Fall-Themed Reading Suggestions
Welcome back to The View at Mill Run Blog. Today we are taking the time to share three fall-themed pieces of writing: a poem and two books spanning several genres. Taking time out to read in a quiet nook in your apartment sounds like the perfect way to spend a lazy weekend. We hope you enjoy these book overviews.
Combining an acute eye for the eccentricities of everyday life with her unique talent for illuminating human frailties, Barbara Pym has created a world which is both extraordinary and totally familiar.
This work was composed on 19 September 1819 and published in 1820 in a volume of Keats's poetry. Although personal problems left him little time to devote to poetry in 1819, he composed "To Autumn" after a walk near Winchester one autumnal evening.
The poem has three eleven-line stanzas which describe a progression through the season, from the late maturation of the crops to the harvest and to the last days of autumn when winter is nearing. The imagery is richly achieved through the personification of Autumn, and the description of its bounty, its sights, and sounds.
In England, November 5 is Guy Fawkes Day, when fireworks displays commemorate the shocking moment in 1605 when government authorities uncovered a secret plan to blow up the House of Parliament--and King James I along with it. A group of English Catholics, seeking to unseat the king and reintroduce Catholicism as the state religion, daringly placed thirty-six barrels of gunpowder in a cellar under the Palace of Westminster. Their aim was to ignite the gunpowder at the opening of the Parliamentary session. Though the charismatic Catholic, Robert Catesby, was the group's leader, it was the devout Guy Fawkes who emerged as its most famous member, as he was the one who was captured and who revealed under torture the names of his fellow plotters. In the aftermath of their arrests, conditions grew worse for English Catholics, as legal penalties against them were stiffened and public sentiment became rabidly intolerant.
In a narrative that reads like a gripping detective story, Antonia Fraser has untangled the web of religion, politics, and personalities that surrounded that fateful night of November 5. And, in examining the lengths to which individuals will go for their faith, she finds in this long-ago event a reflection of the religion-inspired terrorism that has produced gunpowder plots of our own time.
Plan a visit soon to our library here in Owings Mills to pick up something to read this month. What kinds of books do you like to read in the fall? Share in the comments so we can all check them out!