Sense and Sensibility Young Ladies Tea

It seemed appropriate to schedule a Jane Austen romance during February for my Young Ladies Literary Tea. Since we did Pride and Prejudice last fall, we were eager to compare the Bennet sisters to the Dashwood sisters, so we chased away the mid-winter blues with Sense and Sensibility. It was a marvelous club. As usual,…

Brother Hugo and the Bear

I found inspiration for the figure of Brother Hugo himself in an Oxford manuscript. At the end of an eleventh-century copy of St. Jerome’s Commentary of Isaiah, now kept in the Bodleian Library, I came across the endearing self-portrait of a Benedictine monk who had labeled his picture Hugo pictor: “the painter Hugo.” Beebe built…

Across a Dark and Wild Sea

In my review of The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane, I linked two books the author lists as further resources. One of them I hadn’t read was Across a Dark and Wild Sea by Don Brown. I have read it now. This is the story of Columcille (koll-m-kill), an Irish monk who lived in the…

Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

This is part of Diane’s Literature Course II Series Each of the girls in my class has read Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, and last year we read Life on the Mississippi together. So they have had a good taste of Mark Twain’s usual style. This month we read Twain’s Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc. This…

Rascal Study Guide

Near the end of Sterling North’s Rascal, Sterling and his aunt Lillie discuss what Sterling might want to be when he grows up. Aunt Lillie thinks Sterling’s deceased mother would have wanted him to be a writer. When he asks why, she says; “And then you could put it all down, the way it is…

Hobbit Club: January 2019

This is part of the Hobbit Club series This month we opened our book club with what we understand was J.R.R. Tolkien’s favorite prayer: The Litany of Mother Mary. We Catholics love our litanies. They are so soothing while also inviting contemplation. Our Lord despises vain repetitions, but He did not object to repetition. In…

Hobbit Club: December 2018

This is part of our Hobbit Club Series At our December meeting, I was sick. I got sick in October and have been in and out of doctors’ offices since then. At the time of writing this (February) I am preparing for a surgery which should cap off a nearly five-month ordeal. In fact, I…

Homemade Yogurt

I’m sure I can’t expect everyone to be as excited about this recipe as I am. Many of you probably already do this with a yogurt maker, or some other method, and know more about the process than I. But I want to share because I’m thrilled to find this so simple. I have been…

The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane

When I was teaching at a classical Christian school, in a multi-level classroom, we studied the history of the Middle Ages and Renaissance every three years. I always looked forward to the projects related to the preservation of ancient manuscripts and the art of illumination. Some of the now-adult students from my very first class…