FALVEY MEMORIAL LIBRARY

You are exploring: VU > Library > Blogs > Library News

Life as the Sister of the Liberty Bell

This post was originally posted on December 10, 2009 by Michael Foight

A recently digitized title from the Villanova Digital Collection, The Liberty Bell’s Sister by the Rev. Louis A. Rongione, OSA, provides a history and overview of the companion to the Liberty Bell that once rested in Falvey Memorial Library and now resides in the Augustinian Heritage Room of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery.

bell2-234x300

The history of the bell started on October 16, 1751 when the Pennsylvania Assembly voted that a bell weighing 2000 pounds costing between 100 and 150 pounds (sources disagree on the specific cost – ed.) should be purchased from Whitechapel Bell Foundry in  London and then be provided for use in the new State House that was later called Independence Hall.

That historic bell cracked upon its first testing. It was felt by that same governing body that because of the need to recast twice after cracking, and the bells poor tone quality, a replacement should be purchased.

A bell of the same weight and cost was then ordered.

In the summer of 1754 the Liberty Bell’s sister arrived in Philadelphia.

On August 13, 1754, however, the Pennsylvania Assembly voted not to replace but to keep both bells as the populace who once found the Liberty Bells’ tone annoying had grown accustomed to it.

The original bell was hung in Independence Hall and the Sister Bell was hung on a special cupola in front of her, attached to the State House Clock, to toll the hours. She performed this task from 1754 to 1830, except for a brief period of time during the Revolutionary War.

Both bells rang for special occasions. One such occasion was the reading of the Declaration of Independence, July 8, 1776.

The Sister Bell is no stranger to political intrigue. On September 14, 1777 British forces were threatening invasion and then occupied Philadelphia. The bells were smuggled to secret location in Allentown to prevent the enemy from melting them down and using them for ammunition.

The British left Philadelphia June 27, 1778 and the sisters were returned to their home.

In 1830 the City of Philadelphia kept the original bell and sold the Sister Bell and Stretch Clock to Reverend Michael Hurley, O.S.A., Pastor of Saint Augustine’s Church, 4th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia.

On May 8th 1844 St. Augustine’s Church was burned to the ground by members of the Native American Party. The clock, library, paintings were totally destroyed and the bell cracked into pieces in the fire. Her fragments were gathered and given to Joseph Bernhard of Philadelphia for recasting.

In 1847 the Sister Bell was recast but she was greatly reduced in size. She was sent to Villanova College founded in 1842 by the same Augustinian Fathers who served St. Augustine’s Church.

From 1847- 1917 the Sister Bell hung in a locust tree and was used to call the students to class, chapel and their meals. In 1917 she was sent to Jamaica Long Island and was used in the steeple of St. Nicholas of Tolentine Augustinian Church, but on September 20, 1942 she returned home to Villanova for the inauguration of the Centennial year 1942-1943.

Currently the Sister Bell has found a home in the Augustinian Heritage Room. She may be seen by appointment by calling the Rev. Martin L. Smith, OSA: 610-864-1590.

bell1-239x300

See more at: http://blog.library.villanova.edu/digitallibrary/2009/12/10/life-as-the-sister-of-the-liberty-bell/#sthash.veyLsTWz.dpuf


Like

‘Caturday: Impatient Pets

We’ve crossed over the midsummer mark, and most school-aged children have been off from school for a few weeks. What are your little Wildcats doing this summer? YMCA camp? Traveling with the family? Having fun with friends at the community pool? Do they have chores to do?

I hope they aren’t tempted to follow this young lady’s example.

Girl feeding cat and dog salami

“Don’t be impatient, children!”

Trade card featuring a girl feeding salami to a dog and cat, given with Frank Leslie’s “Chimney Corner”, from the Villanova Digital Library Dime Novel and Popular Literature collection.


Like

Alice’s Adventures and Mock Turtle Soup

Alice's Adventures in WonderlandSince this is a library food blog, I like to find recipes that will connect to a book or to reading in general. So this month, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, I decided to read this childhood favorite again in the hopes of finding culinary inspiration.

The story begins with Alice half-dozing outside on a hot summer day as her older sister reads a book with “no pictures or conversations in it.” As her mind wanders, she enters another world where animals talk, playing card soldiers double as croquet arches, and a Queen randomly orders executions for trivial infractions. But it’s the Mock Turtle who gets my attention. He goes to school, sings, dances and plays games. We learn of the sad Mock Turtle’s schooling in chapter 9 and he performs the Lobster Quadrille in chapter 10. Both chapters are filled with songs, puns and word play.

