- Bly, Carol
The Tomcat's Wife and Other Stories
HarperCollins, New York, 1991, Quarter Cloth, , First Edition, First Printing, ISBN 0060165049 , Very Good /Very Good
209 pp. One-half inch repairable tear to fore edge of dj. Some dust speckling to top of page edges. Bone-white paper boards nearly pristine. Unread. From the flap: 'Like her essays, collected in the much-praised Letters from the Country. Carol Blv's stories are often about the fugitive state of sweetness and light in America today. Her typical protagonist is a responsible woman. adjusted to the narrowness of local life but trying to work in a little taste, aspiration, beauty, against the odds. For 'culture' comes in various ways these days to places like Clayton, Minnesota: some enhancing, some silly, some corrupt. The 'tender organizations' have to work like bandits to stay alive. // In the title story, Cheryl Hasted's good country sense is put to the test by the new art teacher, Mercein Gall, who taunts her conventional ideas ('Next you'll be telling me a psychotherapist doesn't see his women patients as women') while they drink whiskey in her car by the high-school football field and she sketches the graceful butts of the boys. ('In three or four years they will mostly be idiots. Makes your heart stop to think of it') Meanwhile, Cheryl's gullible husband is being swept off his feet by Tom Gall, the flashy school psychologist. Country mouse meets city tomcat in this study of sensitivity--natural, phony, foolish, sturdy, vitalizing, doomed--and of aggression, positive as well as negative. //In 'My lord Bag of Rice,' a woman who submits to her husband, a loutish mechanic, until the end uses her inheritance to buy a boardinghouse in Saint Paul where courtesy and kindness will be the rule. But Eleanor Grummel discovers that graciousness needs to be stoutly defended, that valor is the better part of virtue. //Bly talks her people's language and walks in their shoes like a latter-day Ring Lardner, whether they own the polluting Benty Chem in Saint Paul that is landscaped to look like an Englishman's estate or a furniture store in Agans that specializes in chairs that rest on authentic animal hooves. She satirizes the cant of the charismatic Christians, the dazed Lutherans, the uppity Episcopalians and warms to the efforts of residents in a nursing home to see justice done or of the gay director of the state Artmobile to give the community's imagination something to chew on. Like her essays, Carol Bly's stories are anything but detached. Instead they are fully attentive, written close to the bone of her anger and sympathy as well as being so much in touch with her characters' lives. Their moral intelligence will speak to you whether you live in Darien or forty miles west of Duluth.'
“Most people know the legend of Thomas Chatterton -- brilliant poet who failed to make a living, starved himself to send expensive presents to his family, and died by his own hand at seventeen -- much better than his poems. Like all legends, it is partial and exaggerated, but was a powerful influence on the Romantic movement and long after. The painting "The Death of Chatterton" by Henry Wallis epitomises this reputation. His fame rests, apart from this almost unbearably romantic life story, on his "Rowley Poems". These he wrote in a sham Middle English dialect, and passed off as the work of Thomas Rowley, a priest of Bristol in the fifteenth century, and some of his friends. The imposture was quickly detected (though some continued to believe in him for many years), but they were published in a collected edition after his death and were popular and much admired by the Romantic poets, especially Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats, who dedicated "Endymion" to the memory of Thomas Chatterton.”
“On this site you will find William Caxton’s two editions of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, probably printed in 1476 and 1483. The originals are both in the British Library.”
Another interface at De Montfort University edited by Barbara Bordalejo, Canterbury Tales Project.
Other links to Chaucer.
Sweet is the voice that calls From babbling waterfalls In meadows where the downy seeds are flying; And soft the breezes blow, And eddying come and go, In faded gardens where the rose is dying. Among the stubbled corn The blithe quail pipes at morn, The merry partridge drums in hidden places, And glittering insects gleam Above the reedy stream, Where busy spiders spin their filmy laces. At eve, cool shadows fall Across the garden wall, And on the clustered grapes to purple turning; And pearly vapors lie Along the eastern sky, Where the broad harvest-moon is redly burning. Ah, soon on field and hill The winds shall whistle chill, And patriarch swallows call their flocks together To fly from frost and snow, And seek for lands where blow The fairer blossoms of a balmier weather. The pollen-dusted bees Search for the honey-lees That linger in the last flowers of September, While plaintive mourning doves Coo sadly to their loves Of the dead summer they so well remember. The cricket chirps all day, "O fairest summer, stay!" The squirrel eyes askance the chestnuts browning; The wild fowl fly afar Above the foamy bar, And hasten southward ere the skies are frowning. Now comes a fragrant breeze Through the dark cedar-trees, And round about my temples fondly lingers, In gentle playfulness, Like to the soft caress Bestowed in happier days by loving fingers. Yet, though a sense of grief Comes with the falling leaf, And memory makes the summer doubly pleasant, In all my autumn dreams A future summer gleams, Passing the fairest glories of the present!George Arnold [1834-1865]