us of BEAUTY. And Poesy is the handmaiden but of Taste. Yet we would not be misunderstood. This handmaiden is not forbidden to moralize–in her own fashion. She is not forbidden to depict–but to reason and preach, of virtue. As, of this latter, conscience recognizes the obligation, so intellect teaches the expediency, while taste contents herself with displaying the beauty waging war with vice merely on the ground of its inconsistency with fitness, harmony, proportion–in a word with beauty.

Edgar Allan Poe

The diversity of Ruskin’s concerns was not simply the product of a restlessly questioning mind. He was convinced of the vital connections between things, as they bind and blend themselves together. The Intellectual separations that characterize the modern professionalization of knowledge seemed to him corrosive, a denial of what unites different levels of human experience—spiritual and aesthetic, political and scientific, historical and contemporary. His argument is always that knowledge connects. He wants readers to these connections, as clearly and comprehensively, as they can. This is an exercise in humility, since it confirms the imperfections and limitations of our vision, and the mystery of what lies beyond it. But the attempt to see clearly enables us to celebrate what is large than our own lives. His capacity for admiration makes him the most magnanimous of critics. It can also make him the angriest, the he witnesses the betrayal of human history and human potential. Ruskin’s intention is always to teach us to use our eyes, and these  remains the best reason or reading his work. He will show you how to look at the world afresh.

Dinah Birch

E Tenebris (Out of the Shadows)

by Oscar Wilde

Come down, O Christ, and help me! reach thy hand,
For I am drowning in a stormier sea
Than Simon on thy lake of Galilee:
The wine of life is spilt upon the sand,
My heart is as some famine-murdered land,
Whence all good things have perished utterly,
And well I know my soul in Hell must lie
If I this night before God’s throne should stand.
‘He sleeps perchance, or rideth to the chase,
Like Baal, when his prophets howled that name
From morn to noon on Carmel’s smitten height.’
Nay, peace, I shall behold before the night,
The feet of brass, the robe more white than flame,
The wounded hands, the weary human face.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

Marius the Epicurean by Walter Pater

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde

Esther Waters by George Moore

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 31, 2020
TLLepisode42 mixdown
01:17:59

In light of the recent changes to all our lives, The Literary Life crew is breaking from the previously announced schedule to discuss the importance of stories in times of crisis. But first, we want you to know about a special gift from Cindy Rollins. You can download a PDF copy of her Handbook of Morning Time for free by visiting her shop here. You can also purchase the replays of the Re-Enchanting the World online conference at HouseofHumaneLetters.com.

Angelina talks about the impulse of humanity to turn to stories during time of upheaval and plague. Cindy points out the need we have for an ordered universe, and that this is one of the things good books provide. Together with Thomas, they discuss how important it is to find stories that reassure us that there is order and redemption to come. They also give some recommendations for personal reading as well as family read-alouds for these challenging times. Finally, our hosts give us an update with how they are doing with their own 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge lists.

If you would like more bonus content, especially our new monthly live chats called “All Fellows Eve”, become a Patreon supporter of The Literary Life!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

An important part of a child’s education is storytelling, since good stories excite the imagination and strengthen the bond between parent and child.

St. John Chrysostom

It is in the essential nature of fashion to blind us to its meaning and the causes from which it springs.

Edwin Muir

Unless the writer has gone utterly out of his mind, his aim is still communication, and communications suggests talking inside community.

Flannery O’Connor

Sonnet 6

by William Shakespeare

Tir’d with all these, for restful death I cry,
As, to behold desert a beggar born,
And needy nothing trimm’d in jollity,
And purest faith unhappily forsworn,
And guilded honour shamefully misplaced,
And maiden virtue rudely strumpeted,
And right perfection wrongfully disgraced,
And strength by limping sway disabled,
And art made tongue-tied by authority,
And folly (doctor-like) controlling skill,
And simple truth miscall’d simplicity,
And captive good attending captain ill:
Tired with all these, from these would I be gone,
Save that, to die, I leave my love alone.

Book List:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this content.

The Company They Keep by Diana Pavlock Glyer

Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pierce

The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tokien

Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

The Kingfisher book of Tales from Russia by James Mayhew

Little Pilgrim’s Progress by Helen Taylor

Treasures of the Snow by Patricia St. John

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Few Eggs and No Oranges by Vera Hodgson

Cider for Rosie by Laurie Lee

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 24, 2020
Episode 41: The Art of Writing, Part 2
01:05:05

Welcome back to The Literary Life Podcast and our discussion of the Art of Writing! If you missed last week’s discussion, you can go back and catch up here. We start off today with Angelina Stanford asking Karen Glass about the principles of good writing. Karen talks a bit about William Zinsser and his ideas about writing and education. Our hosts give some practical encouragement to the average homeschool parent listening to this conversation. Cindy highlights the value of waiting to teach specific skills until students are old enough to process them.

Angelina, Cindy and Karen talk about narration in the Charlotte Mason education, its benefits and its challenges. They emphasize the importance of guiding children to think well instead of just learning mechanical skills devoid of context. Angelina brings up the sensitive topic of assessing and grading writing. Karen leaves us with a challenge to narrate this podcast discussion in writing in order to apply what you've learned! 

Loving In Truth

by Sir Philip Sydney

Loving in truth, and fain in verse my love to show,
That she, dear she, might take some pleasure of my pain,
Pleasure might cause her read, reading might make her know,
Knowledge might pity win, and pity grace obtain,—
I sought fit words to paint the blackest face of woe,
Studying inventions fine, her wits to entertain,
Oft turning others’ leaves, to see if thence would flow
Some fresh and fruitful showers upon my sunburned brain.
But words came halting forth, wanting Invention’s stay:
Invention, Nature’s child, fled step-dame Study’s blows,
And others’ feet still seemed but strangers in my way.
Thus great with child to speak, and helpless in my throes,
Biting my truant pen, beating myself for spite:
“Fool,” said my Muse to me, “look in thy heart and write.”