I’m not sure if it was the Queen’s mention of Mock Turtle Soup or if it was the Turtle Soup song that inspired me to make soup. And there was no doubt in my mind that it would be the mock version of turtle soup. The ingredients would be easier to find and cheaper than using real turtle. That, combined with the happy childhood memories of finding cute little turtles near Fern Hill Lake, prevented me from considering turtle meat.

mock turtleIn the earliest publication of Alice’s Adventures, the Mock Turtle was beautifully illustrated by Sir John Tenniel, who showed the character with a calf’s head and hoofs instead of flippers on his hind legs. He may have been inspired to draw the Mock Turtle this way because of the transition to “dull reality” as Alice’s sister thought of how “the lowing of the cattle in the distance would take the place of the Mock Turtle’s heavy sobs.”

Instead of making the traditional Victorian mock turtle soup, which calls for calf’s head and heels, I adapted a Louisianan recipe from the In a While, Crocodile cook book that had a little more kick to it. In addition to ground beef, I added ground veal, as a nod to the traditional calf ingredient.

¾ lb. ground sirloin

¾ lb. ground veal

6 stalks celery, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup chopped onion

3/4 cup butter

15 oz. tomato puree

30 oz. chicken broth

30 oz. beef broth

1/2 cup flour mixed with 1 cup water

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 cup ketchup

1 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you like it hotter)

2 bay leaves

1-1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup minced flat-leaf parsley

6 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

6 slices lemon, for garnish

1 cup sherry (or to taste)

Mock turtle saute stepSaute the meat, celery, garlic, and onion in butter until meat is brown and veggies are translucent. Add to the slow cooker (6 quart or larger).

Add tomato puree, chicken broth, beef broth, flour mixture, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, hot sauce, bay leaves, thyme, salt, and pepper to the slow cooker. Stir.

Cook on low heat for 3 ½ hours.

Add lemon juice, parsley, and eggs. Stir well and cook for another 30 minutes. If desired, skim and discard fat from top of soup.

IMG_8535Immediately before serving, remove bay leaves, add sherry to taste, and garnish individual bowls with lemon slices. Enjoy with buttered bread.

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a historically accurate mock turtle soup recipe, try the one copied below, from Martha Lloyd’s Household Book. (Martha was a close friend of Jane Austen.)

Mrs. Fowle’s Mock Turtle Soup:

Take a large calf’s head. Scald off the hair. Boil it until the horn is tender, then cut it into slices about the size of your finger, with as little lean as possible. Have ready three pints of good mutton or veal broth, put in it half a pint of Madeira wine, half a teaspoonful of thyme, pepper, a large onion, and the peel of a lemon chop’t very small. A ¼ of a pint of oysters chop’t very small, and their liquor; a little salt, the juice of two large onions, some sweet herbs, and the brains chop’t. Stand all these together for about an hour, and send it up to the table with the forcemeat balls made small and the yolks of hard eggs.

“The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice sometimes choked with sobs, to sing this:—

‘Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,

Waiting in a hot tureen!

Who for such dainties would not stoop?

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,

Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

 

‘Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,

Game, or any other dish?

Who would not give all else for two

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!

Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,

Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!’”


Food blog by Luisa Cywinski, editorial coordinator on the Communication & Service Promotion team, and team leader, Access Services team.

Mock Turtle Soup recipe adapted from In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes by Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, © 2014 by Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller, used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.


Like

“The audience is half of the poem”: the First Latino Poet Laureate

Library of Congress appoints the 1st Latino Poet Laureate

Connecting to people through performance is crucial for Herrera. “I used to stand on the corner in San Diego with poems sticking out of my hip pocket, asking people if there was a place where I could read poems,” he recalls. “The audience is half of the poem.”

(Retrieved from LA Times, 6/22/15)
Photo: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/juan-felipe-herrera

Photo: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/juan-felipe-herrera

Congratulations to Juan Felipe Herrera, who was appointed the 21st poet laureate on June 10 by the Library of Congress. Herrera will be the first Hispanic-American person to be chosen as poet laureate in the United States in the 79 years since the program’s inception. His tenure will begin in September—national Hispanic heritage month.

