Items tagged with Classic

A Year of Reading Jane Austen: Discuss "Mansfield Park" with English Professor Dr. Pamela Buck

May 21, 2016
Dr. Pamela Buck

Sacred Heart University English professor Dr. Pamela Buck led a discussion of Mansfield Park on May 21, 2016.

You may need: Adobe Flash Player.


Hava Nagila

Posted by MargieF on Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 - 10:55 AM

How does an ethnic song creep into the popular media?  What characteristics does it possess that grabs the public's imagination?  Is it the lyrics or the melody that captivates the listener?read more


Coming of Age

Posted by SusanM on Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012 - 3:38 PM

The coming of age theme is an extremely popular focus for many fiction books.  In a coming of age novel, the main character often undergoes some struggle or comes to grips with the harsh realities of life and growing up.  Book clubs have always embraced these books, from the classics - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Catcher in the Rye, to the more contemporary The Kite Runner and The Secret Life of Bees.  If you’re looking for your next book club pick, here are a few new authors who’ve written some noteworthy books in the coming of age more


Posted by on Tuesday, Aug 16, 2011 - 8:14 AM

hunt for sonya dufrette coverThe Hunt for Sonya Dufrette (2006) is the first title of six novels—to date—in R.T. Raichev’s Antonia Darcy series.

At a house party on the day of the royal wedding in 1981, a little girl named Sonya Dufrette wanders off and is never seen again. Twenty-five years later, Antonia sets out to solve the more

National Anthem Day

Posted by MargieF on Tuesday, Mar 1, 2011 - 11:58 AM

Did you know that March 3, 2011 has a particular musical resonance in  American history?read more

Classic, Music

A bit of Wimsey

Posted by on Tuesday, Feb 22, 2011 - 9:37 AM

presumption of death cover 2In 1936, Dorothy L. Sayers abandoned the last Lord Peter Wimsey detective story.

Sixty years later, a brown paper parcel containing an unfinished manuscript was discovered in her agent’s safe in London. Award-winning novelist Jill Paton Walsh was commissioned to complete it.

The result of the pairing of Sayers with Walsh was the international bestsellerThrones, Dominations (1998).     

read more


Victorian Preview

Posted by on Monday, Feb 7, 2011 - 4:41 PM

An orphan, educated but penniless, with high moral standards, fearsome love and strong loyalty navigates an unfriendly world.  Mistreated in her youth and alone as an adult, she nevertheless refuses to compromise and eventually her love and loyalty pay off.   Remember Jane Eyre?  Has it been a few years – or longer-since you gave this story a thought? Written in 1847, the novel reflects the social conditions of the time. It’s a story of morality, God, religion, love, passion, independence, atonement, forgiveness and search for belonging.  Sounds like a good movie!read more

Happy birthday, Agatha!

Posted by on Tuesday, Sep 14, 2010 - 12:20 PM

agatha_christie1.jpgTomorrow, September 15th, will mark the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth. Much to my delight, Joan Acocella chose to celebrate the author in Queen of Crime: How Agatha Christie Invented the Modern Murder Mystery in a recent issue of the New Yorker. It is a brilliant piece that puts Christie into proper perspective within a mere five thousand words, give or take a few. One of Acocela’s most striking ideas is that we recognize Christie’s place as a cultural phenomenon “like Barbie or the Beatles” and not categorize her merely as a literary figure. She defends Christie against her critics, saying that although she did produce the occasional bad book, for the most part, “… from the beginning, she was perfectly fitted to her genre.” Acocela adds “Some people say that Christie’s shining period was her middle years. I find that she wrote her best books, in alternation with her worst books, until near the end.” She points out, however, that when Christie was in her mid-forties she grew tired of writing, and quotes the author saying that having to turn out a novel each year made her feel like a “sausage machine.” Christie came to despise Poirot and thought of him as an “egocentric creep” and worried that her fictional murders were frivolous when compared to the horrors of the Second World War. Fortunately for mystery fans, she persevered … and, ironically, her popularity (and sales) continued to increase. If you are free tomorrow night—Wednesday evening (the 15th)—please join me and the Usual Suspects Mystery Reading Group in the McManus Room from 6 to 8 as we celebrate the life and writing of Agatha Christie. There will be cake!


Music for us to enjoy

Posted by on Monday, Jul 12, 2010 - 11:07 AM

harperlee.jpgI could not let the 50th anniversary of the publication of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird pass without mention. There are more than 30 million copies in print and Oprah Winfrey has called it our “national novel”. The story has become such a part of the American consciousness that its initial mixed critical reception has been forgotten. Many praised Lee's "insight into Southern mores" and her "wit, grace, and skill" but negative comments were made about the novel's sermonizing and its melodramatic climax. You are not likely to find this book in the crime fiction or mystery section of a book store or library, but the Mystery Writers of America considered it enough of a “regional mystery” to include it in their list of The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time in 1995. It does qualify, to a certain extent, as a thriller. In a recent NPR interview, suspense superstar Karin Slaughter said “I'm one of those people who doesn't really think of thrillers in a conventional way. If you think about To Kill a Mockingbird, for instance, some of those courtroom scenes are more tense than any Grisham novel, you know … So when I think of thrilling moments in a thriller… I think of To Kill a Mockingbird or I think of these classics where crime really changes your point of view on somebody." tokill.jpgThe themes of crime and punishment and of guilt and innocence are explored in the novel through two characters, Tom Robinson and Boo Radley, both victims of false accusations and prejudice. The model for the fictional Radleys was a family who lived close to Lee's family whose house was always boarded up. Their son had gotten into some legal trouble and the father kept him a prisoner in his own home for 24 years out of shame. The biggest element of true mystery surrounds this character, Arthur "Boo" Radley. Jem, Scout and Dill imagine that the recluse dines on raw squirrels and roams the neighborhood by night and they become obsessed with getting Boo to come out of the house so they can get a look at him. They finally learn that Boo is a gentle and kind man who leaves gifts for them in a hollow tree, secretly mends Jem's torn pants (which were snagged on the Radleys' fence and abandoned there during a Boo- spying mission) and on one cold winter night, while Scout stands shivering as she watches a neighbor's house burn, Boo, unseen, covers her with a blanket. And finally, it is Boo who rescues Scout and Jem from the murderous attack of a drunken, vengeful Bob Ewell. sab.jpgCheck out Scout, Atticus, and Boo, a new book which features interview selections with prominent figures including Oprah Winfrey, Tom Brokaw, Wally Lamb, and Anna Quindlen on how the book has impacted their lives. "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mocking bird."

Classic, Legal

Steampunk Holmes

Posted by on Friday, Dec 18, 2009 - 2:51 PM

downey.jpgHolmes is back on the big screen in a new film, entitled simply Sherlock Holmes, featuring Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, and Jude Law as his stalwart partner Watson. It is a steampunk take on the detective’s exploits and puts what will undoubtedly be a controversial spin on the complex relationship between Holmes and Watson.

Coined by science fiction author K.W. Jeter, steampunk is loosely defined as high-tech fiction set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, most often the Victorian era.

Some of the fantastical technological inventions depicted are like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, although sometimes real technological devices such as computers show up.

brett.jpgSherlock Holmes has been portrayed on screen more often than any other character in history. Consult David Stuart Davies’ Starring Sherlock Holmes: A Century of the Master Detective on Screen if you are looking for the definitive illustrated guide to the films and television series (current to 2007) featuring every Sherlock Holmes film and TV series ever made … including foreign and lesser known productions, from the silent movies, through the portrayals of Basil Rathbone and Peter Cushing, to the Jeremy Brett television series and beyond.

It is gloriously illustrated with stills, posters, lobby cards and behind-the-scenes shots, including rare, previously unpublished material.

But wait … there’s more … it also covers the stage and radio works, and background on Holmes’ world and Conan Doyle himself.

Perhaps for the Holmes fan on your gift list this year?

baker.jpgThe flow of Holmes pastiches continues unabated. One of the more humorous variations came this year in the form of The Baker Street Letters by Michael Robertson, the first entry in a new series. Two brother lawyers—Reggie Heath and his hapless brother, Nigel—lease offices on London's Baker Street and start to receive mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes. Nigel decides to play detective, and when he ends up getting himself arrested, Reggie must use all his wits to solve a case that Sherlock Holmes would have savored and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fans will adore.

Library Journal said: “Great characters, a complex plot, and the wonderful feeling that people still believe in Sherlock Holmes round out this debut treat.”

By the way, the television rights have been sold to Warner Brothers. The game is still afoot!