Book List:

Writing to Learn by William Zinsser

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 17, 2020
Episode 40: The Art of Writing, Part 1
01:16:55

This week on The Literary Life podcast, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas sit down with Karen Glass for a conversation centering on the topic of writing. They discuss the problem of trying to teach writing in a formulaic way. They also talk about the challenge of helping students learn to think well in order to write well.

Karen highlights narration as a tool to teach thinking well in the form of oral composition. Cindy digs into the idea of imitation as an integral part of the learning process. Angelina and Karen both emphasize the importance of addressing skill and form on an individual basis, depending on what your student needs to improve.

Tune in again next week for Part 2 of this great conversation!

Listen to The Literary Life:

Commonplace Quotes:

To write or even speak English is not a science, but an art. There are no reliable words. Whoever writes English is involved in a struggle that never lets up even for a sentence. He is struggling against vagueness, against obscurity, against the lure of the decorative adjective, against the encroachment of Latin and Greek, and, above all, against the worn-out phrases and dead metaphors with which the language is cluttered up.

George Orwell

Rhetoric, or the art of writing, is not governed by arbitrary laws. Its rules are not statutes passed long ago by some assembly of critical scholars; they are merely common-sense principles derived from the observed practices of persons who have succeeded in writing well,–that is, from the method of good authors. Hence, when we study composition, we investigate these methods, in order to apply them in our own writing.

from “Manual of Composition and Rhetoric”

When a child is reading, he should not be teased with questions as to the meaning of what he has read, the signification of this word or that; what is annoying to older people is equally annoying to children.

Charlotte Mason

Follow Your Saint

by Thomas Campion

Follow your saint, follow with accents sweet;
Haste you, sad notes, fall at her flying feet.
There, wrapp’d in cloud of sorrow, pity move,
And tell the ravisher of my soul I perish for her love:
But if she scorns my never-ceasing pain,
Then burst with sighing in her sight and ne’er return again.

All that I sung still to her praise did tend,
Still she was first; still she my songs did end;
Yet she my love and music both doth fly,
The music that her echo is and beauty’s sympathy.
Then let my notes pursue her scornful flight:
It shall suffice that they were breath’d and died for her delight.

Book List:

Amazon Affiliate links are used in this content.

Manual of Composition and Rhetoric edited by Gardiner, Kittredge and Arnold

Home Education by Charlotte Mason

Know and Tell by Karen Glass

On Writing Well by William Zinsser

Writing to Learn by William Zinsser

Range by David Epstein

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 10, 2020
Episode 39: The Literary Life of Karen Glass
01:49:58

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Angelina and Cindy interview Karen Glass. Karen is part of the Advisory of AmblesideOnline. She has four children, ages 13 to 27, who have been homeschooled using Charlotte Mason’s methods from beginning to end. She has been studying and writing about Charlotte Mason and Classical Education for over twenty years, and has written Consider This to share the most important things she has discovered about the connection between them. We are giving away a copy of her newest book, In Vital Harmony, to 2 lucky listeners who share about this podcast episode on Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #invitalharmony.

After sharing their commonplace quotes, our hosts dive into this conversation with Karen about how she became a lover of books. She talks about her voracious reading as a child and teen. Karen also recounts how her mediocre education did not discourage her reading life but just gave her more time and reason to read. This leads into a meaty discussion among Karen, Cindy and Angelina about self-education, homeschooling and lifelong learning.

Commonplace Quotes:

Let us consider an apple. If we approach it synthetically, we take it as we find it–in its state of wholeness and completeness–and we eat it. Once eaten, it is digested, absorbed, and becomes a part of us. If we approach it analytically, we take it apart–not in a natural way, which is merely a smaller portion (here is half an apple!), but rather, here is the fiber, here are the vitamins, here is a bit of water, and some sugar. Suppose we ingest each bit–a spoonful of fiber, a vitamin pill, a swallow of sugar-and-water. On paper, we have consumed the same thing in both cases–equal portions of nutrition–but there is a very, very large difference. Only one of those meals tasted good and created an appetite for more.

Karen Glass

However difficult it may be to characterize correctly the medieval class system, it is even more difficult to grasp medieval thinking, which was broadly metaphorical and analogical, rather than merely logical and rational.

Thomas Cahill

Remember that the uttermost penalty was reserved for him who could say to his brother “Thou fool!” because contempt was the most un-godlike quality which man could display. Beware above all things lest a little knowledge only reinforce conceit and lead you into a false world where self is enthroned, far away from the true world which is illuminated by the love of God, manifested in the Person of the Incarnate Word.

Mandell Creighton

A Poison Tree

by William Blake

I was angry with my friend; 
I told my wrath, my wrath did end.
I was angry with my foe: 
I told it not, my wrath did grow. 

And I waterd it in fears,
Night & morning with my tears: 
And I sunned it with smiles,
And with soft deceitful wiles. 

And it grew both day and night. 
Till it bore an apple bright. 
And my foe beheld it shine,
And he knew that it was mine. 

And into my garden stole, 
When the night had veild the pole; 
In the morning glad I see; 
My foe outstretched beneath the tree.

Book List:

Amazon Affiliate links are used in this content.

Consider This by Karen Glass

Mind to Mind by Karen Glass

Know and Tell by Karen Glass

In Vital Harmony by Karen Glass

Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill

Thoughts on Education by Mandell Creighton

Bedtime for Frances by Russel Hoban

Petunia by Roger Duvoisin

Dorrie’s Magic by Patricia Coombs

Watership Down by Richard Adams

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkein

The Family Nobody Wanted by Helen Doss

Lovey by Mary MacCracken

A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz

The Philosophy of Christian School Education

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Thomas Lynley Mysteries by Elizabeth George

Jan Karon’s Mitford Series

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Mar 03, 2020
Episode 38: "A Winter's Tale" Act 5
01:46:28

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, we wrap up our discussion of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale with a look at Act 5. Our hosts, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks also announce our next book to read together, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. Angelina notes that Act 5 is all about reconciliation and redemption. Thomas points out that Shakespeare had a challenge here in how to bring this play to a close with all those relationships resolved. Cindy brings up Paulina’s character and the significance of her name.