Herrera, the son of migrant farmers, spent much of his youth travelling and living in tents in the San Joaquin Valley, California. Though terribly underprivileged, he was presented with the remarkable opportunity to attend UCLA as a young adult. From there, he went on to attend Stanford University and the University of Iowa’s Writing Workshop, where he earned a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Through his education and experiences as a young Hispanic-American, Herrera developed a deep passion for writing and performing in both English and Spanish. He penned several pieces, including collections of poetry and children’s books in honor of his heritage and worldview. In addition to his writing and performing, Herrera has been an avid teacher and has also served as the poet laureate of California from 2012-2014.

Villanova University was lucky enough to welcome Juan Felipe Herrera as one of the featured speakers during the 14th annual Villanova Literary Festival, organized by Alan Drew, Assistant Professor of English & Creative Writing. The talk took place on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 in Falvey Memorial Library’s Speakers’ Corner. A jam-packed audience had the opportunity to listen to Herrera as he read and performed selected poems in both Spanish and English. With great enthusiasm and detail, Herrera shared his past experiences and showed poignant images to illustrate his work.

It’s been reported that Herrera’s main focus during his tenure as poet laureate will likely be to connect people of all different cultural backgrounds through poetry and to help highlight the stories of those people who are typically overlooked.

Interested in learning more about Juan Felipe Herrera? Check out Falvey Memorial Library’s holdings by this author.

Also, visit the following sites for additional information on Herrera and the position of Poet Laureate, provided by librarian Susan Ottignon.

Juan Felipe Herrera, Current Poet Laureate

List of works by Juan Felipe Herrera

Past Poets Laureate: 2011-present

About the Position of Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry


Dig Deeper links provided by Sue Ottignon, subject librarian for romance languages and literatures.


Like

St Joseph, Patron Saint of Fathers

St_Joseph_the_Worker

Saint Joseph is a protector of the Augustinian order. Early in the fifth century, Saint Augustine addresses the issue of how Saint Joseph can be said to be the ‘father’ of Jesus, since God is the father of Christ Jesus, the Incarnate Logos, and Saint Joseph never had any conjugal relations with the Theotokos, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“On account of that faithful marriage both of them deserved to be called the parents of Christ. Not merely was [Mary] called his mother, but as the spouse of Christ’s mother, [Joseph] was called his father, for he was both of these by his mind, not by the flesh. Though he was [Jesus Christ’s] father only by his mind and she was his mother also by the flesh, they were both parents of his humble condition, not of his lofty condition, of his infirmity, not of his divinity.” (Augustine, “Marriage and Desire” I. 11.12. Translated by Roland J. Teske, S.J. The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century. Volume I/24: Answer to the Pelagians, II, 37. Edited by John E. Rotelle, O.S.A. Hyde Park, New York: New City Press, 1998. Many volumes from this contemporary edition in English of The Works of St. Augustine are available via the Past Masters database.)

In a signed article, “Marriage” (from Augustine Through the Ages: An Encyclopedia, edited by Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A., available via Falvey’s Digital Library), David G. Hunter states: “Augustine’s initial response to Pelagian critics of his views on marriage is found in the first book of De Nuptiis Et Concupiscentia, addressed to Count Valerius (ca. 418).” De Nuptiis Et Concupiscentia, “Marriage and Desire,” book one by St. Augustine is the work quoted above.

Around the time of the writing of this work, Augustine’s doctrine of grace was vindicated. The Catholic Church affirmed against the perfectionism of Pelagianism that human will is ineffective in doing good, including in marriage, unless first perfected by God’s gracious gift of participation in the divine life of the holy Trinity. A preeminent father of the church and one of the four great doctors of the Latin, i.e., Western, church, the sobriquet of Saint Augustine, the spiritual father of the Augustinian order, is doctor of grace.


Like

Celebrate Freedom by Exploring Juneteenth and Harriet Tubman resources

 

240px-Emancipation_Day_celebration_-_1900-06-19

Today is the sesquicentennial of Juneteenth, the nineteenth of June, and the day that marks the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation was signed two and a half years earlier in 1863, at that time without mass media, it actually took the physical arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas to announce to the last of the held slaves there that the Civil War had ended and that they were free. Hence, birthing a new Independence Day.

