England

The Lark in the Morn

Lark in the Morn
Author(s): 
Elfrida Vipont

Full of imagination and an adventurous spirit, 12-year-old Kit likes nothing more than to roam the fields playing pretending games with her best friends, Pony and Helen. But life never stays the same. After an illness, Kit goes to live with her elderly Aunts and often visits her nearby cousins. In her cousins’ home, she is introduced to a totally new world of lively interests, music, and enduring friendships.

North and South

Author(s): 
Elizabeth Gaskell

Although North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is a novel that deals with a complexity of social issues related to the industrialization of Victorian England, it is the development of Margaret and Mr. Thornton’s relationship that carries the day. At nineteen, Margaret Hale is forced to deal with a series of dramatic changes that effect her life, eventually transforming her into a young woman who can think and reason for herself regardless of social mores.

The Red Falcons of Tremoine

Author(s): 
Hendry Peart

At fifteen Leo, living at the Abbey of St. Michael in England in the 13th century, knows nothing about his past or parentage. The Abbot of the said Abbey alone knows the boy's history but tells him nothing until the heir of the house of Wardlock is killed in the crusades. Then after receiving permission from Sir Maurice (the current lord of Wardlock) the Abbot tells Leo that he is the heir not only to the house of Wardlock but also the heir to their traditional enemy the house of Tremoine.

Shakespeare for Kids

Book cover
Author(s): 
Colleen Aagesen
Margie Blumberg

Have you grown up thinking that Shakespeare is dry literature forced upon high schoolers by antiquated professors? Think again! Even young children can capture an interest in Shakespeare through attractive materials such as this multi-dimensional biography of the bard.

The heart and soul of the book is the story of Shakespeare's life - charmingly enhanced by Shakespearean phrases (followed by modern translations in parenthesis). Numerous photos, sketches and maps give us a peek at Elizabethan life and architecture and a few scenes from renditions of his plays.

Pride and Prejudice

Book cover: 'Pride and Prejudice'

This is a lovely, touching, funny, clever and meaningful miniseries (produced by BBC/A&E) based quite closely on the book Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. While it's certainly a "chick movie", there's enough clever writing and acting in it to allow "the guys" to tolerate at least one viewing and probably get something out of it. The theme of the story, which is set in 18th century England, is choosing a marriage partner, and the morals here are very sound.

Augustine Came to Kent

Book cover: 'Augustine Came to Kent'
Author(s): 
Barbara Willard

Historical fiction account of the mission of St. Augustine of Canterbury to bring Christianity to England in 597, as seen through the eyes of a young boy accompanying the monks on the journey. While not as fast-paced as other Bethlehem Books titles, the story really brings the era to life and is a very good tale besides - full of little insights into human nature, Christian ideas and heroism.

Murder in the Cathedral

Book cover: 'Murder in the Cathedral'
Author(s): 
T.S. Eliot

This classic play, written in the fashion of a Greek tragedy (but with Catholic content) is suitable for high school students and adults. Handling the topic of St. Thomas Becket' martyrdom, it focuses on the spiritual and emotional struggles and temptations the Archbishop is faced with immediately before his martyrdom. Full of many truths and fodder for great discussion, this is a highly recommended piece for literature, religion and history.

If All the Swords in England

Book cover: 'If All the Swords in England'
Author(s): 
Barbara Willard

The story of the martyrdom of Saint Thomas Becket (and the last six years of his life) is presented in an intelligent and interesting format by viewing these events through the eyes of twin boys, Simon and Edmund, who are (respectively) in the service of Thomas Becket and King Henry II ( Saint Thomas' friend-turned-enemy).

Initiation

Author(s): 
Robert Hugh Benson

Set in aristocratic England of the late 19th century, this novel by a convert to Catholicism explores the concept of our participation in the Atonement. Young Sir Nevill Fanning is thoughtlessly and unconsciously pagan (though outwardly Catholic) and heir to his dear Aunt Ann's estate. Early on, he falls in love with a Protestant, and this raises various issues both within his aunt and within himself. A Mr.

A Man for All Seasons

Book cover: 'A Man for All Seasons'

This is a VERY well-done rendition of the story of St. Thomas More. Thomas More was a well-respected lawyer who was named Chancellor of England under King Henry VIII. He is a model statesman - modest, intelligent, and principled. He was martyred for not condoning the actions of the King toward the Catholic Church and his first wife. (Quite a refreshing contrast to modern-day politics!) I would suggest this for high school students as younger students (unless they are familiar with the story and accustomed to somewhat complex dialogue) may find it "boring".

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