Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

      One of the beneficial challenges of teaching at Cair Paravel Latin School, a classical Christian school, is that teachers and students read the classics.  Sometime in the dog days of the last weeks of the school year our excellent Latin teacher’s enthusiastic speech in convocation inspired me to read Virgil’s Aeneid.      

      Why, you may well ask, would anyone take on the task of reading a two thousand-year-old poem of twelve books and over three hundred and fifty pages?  Why?  Because it is a classic.  This reason immediately raises the questions of what is a classic[1] and why should we read them.[2] Read the rest of this entry »

Last night my wife and I watched the 1995 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel, Sense and Sensibility.  Emma Thompson’s screenplay won her an Oscar.  Sense and Sensibility is the third Jane Austen novel that I have read (My wife has read them all.), and, while good, literarily, and especially stylistically, it comes in a distant second to Pride and Prejudice.

To prefer Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility is no surprise, but I would like to make the bold and daring assertion that the movie version of the latter is better than the novel. Read the rest of this entry »

Relativism’s denial of truth is clearly undercutting the educational mission of our schools and universities.  However, the English author Charles Williams (1886-1945) portrays in his novels two subtler and interrelated dangers to the scholar who is not properly aligned to the truth.  These dangers are dishonesty with regard to facts in his field and an inadequate motivation for his studies.   Both represent a failure to love.   Read the rest of this entry »

I find Mrs. Bennet to be one of the most disgusting characters created by Jane Austen in her marvelous novel Pride and Prejudice, although the outrageous Reverend Collins can give her a run for her money.  Nevertheless, something must be said in her defense.  Such a defense will necessarily entail a severe criticism of Mr. Bennet. Read the rest of this entry »

In my last post https://www.billisley.com/?p=801 I criticized the all too common practice among readers of skipping passages that describe landscapes.  This “sin of the impatient reader” is especially harmful in the case of Willa Cather (1873-1947), certainly one of America’s premier novelists and probably the finest example of Great Plains regionalism.  Read the rest of this entry »

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