Juneteenth not only commemorates the abolition of slavery but also is growing to be a multicultural and global celebration of  freedom in general. Specifically, it is an opportunity to build cultural awareness, and in many communities, to educate young African-American generations about the struggles of their past and how their ancestors prevailed. Gratitude and pride, story and song make up many Juneteenth celebrations.

imrs.php

Also in recent news is one of the country’s most legendary abolitionists, Harriet Tubman. Ms. Tubman recently emerged the winner of a public survey (Womenon20s.org) to nominate the first woman to appear on U.S. paper currency. Though the selection, and even the process, was subject to debate (e.g., some see it as hush money, some see it as ‘money’,) the accomplishments of this brave abolitionist in her very dangerous times cannot be minimized. News broke Wednesday, June 18, that the $10 bill, which now depicts Alexander Hamilton, will definitely feature the portrait of a woman, though her identity is yet to be determined. The Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew will determine the person by the end of 2015, with the new currency appearing in 2020 — the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.

Dig Deeper

Explore further the intriguing times after the Emancipation through the following Falvey resources about Juneteenth and Harriet Tubman, curated by history liaison, Jutta Seibert. She’s also included some links on what actually goes into making the U.S. dollar bill. Contact Jutta here for her guidance through your research needs and also for her help navigating the wealth of books and online library materials.

1. African American Studies Center Online (AASCO)
http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=http://www.oxfordaasc.com/
AASCO is a great source about African American history in general and Harriet Tubman’s life in particular. It includes the Encyclopedia of African American History: 1619-1895, Black Women in America, and the African American National Biography project. AASCO also includes primary sources and images.

2. Books about Harriet Tubman in the Falvey collection:

3. Black Abolitionist Papers, 1830-1865
Find numerous digitized primary sources written by and about Harriet Tubman.

4. African American Newspapers: The Nineteenth Century
Follow the life of Harriet Tubman as chronicled in the African American Press.

5. Historical New York Times, 1851-2009

Tubman’s obituary from March 14, 1913:

http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/97412990?accountid=14853

A report about the white resistance to emancipation in Texas from July 1865:
“The Negro Question in Texas.” New York Times (1857-1922), Jul 09, 1865.

http://ezproxy.villanova.edu/login?URL=?url=http://search.proquest.com/docview/91903644?accountid=14853.

6. Secondary sources about the tradition of Juneteenth celebrations in the Falvey collection:
Kachun Mitch. “Celebrating Freedom: Juneteenth and the Emancipation Festival Tradition.” In Remixing the Civil War: Meditations on the Sesquicentennial, edited by Thomas J. Brown, 73-91. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011. [E641 .R45 2011]

7. A Brief History of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS66871

8. All you ever wanted to know about the dollar:
Currency Notes. [Washington, D.C.]: Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 2004.

http://purl.access.gpo.gov/GPO/LPS66873


Links and resources prepared by Jutta Seibert, team leader for Academic Integration and subject librarian for History.


Like

Octocentenary! 800th Anniversary Celebration of the Magna Carta

Magna_Carta_(British_Library_Cotton_MS_Augustus_II.106)

The Magna Carta (originally known as the Charter of Liberties) of 1215, written in iron gall ink on parchment in medieval Latin, using standard abbreviations of the period, authenticated with the Great Seal of King John. The original wax seal was lost over the centuries.[1] This document is held at the British Library and is identified as “British Library Cotton MS Augustus II.106″ One of four known surviving 1215 exemplars of Magna Carta. Source Britishlibrary.png This file has been provided by the British Library from its digital collections.

John, by the grace of God King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Normandy and Aquitaine and Count of Anjou, to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, foresters, sheriffs, stewards, servants and to all his officials and loyal subjects, greeting. 

Octocentenary! Truly, that’s a word you don’t hear everyday!

Though most of its clauses have been repealed, the Magna Carta – celebrating its 800th anniversary today – still stands as a framework and rallying cry against the arbitrary use of political power.

Signed June 15, 1215 by King John in Runnymede, (and not Runnemede, NJ, for those of us who have watched too much local news) this medieval document was composed as a peace treaty between the king and his subjects.

John, according to history (and to this entertaining British Library-produced video narrated by Monty Python’s Terry Jones,) was allowing power to go to his head – having allegedly imprisoned his wife, murdered his nephew, and raising taxes to pay for expensive foreign wars and wasteful expansionism. His barons had had enough and imprisoned John, forcing him to negotiate and follow the rule of law himself. Though most of of the document was rewritten within its first ten years, three of its original clauses still stand in English statute books: one granting liberties to the English Church, one granting certain privileges to the city of London, and third and most important, the right to a trial by jury. To writ:

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions,or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

See excerpts of the remaining clauses here.

