The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

16 September 2013

The hunt, the prey, the haul.

Have I got adventures to tell you about, which involve ducks and books and... well, that's it, really.  The duck is figuring pretty large because it involved butchery and touching the carcass and discovering there are roughly 50 different conflicting theories about how to cook the bird.

Today's story is somewhat more tame, though it involves prey and capture.

The hunting ground was a used bookshop. After an hour stalking several fine specimens, I managed to bag a trio of books and am now admiring them like trophies.
The titles:

Maryland's Way: the Hammond-Harwood House cook book with a collection of recipes from 1770 to 1963. It comprises illustrations and photographs, recipes and notes (including a brief excerpt from Washington's diary) and menus such as Gentleman's Supper Parties, and, Dinner for the President. I don't know how practical it will be as a cookbook, but it will surely make for interesting reading!

Discussions of John Donne (Published 1962)  This is a collection of comments, thoughts, essays, observations, on the works of Donne, and his influence and place in English poetry from the likes of Ben Johnson (yes, the Ben Jonson of the 17th Century), Samuel Johnson, Thomas De Quincey, Yeats, and Eliot. How fantastic!  I went looking for a good translation of Dante's Divine Comedy (mine is not a good one, it turns out) but it wasn't to be found in the imposingly overstacked shelves. This unlooked for treasure more than makes up for my as yet Dante-less state. I feel a dosing of Donne coming on.

Dorothy L. Sayers: a literary biography by Ralph E. Hone. (Published 1979) which traverses through her life and works, including (oh, the  coincidence of it all) her translation of Dante. Long-time readers of The Lighthouse know my love for Peter Wimsey, Sayers' famous sleuth. He is my literary superhero, my ideal man - yes, even ahead of Fitzwilliam Darcy. I first came to know of Sayers from her essay on education, The Lost tools of education, about the classical approach to learning. The text is available online, and is an interesting, thought-provoking read.  I'm really looking forward to reading this book.  There goes the Great Reading Project off the rails once again. Ah well... c'est la vie when there are so many books to be read!

All in all, a fine and worthy haul.

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