Our hosts discuss the truth that though in an ultimate sense all will be made right, this play reminds us that in this life, there are some things that are not fully redeemed. They also talk about how Shakespeare plays with both the audience’s expectations and with the form in this act. Leontes’ imagination is also in need of redemption, and we see that happen here at the end of the play. Thomas makes the connection between the myth of Pygmalion, Euripedes’ Alcestis and A Winter’s Tale.

The theme of resurrection is so prevalent in this final act, particularly in the case of Hermoine, but also in other characters and plot points. The winter is over, and spring has come to Sicily. The old order is not restored. A new order has been brought into being.

Upcoming Events:

We are excited to announce a new online conference coming on March 13-14, 2020. Our theme will be Re-enchanting the World: The Legacy of the Inklings. Our keynote speaker is Inklings scholar, Joseph Pearce. Go to Angelina and Thomas’ new website HouseofHumaneLetters.com for all the info and to register.

Commonplace Quotes:

An ancient rhetorician delivered a caution against dwelling too long on the excitation of pity; for nothing, he said, dries so soon as tears; and Shakespeare acted conformably to this ingenious maxim, without knowing it.

William Hazlitt

A work of art is a world unto itself, but all works of art belong to one world.

Harold Goddard

In all narration there is only one way to be clever, and that is to be exact.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Hermione in the House of Paulina

by C. S. Lewis

How soft it rains, how nourishingly soft and green
Has grown the dark humility of this low house
Where sunrise never enters, where I have not seen
The moon by night nor heard the footfall of a mouse,
Nor looked on any face but yours
Nor changed my posture in my place of rest
For fifteen years–oh how this quiet cures
My pain and sucks the burning from my breast.

It sucked out all the poison of my will and drew
All hot rebellion from me, all desire to break
The silence you commanded me. . . . Nothing to do,
Nothing to fear or wish for, not a choice to make,
Only to be; to hear no more Cock-crowing duty calling me to rise,
But slowly thus to ripen laid in store
In this dim nursery near your watching eyes.

Pardon, great spirit, whose tall shape like a golden tower
Stands over me or seems upon slow wings to move,
Coloring with life my paleness, with returning power,
By sober ministrations of severest love;
Pardon, that when you brought me here,
Still drowned in bitter passion, drugged with life,
I did not know . . . pardon, I thought you were
Paulina, old Antigonus’ young wife.

Book List:

Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Poems by C. S. Lewis

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 25, 2020
Episode 37: "A Winter's Tale" Act 4
01:16:31

This week on The Literary Life, Angelina, Cindy and Thomas dive in to Act 4 of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale. We are excited to announce a new online conference coming on March 13-14, 2020. Our theme will be Re-enchanting the World: The Legacy of the Inklings. Our keynote speaker is Inklings scholar, Joseph Pearce. Go to Angelina and Thomas’ new website HouseofHumaneLetters.com for all the info and to register.

This act is jam packed with action and important plot points, but Cindy points out the connection between the shepherd and his son and the tale that Mamillius was telling Hermoine in an earlier act. Angelina brings up the juxtaposition of winter and spring in this play. She also talks about how Shakespeare departs from Aristotle’s “rules” for unity of time and place in playwriting. This act is all about redeeming what was lost, and it is also full of disguises. Thomas explains the connection between Perdita and Flora.

Our hosts discuss the wedding customs of Shakespeare’s day as well as the festivities we see in this play. Thomas gives us a little overview of the myth of Persephone and how A Winter’s Tale alludes to this myth. Angelina also highlights the importance of the kiss in the fairy tale. Cindy encourages us to read and re-read because there is such depth in Shakespeare that we can never get to the bottom of it all. We are also invited to look for the mirrors of the characters and action in this act to things that happen in the first three acts. Angelina also instructs us on the two classic fairy tale story patterns and how A Winter’s Tale follows both of those patterns.

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows

Commonplace Quotes:

She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways

She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
—Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

William Wordsworth

In the 12th-century Church of San Clemente in Rome, the brilliant mosaic apse over the main altar presents us with a view of reality that is both Cosmic and Eucharistic. The central image is of the crucified Christ, mildly accepting his suffering and death, his face full of peace. But spiraling forth from the foot of the cross, where it is watered by the blood of Christ, a stupendous acanthus bush curls outward and upward, encircling nearly a hundred separate images. The spiraling branches of the acanthus embrace even two pagan Roman gods, Baby Jupiter, formerly king of the gods, and Baby Neptune, formerly king of the deep, who rides a slippery looking dolphin. Even the ancient pagans have been redeemed, and their mythologies are usable by us.

Thomas Cahill

Whatever happens will be for the worse, and therefore it is in our interest that as little should happen as possible.

Lord Salisbury

You Ask My Why, Tho’ Ill at Ease

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

You ask me, why, tho’ ill at ease,
Within this region I subsist,
Whose spirits falter in the mist,
And languish for the purple seas.

It is the land that freemen till,
That sober-suited Freedom chose,
The land, where girt with friends or foes
A man may speak the thing he will;

A land of settled government,
A land of just and old renown,
Where Freedom slowly broadens down
From precedent to precedent:

Where faction seldom gathers head,
But by degrees to fullness wrought,
The strength of some diffusive thought
Hath time and space to work and spread.