Ideas in the Magna Carta are also reflected in theories of representative government and influential behind the cries of “no taxation without representation” which sparked the American Revolution and ultimately were incorporated into the US Bill of Rights. Worth viewing is the Library of Congress’ recent digital exhibit, Magna Carta: Muse and Mentor. Its overview material states that, “by examining the ways in which Magna Carta has been interpreted in English and American constitutional law and politics, this exhibition demonstrates how principles such as due process of law, the right to a jury trial, freedom from unlawful imprisonment, and the theory of representative government emerged from a tradition that began 800 years ago.”

Library curator Nathan Dorn and Princess Anne view the exhibit. Photo by John Harrington. Retrieved 6/8/15 http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2014/11/pic-of-the-week-princess-anne-opens-magna-carta-exhibition/

Library curator Nathan Dorn and Princess Anne view the exhibit. Photo by John Harrington. Retrieved 6/8/15 http://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2014/11/pic-of-the-week-princess-anne-opens-magna-carta-exhibition/

 Can one still view the original Magna Carta?

Yes, If you happen to find yourself in Merrie Ol’ England, you can visit one of three original parchments of the document, or several other locations with amended or later versions. In fact, last week, Princess Anne officially reopened Lincoln Castle after a “multi-million pound refurbishment” that included a new vault for housing that city’s original copy of the document.

Closer to home…Dig Deeper

But if you’d rather save your pounds for a rainy day, you can still get up close and personal with the Magna Carta by viewing the extensive array of Falvey resources gathered by subject librarian for political science and geography, Merrill Stein.

On the famous bronze doors of the Supreme Court in Washington DC, there are eight images; three are dedicated to the Magna Carta (5,6 & 7).

On the famous bronze doors of the Supreme Court in Washington DC, there are eight images; three are dedicated to the Magna Carta (5,6 & 7).

 

Full text of the document and good explanation of the document’s relevance and history from Fordham University.

Full text with annotations; an ed doc.

British Library Digital Collection

National Archives translation

British Library Modern day English translation

EAWC Readings from Medieval Europe

Yale Law School Avalon Project

William Sharp McKechnie, Magna Carta: A Commentary on the Great Charter of King John, with an Historical Introduction, by William Sharp McKechnie (Glasgow: Maclehose, 1914)

Magna carta; the Lincoln cathedral copy

Magna Carta Libertatum (Latin)

University of Oxford Bodleian documents

1215 version

1225 version

Falvey Memorial Library subject search:


Dig Deeper links provided by Merrill Stein, subject librarian for political science and geography. Find Merrill’s contact info here.MerrillStein

 


Like

A Brief Look at Italian and English Renaissance Drama

Did yesterday’s blog post about Renaissance Faires whet your appetite for Renaissance Drama? Look no further than this thoughtfully assembled blog by Sarah Wingo, Subject Librarian for English Literature and Theatre.


When you hear the word Renaissance you may think of Michelangelo painting the ceiling of the Sistine chapel and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, or you may think of Queen Elizabeth I and Shakespeare. In both cases you’d be right, but you may not be aware that you’re thinking of two fairy distinct (though overlapping) time periods. The European or Italian Renaissance spanned the 14th to the 17th century beginning nearly a century before the Renaissance would truly gain momentum in England in the late 15th century and extend to beginning of the 17th century.

The Renaissance period in Italy and England were both characterized by a “revival of the arts and high culture under the influence of classical models” (OED), but each also had traditions and art forms distinctly their own.

One area in which Italian arts and English arts diverged was theatre.

Taglia Cantoni and Fracasso

Two Pantaloons Dancing. Bello Sguardo, Couiello. Dances of Sfessania (Balli di Sfessania 1621) series by Jacques Callot, 1592 – 1635.

In Italy a form of theatre known as commedia dell’arte[i] was popularized between 1575 and1650. Performed in open spaces and at fair grounds commedia dell’arte was largely improvised versions of familiar tropes. Commedia stories relied upon stock characters which were divided into 3 categories the lovers, the masters, and the servants, with distinctive characters belonging to each category such as Pantalone a greedy Venetian merchant. These characters were easily recognized by their distinctive clothing and the masks that they wore, thus allowing audiences to immediately identify heroes and villains within any story being told.[ii]

Most people will be more familiar with the theatre of the English Renaissance due to the enduring popularity of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s earliest plays were likely performed in the mid-1580s. From 1594 onwards his works were performed by the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, a company of players of which he was part owner, who later became The King’s Men after being awarded a Royal Patent by King James I in 1603.

Shakespeare is the most well-known playwright from the English Renaissance at least in part due to the fact that more of his plays survive, thanks to their publication in the First Folio in 1623, than do the plays of most other playwrights from that era. Because plays were considered common entertainment rather than high art plays were not regularly published[iii], in fact of the 36 plays published in the Shakespeare’s First Folio only 16 existed in published form prior to the printing of the folio meaning that a full 20 of Shakespeare’s plays including Macbeth, The Tempest, and Twelfth Night would be unknown to us were it not for the printing of the First Folio. Likewise of the thousands of plays produced by numerous playwrights throughout the English Renaissance only a small percentage survive to this day.

Swan Theatre

The Swan Theatre: Arnoldus Buchelius (Aernout van Buchel) (1565-1641), after a drawing of Johannes de Witt (1566-1622). Utrecht, University Library, Ms. 842, fol. 132r.

Although there were some indoor performance spaces such as those at court and Blackfriars most theatres including The Globe where Shakespeare’s plays were performed from 1599 until it burnt down in 1613, were rounded open air structures with seating around the walls of the building and cheaper standing space in the center around the stage as can be seen in this image of The Swan Theatre, a contemporary of The Globe.

Theatre companies functioned as repertory, with a rotation of plays in performance, rarely performing the same play two days in a row. Theatre companies were also comprised entirely of men, female characters famously being played by “boy actors,” though the term “boy” may be misleading as it is believed that while the female roles were played by young men, they were not as was once believe played by children.

One reason that theatre from this period is so important is that it is really the first time that the Western World begins to see secular theatre performed in much the same way that modern theatre is performed today. The plays themselves also being very recognizable as modern theatre in stark contrast the highly stylized and religious liturgical dramas and morality plays which preceded the theatre of Shakespeare and his contemporaries. [iv]

[i] Katritzky, M A. The Art of Commedia: A Study in the Commedia Dell’Arte 1560-1620 With Special Reference to the Visual Records. Amsterdam ; New York: Rodopi, 2006.

[ii] Read more about Commedia dell’arte at the Metropolitan Museum of Art website.

[iii] For more information about printing and publishing of plays during the English Renaissance see : Jowett, John. Shakespeare and Text. Oxford ; New York: Oxford University Press, 2007

[iv] Andrew Gurr has written prolifically on the topic of English Renaissance drama, and his books The Shakespearean stage, 1574-1642 and Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London would be of particular interest to anyone wishing to learn more on this subject.

 


SarahArticle by Sarah Wingo, team leader- Humanities II, subject librarian for English, literature and theatre.


Like

All new for 2015! Recommended Summer Reading from English Faculty

Hey, blog fans, have you discovered the wonderful blog published by the Villanova Department of English? Not only is it an informative site for events, and people news, it’s also a place for unexpected delights, such as first dibs on job and internship opportunities and cookies at the coffee breaks!  Be sure to check it out regularly!
Associate Professor and departmental chair Evan Radcliffe, PhD, has kindly granted permission to reprint one of our favorite posts of theirs –  a real book lover’s dream! Below you’ll find a first-class summer reading list compiled by Department of English professors, written in their own voices. Ranging from classics to books just under the radar, you can be sure that time spent with these picks will be worthwhile – and if you’re not careful, you just might learn something! We’ve reprinted their recommendations here, including links, when available, to their Falvey catalog information.

Recommended Summer Reading from English Faculty


CHIJI AKOMA

I’ve got two books to share! The first is We Need New Names, a novel by NoViolet Bulawayo. You should read it, if not for anything else, for the author’s arresting name! But, seriously, it’s a great story on migration and the different levels of displacement that attend to it when economic and racial pressures are applied. The young and sassy first person narrator Darling will reward you with shock, amusement, and much to think about for choosing to hang out with her this summer. If you are an English senior, Bulawayo is also on the reading list for my section of the senior seminar this fall.

