Civilized Reader

Guilt Gone Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

by Sean Fitzpatrick

If Oscar Wilde had been a man of our time, he might have had rather mixed feelings about the LGBT liberation…

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Chesterton’s The Man Who was Thursday: Nightmare or Dream Come True?

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Although the delight of civilized readers everywhere, detective fiction is built upon an uncivilized pessimism that expects to find evil lurking…

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Life Echoes in Eternity: On J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle”

by Jonathan Shoulta

Urging his troops to manly fortitude in the face of Germanic barbarians, General Maximus of the 2000 film, Gladiator does not downplay the…

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The Rime of the Ancient Mariner & Lent: A Matter of Life in Death

by Sean Fitzpatrick

All are guilty. Unbridled assertion of self. Satanic pride. Pure and simple devilment. All are Judas. All are Caiaphas. All…

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Is Silas Marner One of the Good Books?

by Jonathan Shoulta

Although the George Eliot novel is missing from some iterations of John Senior’s list of 1,000 Good Books, Silas Marner appears in the list as…

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Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island

by Dr. William Fahey

“One more step, Mr. Hands,” said I, “and I’ll blow your brains out! Dead men don’t bite, you know,” I…

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The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain: The Savage Noble

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Nothing conjures up summer quite like a bully, sure-’nough treasure: A kite, a dead rat and a string to swing…

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Poe’s The Black Cat: The Perverseness Which Passeth Understanding

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Even as nature falls asleep under the fiery spell of autumn, there awakens in the lords of nature a keen spiritual…

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Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

by Sean Fitzpatrick

The womb and the tomb—one of the most striking mirror images that our lives have to offer. Babies are buried…

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The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy: A Story for All Souls

by Sean Fitzpatrick

A man lies on his deathbed—screaming; screaming for three days without cessation. Even behind closed doors, the sound horrifies all…

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The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells

by Sean Fitzpatrick

It is a terrible paradox that the pursuit dedicated to improving the human condition bears the greatest potential to destroy humanity….

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The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Edgar Allan Poe was missing. The year was 1849. There had been no trace of Mr. Poe for six days…

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Do the Dead Come Back and Watch the Living? On Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

by Emma Warner

Every reader loves a good ghost story. And that is why Daphne du Maurier’s Romantic-Gothic novel, Rebecca has thrilled readers since its publication…

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Mother Goose Nursery Rhymes by Mother Goose

by Sean Fitzpatrick

There is a gravestone in Boston’s Granary Burying Ground that legend purports marks the resting place of Mother Goose. Now, whether…

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Wartime Morality in Ambrose Bierce’s “A Horseman in the Sky”

by Jonathan Shoulta

The extant portion of the six-mile long Civil War front at Cold Harbor, Virginia is small enough to explore in an…

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The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Andersen: A Tale of Resurrection

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Just as baptism and burial are seldom associated with one another, neither are a duckling and the Resurrection. The interconnectivity of…

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The House of Usher & the House of Poe: Celebrating 175 Years of Horror

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Edgar Allan Poe. Enigmatic. Eccentric. Erratic. Melancholic. Alcoholic. Neurotic. But above all else, Fantastic. Throughout his 40 tormented years of…

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The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving

by Sean Fitzpatrick

Be warned. As you read this, the demons are grinding the glorious creatures of folklore into distorted glorifications of the grotesque….

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Will Rascals Defend Our Civilization… and What Books will they Read?

by Dr. William Fahey

He faces execution each day.  Seven days a week, his jury of peers votes unanimously for capital punishment.  The judge’s…

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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes

by Sean Fitzpatrick

George Bernard Shaw wrote that “Sherlock Holmes was a drug addict without a single amiable trait,” and he was absolutely…

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The Center for the Restoration of Christian Culture is a project of The Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

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