Should banded unions persecute
Opinion, and induce a time
When single thought is civil crime,
And individual freedom mute;

Tho’ Power should make from land to land
The name of Britain trebly great—
Tho’ every channel of the State
Should fill and choke with golden sand—

Yet waft me from the harbour-mouth,
Wild wind! I seek a warmer sky,
And I will see before I die
The palms and temples of the South.

Book List:

Mysteries of the Middle Ages by Thomas Cahill

Shakespeare After All by Marjorie Garber

Pandosto by Robert Greene

 

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 18, 2020
Episode 36: A Winter's Tale, Act 3
01:13:35

On The Literary Life podcast today, we join our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks to discuss Act 3 of The Winter's Tale by Williams Shakespeare. Before jumping into Shakespeare, though, our hosts are excited to announce a new online conference coming on March 13-14, 2020. Our theme will be Re-enchanting the World: The Legacy of the Inklings. Our keynote speaker is Inklings scholar, Joseph Pearce. Go to Angelina and Thomas' new website HouseofHumaneLetters.com for all the info and to register.

After catching us up on the plot, Angelina asks Thomas to explain a little about the Oracles and Apollo and how they relate to this play. He also talks about the parallel between this play and the historical events surrounding Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Our hosts also bring out the importance of a legitimate heir to the throne in a monarchy. The idea of the consequence of an out of control imagination continue to be crucial in this act. They also talk about the sudden change in Leontes’ feelings and his repentance at the end of Act 3.

Angelina points out that the structure of the play tells us that all this death and grief is not the climax of the story. Cindy brings up the Russian feel present in A Winter’s Tale. Thomas explores the characters of the shepherds and rustics in Shakespeare’s plays. They discuss the fairy elements as well as the gospel elements of the baby and the gold being found by the shepherds.

Commonplace Quotes:

“I think it was The Times Literary Supplement–and it had left me depressed. What struck me so forcibly, and not for the first time, was that a new book on any subject-history, philosophy, science, religion, or what have you–is always dealt with by a specialist in that subject. This may be fairest from the author’s point of view, but it conveys a disagreeable impression of watertight compartments…
It wasn’t that people can think at once confidently and oppositely about almost anything that matters-though that, too, can sometimes be a sobering reflection. It wasn’t that they disagreed. I wished they did. What was biting me was the fact that these minds never met at all.”

Owen Barfield

Our Ford himself did a great deal to shift the emphasis from truth and beauty to comfort and happiness. Mass production demanded the shift. Universal happiness keeps the wheels steadily turning; truth and beauty can't.

Aldous Huxley

A professor is someone who talks in someone else’s sleep.

W. H. Auden

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • February 18: Act IV
  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows

Paradise

by George Herbert

I BLESSE thee, Lord, because I G R O W
Among thy trees, which in a R O W
To thee both fruit and order O W.

What open force, or hidden C H A R M
Can blast my fruit, or bring me H A R M
While the inclosure is thine A R M?

Inclose me still for fear I S T A R T.
Be to me rather sharp and T A R T,
Than let me want thy hand and A R T.

When thou dost greater judgements S P A R E,
And with thy knife but prune and P A R E,
Ev’n fruitful trees more fruitfull A R E.

Such sharpness shows the sweetest F R E N D:
Such cuttings rather heal than R E N D:
And such beginnings touch their E N D.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

Further Up and Further In by Joseph Pearce

Tolkien: Man and Myth by Joseph Pearce

The Discarded Image by C. S. Lewis

Worlds Apart by Owen Barfield

The Two Cultures by C. P. Snow

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Wolf Hall Series by Hillary Mantel

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

You can find Angelina and Thomas at HouseofHumaneLetters.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 11, 2020
Episode 35: "A Winter's Tale" Act 2
01:10:37

This week on The Literary Life, our hosts Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks are back to discuss Act 2 of The Winter’s Tale by Williams Shakespeare. After sharing their commonplace quotes, they begin with a brief recap of the plot. They highlight the story begun by Mamillius upon the entrance of Leontes in Act 2, Scene 1. Angelina explores the concept of Leontes as a tragic hero. Our hosts also get into the ideas of constancy versus inconstancy, lunacy and the Renaissance view of women as changeable. Shakespeare, on the other hand, portrays a man as the one who is changeable and the woman as constant.

As we continue through this act, our hosts highlight Leontes’ illness and how it infects Mamillius. They also talk about Paulina as a sort of foil for Leontes, as well as her strength of character in the face of the king’s unreasonable behavior. Cindy points out the unthinkable nature of Leontes’ desire to burn his own wife and child.

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • February 11: Act III
  • February 18: Act IV
  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows

Those Winter Sundays

by Robert Hayden

Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

Robert Hayden, “Those Winter Sundays” from Collected Poems of Robert Hayden, edited by Frederick Glaysher. Copyright ©1966 by Robert Hayden.

Book List:

Amazon Affiliate Links

Range by David Epstein

There Was a Man Dwelt by a Churchyard by M. R. James

Chanticleer and the Fox by Barbara Cooney

The Aethiopica by Heliodorus

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Feb 04, 2020
Episode 34: "A Winter's Tale" Act 1
01:13:28

On today’s episode of The Literary Life podcast, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks talk about Act 1 of The Winter’s Tale by Williams Shakespeare. After sharing their commonplace quotes, our hosts begin by discussing the form of nearly ever Shakespeare play. They discuss the “problem” of the combination of tragic and comedic elements in this play. Other themes discussed are the presence of so many doubles in the characters, the way Shakespeare uses the setting, and how the kings represent their entire kingdoms.

Cindy goes on to point out the way Leontes accepts the idea he has about Hermoine and Polixenes and runs with it. Angelina expounds on the way that people in Shakespeare’s time thought about having properly ordered mind versus one that is disordered. She and Thomas also highlight the way the Renaissance person saw disorder in the individual as connected to disorder in the universe. To close, Cindy also points out the way Shakespeare “plays” with words, so be watching for that as we read on!

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • February 4: Act II
  • February 11: Act III
  • February 18: Act IV
  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows

Love Is Not All

by Edna St. Vincent Milay

Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain;
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
And rise and sink and rise and sink again;
Love can not fill the thickened lung with breath,
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
Even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
Pinned down by pain and moaning for release,
Or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It well may be. I do not think I would.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate links)

A Dish of Orts by George MacDonald

Range by David Epstein

The Meaning of Shakespeare, Vol. 2 by Harold Goddard

The Personal Heresy by C. S. Lewis and E. M. Tillyard

The Elizabethan World Picture by E. M. Tillyard

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 28, 2020
Episode 33: An Introduction to A Winter's Tale
01:33:47

Welcome to our first episode on Shakespeare’s play A Winter’s Tale. Hosts Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins start off with some ideas of how to approach a Shakespeare play, especially if you feel new or intimidated by Shakespeare. Angelina talks about the use of poetry and prose in these plays, as well as the different types of plays within Shakespeare’s body of work. She also discusses the history and development of drama from the time of the Greeks to the Renaissance.

James Banks joins the podcasts again to lend his perspective to our study of Shakespeare. He recommends the Oxford, Norton and Riverside editions for reading Shakespeare. He also encourages people to see screen adaptations, audio versions and, of course, watching a live play when possible. James also talks a little about the challenge of the older English language and how to deal with that as you read and listen. Our hosts also take a look at the culture and history surrounding Shakespeare and his theatre company.

The Winter’s Tale Show Schedule:

  • January 28: Act I
  • February 4: Act II
  • February 11: Act III
  • February 18: Act IV
  • February 25: Act V
  • March: Live Q&A for Patreon Fellows

In Memory of Yeats

by W. H. Auden

Earth, receive an honoured guest:
William Yeats is laid to rest.
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.

In the nightmare of the dark
All the dogs of Europe bark,
And the living nations wait,
Each sequestered in its hate;

Intellectual disgrace
Stares from every human face,
And the seas of pity lie
Locked and frozen in each eye.

Follow, poet, follow right
To the bottom of the night,
With your unconstraining voice
Still persuade us to rejoice;

With the farming of a verse
Make a vineyard of the curse,
Sing of human unsuccess
In a rapture of distress;

In the deserts of the heart
Let the healing fountain start,
In the prison of his days
Teach the free man how to praise.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

Home Education by Charlotte Mason

A Christmas Dream and How it Came True by Louisa May Alcott

Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare by E. Nesbit

Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb

The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser

The Old Arcadia by Philip Sidney

The Re-write (film)

Shakespeare: a Critical Study of His Mind and Art by Edward Dowden

Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt

Shakespeare Wars by Ron Rosenbaum

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/. Check out Cindy’s own Patreon page also!

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

 

Jan 21, 2020
Episode 32: The Literary Life of James Banks
01:35:03

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Angelina and Cindy interview James Banks. James is a civil servant, veteran, teacher, former academic and writer living in Austin, Texas. Prior to moving to the Lone Star State, he studied Renaissance Literature and taught at the University of Rochester. But it was only after leaving the academy that he rediscovered his passion for Shakespeare, Spenser, Chaucer and all things literary. His essays and reviews have appeared in The Weekly Standard, the Literati Quarterly, the Intercollegiate Review and elsewhere, but he is best known for being the brother of Thomas Banks and brother-in-law of Angelina Stanford.

James talks about his childhood relationships with books and stories, and the massive leap he took from not being able to read to being a reader. He tells about his desire to be a teacher and his undergraduate experience. He also elaborates on how he came to his love of Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. James tells why he ended up leaving academia and how he rediscovered his love of literature. He also gives some examples of how he reads so much and makes the most of his time.

The Cross of Snow

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In the long, sleepless watches of the night,
   A gentle face — the face of one long dead —
   Looks at me from the wall, where round its head
   The night-lamp casts a halo of pale light.
Here in this room she died; and soul more white
   Never through martyrdom of fire was led
   To its repose; nor can in books be read
   The legend of a life more benedight.
There is a mountain in the distant West
   That, sun-defying, in its deep ravines
   Displays a cross of snow upon its side.
Such is the cross I wear upon my breast
   These eighteen years, through all the changing scenes
   And seasons, changeless since the day she died.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

Big Wonderful Thing by Stephen Harrigan

John Buchan by His Wife and Friends by Susan Tweedsmuir

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Good Things Out of Nazareth: Uncollected Letters of Flannery O’Connor and Friends

The Shooting Party by Anton Chekhov

The Sword of Honour Trilogy by Evelyn Waugh

Cultural Amnesia by Clive James

Pat Conroy

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

The Meaning of Shakespeare, Vol. 2 by Harold Goddard

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Silas Marner by George Eliot

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fennimore Cooper

Anne Bradstreet

Eudora Welty

The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare

P. G. Wodehouse

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Rose for Emily by William Faulkner

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

On the Edge by Edward St. Aubyn

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

The Adventures of Ibn Battuta by Ibn Battuta

The Aeneid by Virgil

Selected Non-fictions by Jorge Luis Borges

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Upcoming Book Discussions:

Check the “Upcoming Book Discussions” tab to see what is coming your way on the podcast in 2020!

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Jan 14, 2020
Episode 31: Our Year in Reading
01:42:33

In this last episode of 2019, our Literary Life podcast hosts chat all about their past year in books, as well as what they hope to read in the coming year. Cindy, Angelina and Thomas begin by sharing some commonplace quotes from books they read in 2019. They discuss their strategies for planning their reading goals and how they curate their "to be read" lists. Each host also share some highlights from their year in books.

Angelina then introduces The Literary Life Podcast 20 for 2020 Reading Challenge. She talks about how to approach this reading challenge. Then our hosts talk a little about each category in the challenge and give some of their possible book picks for 2020. Cindy mentions a list of Shakespeare's plays in chronological order. She also has a list of "Books for Cultivating Honorable Boys."