The other novel is Bernardine Evaristo’s The Emperor’s Babe. I haven’t read it yet, but the blurb is intriguing. Having read Evaristo’s earlier work, Lara, a semi-autobiographical verse novel that deliciously presents the myriad diasporic roots of Evaristo, reaching to Ireland, Germany, Nigeria and Brazil, I am excited to read The Emperor’s Babe, which is also in verse form. But this is no turgid verse. It flows. The Emperor’s Babe is set in AD 211 London (or, Londinium as the Romans called it) and features Zuleika, the daughter of Sudanese immigrants who marries a Roman merchant. Evaristo likes taking poetic risks in language and I look forward to reading about romance and power play in third century London. By the way, Evaristo will be here at Villanova in spring 2016 as keynote speaker at the Cultural Studies Association conference. Not a bad idea to read one of her novels before she arrives.
New Names
Emperor's Babe

MICHAEL BERTHOLD

This summer I plan to read through the Library of America’s collection American Science Fiction: Nine Classic Novels of the 1950s. As Junot Díaz says, “These novels testify to the extraordinary range, profound intelligence, and indefatigable weirdness of ‘50s American science fiction. A must-have for anyone interested in one of the most vital periods of our literature and for anyone who wants a wild wild tumble down the rabbit hole.”

SciFI


CHARLES CHERRY

For a break from literature, I recommend Jared Diamond’s Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (1997), a readable Pulitzer-Prize nonfiction winner. Many years ago, a New Guinean asked Diamond “why white people developed so much cargo [steel tools and other products of civilization] while we black people had little?” It took Diamond 25 years to answer that question. As Bill Gates notes: “this book lays a foundation for understanding human history.”

Guns

 

 


ALICE DAILEY

Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day (1989). This is an exquisitely—even perfectly—crafted novel. The story is told as a series of post-World War II diary entries by an English butler, Mr. Stevens, who reflects on a career of dutiful service to his aristocratic employer even when it became clear that Lord Darlington was abetting the Nazis. The novel is a poignant, elegant, and subtle study of how moral will and personal fulfillment are effaced by the constraints of duty.

Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays (1970). This novel of Los Angeles makes me homesick and heartsick. It captures the rhythm and industrial beauty of the LA freeway system and offers an uncompromising depiction of the existential vacancy of Hollywood values: youth, beauty, celebrity, surface. In Didion’s long, distinguished career, Play It As It Lays remains a standout.

Remains

Play

 


TRAVIS FOSTER

Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs. The narrator of this slim novel, a writer, travels from Boston to coastal Maine for a summer of uninterrupted work. What she finds, however, is a concentrated lesson in the stages of friendship across difference: from the uneasy hesitations of initial meeting to the gradual accumulation of shared knowledge.

Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric. We’re maybe used to novels and even poems capturing something exceptional and, for that reason, noteworthy. In this book-length poem about being black in a white supremacist nation, Rankine makes the mundane noteworthy. If you’ve read Whitman’s “Song of Myself,” you’ll recognize the epic scale Rankine locates in everyday occurrences, where casual gestures and offhand remarks recall hundreds of years of history and the clash of competing hierarchies.

Tana French, The Secret Place. French writes smart murder mysteries set in contemporary Ireland. I love them all. This one, her most recent, deals with a murder on the grounds of a girls’ boarding school. The chapters oscillate between the procedural perspective of the adult police and the meandering perspective of teenagers, a structure that allows it to highlight adolescence in all its unknown and terrifying in-betweenness.

Adam Phillips, On Kissing, Tickling, and Being Bored: Psychoanalytic Essays on the Unexamined Life. One essay here begins with Phillips, a practicing psychotherapist, asking his patient, an anxious ten-year-old boy, to define “worries.” The boy thinks for a bit and then responds: “Worries are farts that don’t come out.” For most of you, that will be all the endorsement this volume needs. For the rest, let me add that Phillips is an enviably beautiful writer who will leave you smarter, more self-aware, and maybe even happier than you were before.

 Firs
Citizen
Secret-1
Kissing

HEATHER HICKS

The Age of Miracles, by Karen Thompson Walker. It is a moving story of a young girl coming of age in a near future in which the Earth’s rotation is gradually slowing–a phenomenon that is wreaking physical and social havoc across the globe.

Miracles


KAMRAN JAVADIZADEH

I seem to be in the habit of recommending books that are about poetry, or that are almost poetry, but that achieve this while remaining stubbornly free of line breaks. Here are two more for this summer, one short (that I’ve already read) and one long (that I’m reading right now):

1. 10:04, by Ben Lerner. This novel (by a poet) is set in New York City and bookended by two hurricanes, Irene and Sandy. It’s a slim book–quiet, ruminative–and reads like a dream. What’s it about? Too many things to name, but, chiefly, the porous line between life and art. Plus the best use (ok, the only use) of the film “Back to the Future” in any novel I’ve ever read!

2. James Merrill: Life and Art, by Langdon Hammer. Full disclosure: the author of this book, a biography of the poet James Merrill, was my dissertation adviser. Merrill was a fascinating figure, gifted beyond belief, and fully committed to a life in the service of art. And this biography again and again rises to the task of making its subject come alive, without sacrificing any of the subtlety of his art. I’m far from impartial, but totally taken by this book.

1004

Merrill

 


JAMES KIRSCHKE

Lucy Gayheart, by Willa Cather. This short novel is extremely well written. The plot is nicely constructed. The language, as almost always with Cather, is a perfect fit. And the ending is extremely powerful. A moving love story.

Gayheart

 

 


JOSEPH LENNON

I’d like to suggest the novels of Glenn Patterson, who will be our Heimbold Chair for 2016. He is a Belfast novelist, and I loved Lapsed Protestant and The Mill for Grinding Old People Young, which was selected as the One Book, One City for Belfast in 2012.

Lapsed
Mill

CRYSTAL LUCKY

I’ve got God Help the Child on my bedside table, waiting.  Nothing to say but, ‘It’s Morrison!’

Morrison

 

 


JEAN LUTES

First on my summer reading list is Zia Haider Rahman’s In the Light of What We Know (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2014), because it sounds big in the best possible way: epic, global, provocative. Its story roams from Kabul to London, New York, Islamabad, Oxford, and Princeton, and I’ve heard that it considers, in one way or another, many of the key challenges of our contemporary moment in history. I’m curious.

As a teacher of the modern American novel, my summer pick is The Professor’s House (1925) by Willa Cather. It’s complex, ambitious and atmospheric. Although it does feature a middle-aged college professor, at the novel’s center is the grand story of a young adventurer who stumbles upon the remnants of an ancient civilization in the Southwest.

Zia

 

imgres


ROBERT O’NEIL

Redeployment by Phil Klay recently won the National Book Award. This collection of short stories highlights the brutal nature of war in Iraq and the haunting memories that follow soldiers home. By showing both the battle and home-front, Klay provides readers with a searing and unflinching look into the Iraq War that will ultimately change one’s perspective on soldiers and war as a whole. Excellent read!

Klay

 

 


MEGAN QUIGLEY

I have three books waiting to go for summer. First, My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard. I’m desperate to start this book. The New York Times Magazine’s “Travels Through North America” can give you a sneak peek: click here. I’ve already started and am enjoying Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See and since it just won the Pulitzer, I better finish and see why! Finally, I’ve been sucked in by the hype surrounding the reclusive Elena Ferrante and her trilogy, starting with My Brilliant Friend. I can’t wait to see what the excitement is about!

Knausgaard
Doerr
Brilliant

EVAN RADCLIFFE

I’m a fan of the archetypal film noir The Maltese Falcon (1941) starring Humphrey Bogart as the detective Sam Spade (as well as of “Tequila Mockingbird,” the episode of the TV show “Get Smart” that parodied it). But I’ve never read the original 1929 novel by Dashiell Hammett, which is a classic of noir crime fiction and the original “California noir” novel. I’m reading it this summer as a prelude to next summer, when Alan Drew’s own California noir novel, Santa Ana, will be published.

MalteseFalcon1930


LAUREN SHOHET

Orpheus Lost, by Janette Turner Hospital, adapts elements of the Orpheus legend in this engaging contemporary novel that takes its characters through the long-lived consequences of wars past and present.

Martin Blaser’s Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics is Fueling our Modern Plagues is as interesting for changing how we think about boundaries of bodies, of selves and others, as it is for its pragmatic prescriptions.

Orpheus

Microbes

 

 


Some of the above titles are in the library collection, in which case you can click on the links provided. If the title isn’t linked, consider using the E-ZBorrow or Interlibrary Loan services to request the book from another library.


Like
1 People Like This Post

The Best of The Highlighter: Library Policies for DVDs

HIGHLIGHTER-PRO

Click here for the video about library policies for DVDs.


Like

Next Page »

 


Last Modified: May 12, 2015