This week’s quotes were very loosely about all things monastic. How did you do?
- “My imagination is a monastery and I am a monk.” John Keats
- “Living in a monastery, even as a guest rather than a monk, you have more opportunities than you might have elsewhere to see the world as it is, instead of through the shadow that you cast upon it.” Odd Thomas (what a wonderful name) is the protagonist of Dean Kootz’s series of thrillers.
- Francis Grose describes this abbey as “undoubtedly light and elegant, it wants that gloomy solemnity so essential to religious ruins.” It’s Tintern Abbey and the poet is William Wordsworth.
- “Her passion for ancient edifices was next in degree to her passion for Henry Tilney– and castles and abbeys made usually the charm of those reveries which his image did not fill.” You can find Henry Tilney in Northanger Abbey, penned by the incomparable Jane Austen.
- “Here grandeur triumphs at its topmost pitch In gardens, groves, and all that life beguiles; Here want, too, meets a blessing from the rich, And hospitality for ever smiles: ” John Clare wrote these lines at the beginning of Milton Abbey ended his days in a “mad house” in Northamptonshire.
- Who says “Get thee to a nunnery?” Hamlet says this to Orphelia in er…Hamlet.
- “What ? did not regret, he found grave difficulty in remembering to confess.” Cadfael has difficulty in remembering to confess and his prolific creator was Edith Pargeter writing as Ellis Peters.
- “They told of dripping stone walls in uninhabited castles and of ivy-clad monastery ruins by moonlight, of locked inner rooms and secret dungeons, dank charnel houses and overgrown graveyards, of footsteps creaking upon staircases and fingers tapping at casements, of howlings and shriekings, groanings and scuttlings and the clanking of chains, of hooded monks and headless horseman” The writer of The Woman In Black is Susan Hill who gives the gothic a macabre and spine chilling twist.
- “The day has come not only to abolish forever those unnatural laws, but to punish, with all rigour of the law, such as make them; to destroy convents, abbey, priories and monasteries and in this way prevent their ever being uttered.” Martin Luther nailed his ideas to the cathedral door at Wittenburg.
10. Let me take this other glove off
As the vox humana swells,
And the beauteous fields of Eden
Bask beneath the Abbey bells.
Here, where England’s statesmen lie,
Listen to a lady’s cry.
Gracious Lord, oh bomb the Germans,
Spare their women for Thy Sake,
And if that is not too easy
We will pardon Thy Mistake.
But, gracious Lord, whate’er shall be,
Don’t let anyone bomb me.
The poem is In Westminster Abbey by Sir John Betjeman
And finally novels/that feature a monk or indeed a nun in no particular order :
The Cadfael series by Ellis Peters – set during the Anarchy.
In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End Ken Follett
Dissolution by C J Sansom
The Sister Fidelma series by Peter Tremayne
The Crowfield Curse by Pat Walsh (children’s)
The Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin