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Author Archive
Birdsong in the Air, Lilies on the Stream: On Keeping Time and Learning from the Past in Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market

Birdsong in the Air, Lilies on the Stream: On Keeping Time and Learning from the Past in Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market

In Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market, the goblins call out to young maidens “morning and evening”, offering tantalizing descriptions of fruit “sweet to tongue and sound to eye” (Rossetti 1, 30). They promise berries, peaches, pomegranates, figs; a variety of fruit, “all ripe together/In summer weather” (Rossetti 15-16). But what they refrain from telling their victims...
The Flower That Blooms in Adversity: On the Value of Gentleness and Loving-kindness in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

The Flower That Blooms in Adversity: On the Value of Gentleness and Loving-kindness in Jane Austen’s Persuasion

At first glance, the quiet and reserved protagonist of Jane Austen’s Persuasion seems to fade into the background of her own story. Even the narrator, “taking her cue from the dysfunctional family”, begins Persuasion by shining the spotlight on the “self-centered Elliots”, rather than on her main character (Judge 42). However, as her protagonist prefers...
Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

“Orpheus with his lute made trees    And the mountain tops that freeze      Bow themselves when he did sing:    To his music plants and flowers    Ever sprung; as sun and showers    There had made a lasting spring.    Every thing that heard him play,    Even the billows of the...
Sweet Wild Grace: On Forgiveness, Redemption, and Humanity in Elizabeth Goudge’s The Rosemary Tree

Sweet Wild Grace: On Forgiveness, Redemption, and Humanity in Elizabeth Goudge’s The Rosemary Tree

“‘We are all very anxious to be understood, and it is very hard not to be.  But there is one thing much more necessary.’ “‘What is that, grandmother?’ “To understand other people.'” —George MacDonald, The Princess and the Goblin Elizabeth Goudge’s The Rosemary Tree is a story about many different things: about family, relationships, secrets, second...
A Duty of Care: On Hospitality, Protection, and the Expression of Love in Redwall

A Duty of Care: On Hospitality, Protection, and the Expression of Love in Redwall

Redwall Abbey, image c. Christopher Denise (illustrator) “I would read [the children of the Royal Wavertree School for the Blind] stories. Now sometimes, we’d get books that the publishers had sent in. So I’d read to them. And you know something? I didn’t like some of them books. I took a look through children’s books...
If You Listen Closely: On Art, Love, and Chasing Your Dreams in Whisper of the Heart

If You Listen Closely: On Art, Love, and Chasing Your Dreams in Whisper of the Heart

The 1995 Studio Ghibli film Whisper of the Heart, directed by Yoshifumi Kondo and written by Hayao Miyazaki, follows a young girl named Tsukishima Shizuku on her journey to finding and dedicating herself to her dreams and ambitions. The themes of struggling in school and navigating love for the first time lend themselves to the...