Archive for October, 2009

Halloween Stuff

Useful stuff I’ve recorded in previous years:

“Hallowe’en” by Robert Burns. (Sorry I’m not Scottish….)

“Lil’ Orphant Annie”
by James Whitcomb Riley. And the gobble’uns ‘ll get you ef you don’t watch out.

“A Welsh Halloween” by Anne Beale, excerpted from her novel Traits and Stories of the Welsh Peasantry.

“The Queen of Spain and the Bold MacLean”
by Andrew Lang.

“The Nightmare” by G.K. Chesterton.

“Tam Lin”, a traditional ballad.

“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”
by Robert Browning.

And don’t forget the history of my illustrious saintly relative, martyred by bad General Ireton on Halloween!

And for All Saints’ Day:

Sermon on All Saints’ Day“, by the Venerable Bede.

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Just in time for Halloween, a fairly full account of the Halloween martyrdom of Blessed Terence Albert O’Brien, O.P., and bishop of Emly! AND his prophecy of dooooom on Ireton. AND Ireton’s guilty conscience seeing ghosts. Man, this is fun stuff.

Don’t worry. It’s not gory, and most of the length is info about his life and what was going on at the time. I excerpted it from a much longer history text from Victorian times. I’m only sorry that I don’t have access (not being a university student) to some of the Early English texts bearing on the matter. (Mostly the James Hind pamphlet containing O’Brien’s last speech on the gibbet.)

“The Death of Blessed Terence Albert O’Brien”.

48 min.

Btw, nowadays we know from the inquest held on O’Brien’s father’s death in 1623 that O’Brien was born at Tuogh (Tower Hill), a mile south of Cappamore. (Look it up on Google Maps.) His family was of the O’Brien Arra, and they held 2000 acres of land. “Albert” is his religious name, taken when he joined the Dominicans; “Terence” or “Toirdhealbhach” is his given name.

Also btw, the reason they kept talking about these folks as Confederates is because the folks fighting Cromwell were the Catholic Confederation. They fought as Royalists loyally supporting Charles I. (Incredibly typical for Irish history. The Irish also fought for Richard III after the Tudors took over, and so on.)

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Sorry I’ve Been Silent.

My sinuses have been dripping, and my job has been gripping. 😦

You might like to listen to BBC7 tomorrow, or for the next week or so. They’ll be broadcasting a half-hour show about J. Meade Falkner, medievalist and factory exec, as well as the author of three superb books of adventure, horror, and mystery. They just broadcast The Lost Stradivarius by him; and you can listen to The Nebuly Coat here, under Completed Novels.

They’ll also have on the sad radio play about the life of the late Delia Derbyshire, pioneer in sound effects and music who was tragically unappreciated until the end of her life. Fans of Doctor Who owe her big time.

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An Introduction to the Devout Life continues, as we discuss socializing and what to wear. Hint: the saint thinks you can figure out how to dress yourself. He is not your mommy. 🙂

Book 3, Chapters 24-25.


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On the Soul and the Resurrection continues. St. Macrina discusses Jesus’ parable of Dives the rich man and Lazarus the poor man, and why it’s good to get your suffering done on Earth. Then just in time for Halloween, we even have a patristic discussion of ghosts!

St. Macrina is such a theology/science geek. I mean, would this even occur to the average person on their deathbed? She’s either awfully tough-minded or giving her brother Greg a hard time to get him out of his grief rut. “Woooooooo… here I am on my deathbed, speculating about ghooooooosts….”

Part 7.



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“Medal of Honor” ends, as our protagonist makes a few important realizations and does something about them.

Part 4.


I have to say that this is one of those stories with a great start and then… Mack installs some Mack truck-sized plot holes toward the end. The ending requires touching faith in legalities and a total disregard of how economics works, as well as convenient weakness and strength on the part of certain characters. (Frankly, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t disappear a guy who’s been drunk off his butt for a good six months, and every reason why villains would have made contingency plans.) I think the basic problem is that Reynolds created novel-sized problems in a short story, so he chose to end it by authorial fiat; and the magazine editors decided they were fine with that. But hey, it’s entertainment. You’re happy to see a happy ending, and the editors are happy to have a story of no more than the required length.

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The Brand of Silence continues. As Murk languishes in durance vile, someone decides to change the game.

Chapter 18: A Woman’s Way.


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