January Reading Log

January Reading Log

To Be Read pile
To Be Read pile

1. Isabelle of France: Capetian Sanctity and Franciscan Identity in the Thirteenth Century

Finished. I was reading this book for background information for a project I’m working on: a picture book life of Blessed Isabelle of France, the younger sister of St Louis. This is an academic book, but was very helpful, primarily in trying to place the events that are recounted in Agnes of Harcourt’s Life of Isabelle (edited by the same author as this work) on a timeline. I also found it very interesting to look at the context of the narrative of sanctity of the French royal house and the codification of feminine Franciscan spirituality in the period immediately after St Clare. The book has a sometimes frustratingly secular viewpoint, but perhaps even that was helpful as something to push against.

I’d like to read more about St Louis, Isabelle’s older brother, and about her mother, Blanche of Castille, both fascinating characters in their own right. I’m still toying with different ideas about how to structure my own book project, but after reading this account, I feel like that’s much less hazy.

2. Mansfield Park

I started this in December, I think. Or maybe even November? Not keeping a reading log last year has made me very hazy about when I picked up the various books I’m reading.

I was inspired to re-read Mansfield by Mrs Darwin’s completion of Stillwater, her modern retelling of Mansfield Park. I’ve also started re-reading Stillwater.

3. The Great War by Brendan Hodge of Darwin Catholic. A serialized WWI novel begun just in time to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the way. This has really been an enjoyable read. I look forward to each new installment eagerly. The cast of characters is quite fascinating, the story, which so far has gone up to the declaration of war, is engaging.

4. BBrideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh. A friend just finished listening to this and wanted people to chat about it. I realized I couldn’t contribute because it had been too long, so I picked it up and read it in a few days. (Actually finished in February.)

6. Other books I’ve picked up and read bits and pieces of:

T. S. Eliot: Collected Poems

As You Like It and Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (from The Riverside Shakespeare)

The Lives of the Heart: Poems by Jane Hirschfield.

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    • Jenney, Yeah, sorry about that. I should have left a comment to let you know, huh? I just can’t remember FB groups are there when I’m online somehow unless there’s an active discussion and I receive a notification. Some sort of weird mental block.

      But I’m done and the ending was even more lovely than I’d remembered. It’s amazing to me how Waugh packs so much punch into that final short scene in the chapel. It’s brilliant.

      I do read pretty quickly when I’m not distracted.

  • My second son is named for St. Louis. We would love to read your picture book!

    You should link this up with Housewifespice’s What we’re reading link up!

    • The parish I grew up in was St Louis and I think he’s an awesome saint. We’re reading a bio of him now.

      I was so excited, after we’d already chosen Isabella’s name, to realize his sister Isabelle is a blessed and has a really cool story. I’m not sure how much Louis will figure in the story, but he obviously comes into it.