- 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.
"THE GIRT WOAK TREE THAT'S IN THE DELL"
The girt woak tree that's in the dell! There's noo tree I do love so well; Vor times an' times when I wer young, I there've a-climbed, an' there've a-zwung, An' picked the eacorns green, a-shed In wrestlen storms vrom his broad head. An' down below's the cloty brook Where I did vish with line an' hook, An' beat, in playsome dips and zwims, The foamy stream, wi' white-skinned lim's. An' there my mother nimbly shot Her knitten-needles, as she zot At evenen down below the wide Woak's head, wi' father at her zide. An' I've a-played wi' many a bwoy, That's now a man an' gone awoy; Zoo I do like noo tree so well 'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell. An' there, in leater years, I roved Wi' thik poor maid I fondly loved, - The maid too feair to die so soon, - When evenen twilight, or the moon, Cast light enough 'ithin the pleace To show the smiles upon her feace, Wi' eyes so clear's the glassy pool, An' lips an' cheaks so soft as wool. There han' in han', wi' bosoms warm, Wi' love that burned but thought noo harm, Below the wide-boughed tree we passed The happy hours that went too vast; An' though she'll never be my wife, She's still my leaden star o' life. She's gone: an' she've a-left to me Her mem'ry in the girt woak tree; Zoo I do love noo tree so well 'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell. An' oh! mid never ax nor hook Be brought to spweil his steately look; Nor ever roun' his ribby zides Mid cattle rub ther heairy hides; Nor pigs rout up his turf, but keep His lwonesome sheade vor harmless sheep; An' let en grow, an' let en spread, An' let en live when I be dead. But oh! if men should come an' vell The girt woak tree that's in the dell, An' build his planks 'ithin the zide O' zome girt ship to plough the tide, Then, life or death! I'd goo to sea, A sailen wi' the girt woak tree: An' I upon his planks would stand, An' die a-fighten vor the land, - The land so dear, - the land so free, - The land that bore the girt woak tree; Vor I do love noo tree so well 'S the girt woak tree that's in the dell.William Barnes [1801-1886]