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation

In Memoriam

by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
   The flying cloud, the frosty light:
   The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
   Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
   The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
   For those that here we see no more;
   Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
   And ancient forms of party strife;
   Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
   The faithless coldness of the times;
   Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
   The civic slander and the spite;
   Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
   Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
   Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
   The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
   Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Book List:

(Affiliate links are used in this content.)

Winter Hours by Mary Oliver

Rules for the Dance by Mary Oliver

Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays by William Hazlitt

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Faerie Queen by Edmund Spenser

Miracles by C. S. Lewis

Kristen Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset

Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. Tolkein

Leaf by Niggle by J. R. Tolkein

Time and Chance by Sharon Kay Penman

Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

The Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev

The Killer and the Slain by Hugh Walpole

Trent’s Last Case by E. C. Bentley

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy

The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham

The Crane Wife by Sumiko Yagawa

Susan Hill

P. D. James

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

Wendell Berry

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

The Bacchae by Euripides

Prince Albert by A. N. Wilson

Marie Antoinette by Hilaire Belloc

Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle

How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

A Little History of Literature by John Sutherland

How the Heather Looks by Joan Bodger

Lawrence and Nancy Goldstone

Silence by Shusako Endo

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari

Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Paradise Regained by John Milton

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift

Candide by Voltaire

The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis

Lyrical Ballads by Coleridge and Wordsworth

The Hundredfold by Anthony Esolen

Motherland by Sally Thomas

The Autobiograhy of a Cad by A. G. Macdonell

Elizabeth Goudge

Miss Read

Ellis Peters

Edith Pargeter

George Eliot

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

The Oxford Book of Essays

How to Travel with a Salmon by Umberto Eco

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Savage Messiah by Jim Proser

Becoming by Michelle Obama

Abigail by Magda Szabo

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 31, 2019
Episode 30: The Literary Life of Caitlin Beauchamp
01:20:11

On today’s episode of The Literary Life, Angelina and Cindy interview Caitlin Bruce Beauchamp. In addition to being a homeschool graduate and a lover of the humanities, Caitlin is a busy wife and a mother of young children. In their conversation, Angelina, Cindy and Caitlin dive into the deep end from the start, discussing the purpose of beauty. They talk about Caitlin’s early reading life and how she came to love books. She shares how she had to learn some humility in her reading life as an adult.

Angelina asks Caitlin how she finds the time to keep up her reading life amidst the responsibilities of mothering. Cindy and Caitlin talk about the importance of feeding your mind with other people’s ideas instead of taking the road to self-pity. The ladies discuss the timing of reading certain books to children and the great joy of watching children blossom as they listen to the right kinds of stories. Caitlin shares some of the books she reads to get out of a slump, as well as some other favorites and current reads.

Listen to The Literary Life:

In the Bleak Midwinter

by Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.

Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshiped the beloved with a kiss.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

Book List:

(Affiliate links are used in this content.)

The Reading Life by C. S. Lewis

Poetics by Aristotle

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

An Experiment in Criticism by C. S. Lewis

Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Happy Hollisters by Jerry West

Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace

Stories from The Faerie Queen by Jeanie Lang

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Silence by Shusako Endo

Emily of New Moon by L. M. Montgomery

Middlemarch by George Eliot (the Audible version read by Juliet Stevenson)

Light in August by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

The Wild Places by Robert MacFarlane

Landmarks by Robert MacFarlane

Elizabeth Goudge

Plainsong by Kent Haruf

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 24, 2019
Episode 29: Northanger Abbey, Ch. 25-End
01:13:56

Welcome to the final episode in our series on Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. On The Literary Life Podcast today, Angelina Stanford, Cindy Rollins and Thomas Banks go chapter by chapter through the end of the book. First we see that Catherine finally comes to the realization that people are a mixture of good and bad, not all angels or villains. Cindy and Angelina point out the ways that Catherine does not follow the typical behavior of a heroine in a sentimental novel but is actually more sensible.

Our hosts discuss General Tilney’s character and the similarities he shares with the Thorpes. Thomas points out the parallel sleepless night scenes and that Catherine now doesn’t need imaginary fears because she has real dangers to worry about. Austen parodies several more themes of the sentimental novels in this section, culminating with Henry Tilney’s unromantic proposal and the rather ordinary way in which everything gets worked out. Our hosts chuckle over Austen’s way of poking fun at closing with a moral.

Come back next week for a special Literary Life of…. episode on Christmas Eve. Join the Patreon community to take part in a Live Q&A on Northanger Abbey. Then join us in the new year for Shakespeare, and so much more!

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation.

The Clod and the Pebble

by William Blake

“Love seeketh not itself to please,
Nor for itself hath any care,
But for another gives its ease,
And builds a Heaven in Hell’s despair.”

So sung a little Clod of Clay
Trodden with the cattle’s feet,
But a Pebble of the brook
Warbled out these metres meet:

“Love seeketh only self to please,
To bind another to its delight,
Joys in another’s loss of ease,
And builds a Hell in Heaven’s despite.”

Book List:

(Affiliate links are used in this content.)

A Prayer for My Son by Hugh Walpole

The Killer and The Slain by Hugh Walpole

Mr. Standfast by John Buchan

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle

Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle

Penseés by Blaise Pascal

Camilla by Fanny Burney

The History of Rassellas by Samuel Johnson

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 17, 2019
Episode 28: Northanger Abbey, Ch. 18-24
01:08:40

In this week's episode of The Literary Life, our host are back to discuss chapters 18-24 of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. Cindy, Angelina and Thomas start out sharing the things that struck them as they read this particular section of the book. Angelina highlight's Catherine's growing ability to judge between appearances and reality. We see the great contrast between Henry Tilney with John Thorpe throughout these chapters, and we learn how different the abbey is from Catherine's sentimental expectations.

