The Great Train Robbery

On May 15, 1855, the crime of the century was perpetrated by turning lead into gold. Enacting a highly sophisticated bait and switch, Edward Agar, William Pierce, Jeremy Forsyth, and James Burgess were able to steal £12,000 in gold which was being transported from London to Paris. This highly publicized crime, the Great Gold Robbery,…

An Everlasting Meal

I picked up Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal because the person who recommended it likened it to The Supper of the Lamb, which I loved.  Adler also appreciates Capon’s Supper and refers to it more than once.  She quotes several other cookbooks, and her epigraphs are from widely varying sources, from M.F.K. Fisher to Anton…

Last of the Mohicans

This summer, about six weeks before school was going to start, I was asked to teach a literature class for a small group of teen girls.  “Literature” is a dauntingly broad subject.  Where to focus? Based on what some of the students had already read, I decided on American Literature.  How to go about that?…

Cicero’s On Duties

“Cicero, like thoughtful men of every age, knew that the reason vicious leaders like Caesar could rise to power was because the Roman population itself had been corrupted and no longer pursued the old virtues; a leader is, after all, a mirror of the people who choose him or at least allow him to retain…

Tending the Heart of Virtue

“Becoming a responsible human being is a path filled with potholes and visited constantly by temptations. Children need guidance and moral road maps and they benefit immensely with the example of adults who speak truthfully and act from moral strength.” – Tending the Heart of Virtue by Vigen Guroian In Diane’s review of The Pleasures…

Anne of the Island

In this review, I lament how disappointed I was in Anne of Avonlea after having loved Anne of Green Gables so much. I am happy to report that I found Anne of the Island to be a vast improvement on Anne of Avonlea. Still not as good as the original, it is a worthy follow-up…

Anne of Avonlea

Anne of Green Gables is pretty nearly a perfect book. Even if you don’t love the story or the character, it is hard deny that Anne Shirley, in her debut novel, has been an international sensation for more than 100 years. According to Wikipedia, Anne of Green Gables has been translated into 36 languages and…

The Blue Castle

“Valancy was in the midst of realities after a lifetime of unrealities.” L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle is one of her stand-alone novels.  It is also one of the few she wrote for adults.  The story opens on the morning of Valancy Stirling’s twenty-ninth birthday.  “The only homely girl in a handsome clan, with no…