Another point that Angelina brings to the forefront is that Catherine is looking for hidden dangers, but she doesn’t see the real, ordinary dangers of people like the Thorpes. Cindy highlights the way Austen points to some problems with equating English-ness with Christianity and exceptionalism. Thomas underlines Henry Tilney’s own moment of naïveté about what evils actually do exist, even in his own family. Throughout this whole section, one main theme is the undeceiving of Catherine, and this is a big turning point for her.

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation.

Penelope

by Elizabeth Jennings

Weave on Penelope, you must,
Waiting for your lover who
Travels half the world. No lust
Only love abides in you.

The suitors come. You cast them off.
Let your faithful weaving go
On and on until your love
Can return and cherish you.

Book List:

Waiting on the Word by Malcolm Guite

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

Love and Friendship (film)

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

Adam Beede by George Eliot

Atonement by Ian McEwan

The Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 10, 2019
Episode 27: Northanger Abbey, Ch. 11-17
01:18:10

Today on The Literary Life, Cindy, Angelina and Thomas dig into chapters 11-17 of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey. Today’s conversation gets into the subtext surrounding what was expected of young ladies to be acceptable in society. A major theme in this book, and particularly in these chapters, is Catherine’s learning to discern between what is simply appearance and what is reality. We learn even more in these chapters how inconstant and deceptive the Thorpes are, especially in contrast to the Tilneys.

Angelina highlights some of the scenes Austen uses to illustrate when it is right for Catherine to buck the rules of propriety as opposed to Isabella’s impropriety at the wrong time. Thomas brings up the question of what reasons we have thus far to like Henry Tilney even though we do not know overly much about him yet. Cindy points out some of Austen’s ideas on education and the similarities to Charlotte Mason’s principles.

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation.

Also, be sure to check out Thomas Banks’ webinar, The Poetry of Advent, taking place on December 4, 2019.

Spring and Fall

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

to a young child

Márgarét, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow’s spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber

Adorning the Dark by Andrew Peterson

Assessments and Anticipations by William Ralph Inge

A Father’s Legacy to His Daughters by John Gregory

A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstonecraft

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Dec 03, 2019
Episode 26: Northanger Abbey, Ch. 3-10
01:16:29

Today on The Literary Life Podcast, our hosts Angelina Stanford and Cindy Rollins, along with Thomas Banks, are discussing chapters 4-10 of Northanger Abbey. They start out talking about Jane Austen’s light touch and her gentle satirical way of pointing out the pros and cons of the novel. Angelina and Thomas bring up some of the historical and social context for this setting in Regency period Bath. They contrast the proper social code with the way the Thorpes behave and with Catherine Morland’s naïvetè and innocence. Cindy laughs about the way in which Jane Austen pokes fun at the novel’s form while writing a novel herself.

After the critics’ early disgust for the novel, Jane Austen elevated the form to the point that they finally had to recognize the novel as a worthy work of literature. Cindy also brings up the idea that Austen may have partly written this novel because she wanted to talk with others about all these books that she references. They chat about all the things that occurred in history that led up to the availability of the novel to the masses, and to women in particular.

Angelina observes that Austen plays with the tropes within a realistic situation in contrast to the over-the-top situations presented in sensational novels of the period. They wrap up the conversation with highlights about the different characters and what we can be looking for in the next several chapters.

Thanks to Our Sponsor:

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation.

Also, be sure to check out Thomas Banks’ webinar, The Poetry of Advent, taking place on December 4, 2019.

Love and Live

by John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

All my past life is mine no more,
The flying hours are gone,
Like transitory dreams giv’n o’er,
Whose images are kept in store
By memory alone.

The time that is to come is not;
How can it then be mine?
The present moment’s all my lot;
And that, as fast as it is got,
Phyllis, is only thine.

Then talk not of inconstancy,
False hearts, and broken vows;
If I, by miracle, can be
This live-long minute true to thee,
’Tis all that Heav’n allows.

Book List:

Summer Lightning by P. G. Wodehouse

Pamela by Samuel Richardson

Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge

Biographia Literaria by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Becoming Jane (film)

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

Lady Susan by Jane Austen

Love and Friendship (film)

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 26, 2019
Episode 25: Northanger Abbey, Ch. 1-2
01:11:30

This week on The Literary Life podcast, our hosts are pleased to begin talking about Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey. For this introduction episode Cindy Rollins and Angelina Stanford are joined by Thomas Banks. Together they discuss the advent of the novel as a form, as well as some predecessors of Austen.

Angelina points out Austen's satirical voice in poking fun at the sentimental novel in the first few chapters. She also encourages us to look for the real life dangers the main characters encounter in contrast to those sensations of the popular sentimental or Gothic novel. Furthermore, we ought to notice who is reading various genres of literature and what that says about those characters.

Cindy and Angelina also talk about Jane Austen's writing and her economy of style and the lasting quality of her books. Along with criticism of sensationalism, Austen also adds a healthy dose of criticism of the education given young women in her day. We also learn that this is a novel of development as we watch Catherine Moorland learn her way around the world. 

Thanks to Our Sponsors-

Located in beautiful Franklin Tennessee, New College Franklin is a four year Christian Liberal Arts college dedicated to excellent academics and discipling relationships among students and faculty. We seek to enrich and disciple students intellectually, physically, emotionally, and spiritually, to guide them to wisdom and a life of service to God, neighbors, and creation.

Also, be sure to check out Cindy's new Patreon page, Morning Time for Moms discipleship group, as well as Thomas and Angelina's webinar sessions on Dicken's A Christmas Carol.

The Dying Christian to His Soul

by Alexander Pope

Vital spark of heav’nly flame!
Quit, O quit this mortal frame:
Trembling, hoping, ling’ring, flying,
O the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond Nature, cease thy strife,
And let me languish into life.

Hark! they whisper; angels say,
Sister Spirit, come away!
What is this absorbs me quite?
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirits, draws my breath?
Tell me, my soul, can this be death?

The world recedes; it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings! I mount! I fly!
O Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy sting?

Book List:

(Affiliate Links)

Walking on Water by Madeleine L'Engle

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Pamela by Samuel Richardson

Fanny Burney

Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliff

Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

The Castle of Ontranto by Horace Walpol

Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

Othello by William Shakespeare

Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 19, 2019
Episode 24: The Literary Life of Sally Thomas
01:41:13

On today's episode of The Literary Life, Angelina and Cindy interview poet, author and mother, Sally Thomas. You can find Sally and some of her writing at www.sally-thomas.com. Sally talks about her early reading life beginning with her memories of her family members reading themselves and to her. Cindy and Angelina ask her about her early forays into storytelling and writing. They discuss how literature and story are for everyone, including scientists and mathematicians, not just those who already have a bent toward reading. Sally shares about the influential teachers she had who fed her love of the written word.

Angelina asks about how Sally approaches the balance between the reading life and the writing life. They also discuss how the seasons of Sally's family life shifted her focus somewhat away from active writing but were still fruitful in other ways. Cindy asks what Sally likes to read as a diversion, and Angelina brings up the topic of how to deal with a reading slump. They wrap up their chat reveling in the reward of homeschooling and teaching their own children, and what a joy it is both to raise readers but to become better readers themselves.

Upcoming Events:

Angelina Stanford and Thomas Banks will be presenting a 3-day webinar series on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol on November 12-14. Register here to get lifetime access to the sessions.

Angelina will also be in Austin, TX at Christ Church on November 25, 2019. More information is available here.

My Father Drawing in an Upstairs Room

by Sally Thomas

Outside, on a live stirring backdrop of broad-handed green,
The black cat on her branch spreads her back toes and licks, licks, between.

He looks musingly at her, and through her, as if right now he
Saw some mystery imposed on — or being born from — the tree.

On the table, five charcoal-drawn children roughhouse in a whiteness
You might see as empty. You might discern in it the likeness

Of a person who waits and observes, is as happy to wait
Forever for something to happen beyond these five straight

Black figures like capering trees in a cosmos of snow.
In my mind the catalpa leaves roofing the morning still glow

Sun-heavy, alive. These five children he’s caught in their white
Fleet-foot moment perdure, as all shadows survive on daylight.

He’s looking at them, as in this long instant I’ve seen him.
Once more the cat spreads her black toes, once more licks between them.

Copyright 2018, Sally Thomas. Used by permission.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

Fallen Water by Sally Thomas

Richeldis of Walsingham by Sally Thomas

Sound and Sense by Laurence Perrine

The Intellectual Life by Sertillanges

All the Silver Pennies

The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgeson Burnett

Arms and the Man by George Bernard Shaw

Beowulf

Paradise Lost by John Milton

Marianne Moore

Elizabeth Bishop

The Book of the Red King by Marly Youmans

Mr. Either/Or by Aaron Poochigian

Pattiann Rogers

The Wheel on the School by Meinert DeJong

Brother Cadfael series by Ellis Peters

Sharon Kay Penman

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty

The Lost Words by Robert McFarlane

Landmarks by Robert McFarlane

Support The Literary Life:

Become a patron of The Literary Life podcast as part of the “Friends and Fellows Community” on Patreon, and get some amazing bonus content! Thanks for your support!

Connect with Us:

Find Angelina at  https://angelinastanford.com, on Instagram @angelinastanford, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ANGStanford/

Find Cindy at https://cindyrollins.net, on Instagram @cindyordoamoris and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/cindyrollins.net/

Follow The Literary Life on Instagram, and jump into our private Facebook group, The Literary Life Discussion Group, and let’s get the book talk going! http://bit.ly/literarylifeFB

Nov 12, 2019
Episode 23: An Experiment in Criticism, Ch. 10-End
01:26:07

On today's episode of The Literary Life, Angelina and Cindy are once again joined by Thomas Banks. They discuss the last two chapters and the epilogue of An Experiment in Criticism. The first topic of conversation is Lewis' comments on poetry, including the un-literary reading of poetry and the importance of the sound of poetry. Angelina highlights Lewis' take on reading "bad books," and Cindy points out his warning against de-bunking. Thomas gives us some history on the reference to F. R. Leavis and his literary criticism.

Angelina dives into her favorite part of this section, all about what makes good literary criticism. She recaps Lewis' own list of the types of literary commentators and historians who have helped him in his own reading. Angelina and Thomas both mention some of their favorite resources, including George Lyman Kittredge, Northrup Frye, J. W. MacKail and Dorothy Sayers. Another important point is to look for resources that point back to the text, not outside of the text.

Cindy and Angelina clear up some confusion about marginalia and what types of notes can help or hinder us in our reading. Finally, in discussing the epilogue, our hosts reiterate the purpose of reading as widening our souls and freeing ourselves to experience another person's perspective. Cindy asks if we will read with hubris, or humility? That makes all the difference.

Be sure to check out Thomas Banks' next webinar, "Poetry and Classical Myth: The Influence of Greek and Roman Myth on English Poetry." The live stream will be on October 17, 2019, but the replay will be available soon afterward. Also, for our Patreon Fellows, please join us for a live private Q&A session on An Experiment in Criticism on October 23, 2019!

Listen to The Literary Life:

A Cat

by Edward Thomas

She had a name among the children;
But no one loved though someone owned
Her, locked her out of doors at bedtime
And had her kittens duly drowned.

In Spring, nevertheless, this cat
Ate blackbirds, thrushes, nightingales,
And birds of bright voice and plume and flight,
As well as scraps from neighbours’ pails.

I loathed and hated her for this;
One speckle on a thrush’s breast
Was worth a million such; and yet
She lived long, till God gave her rest.

Book List:

(Amazon Affiliate Links)

The Porch and th