Frank Denton - The Rogue Raven
- Name: Frank Denton
- Location: Seattle, Washington, United States
What you have here is an old guy. In education for 30 years, started teaching elementary, ended as library and media director of community college. I've enjoyed mountain climbing, sports car rallying, was pipe major of a bagpipe band, played guitar and sang during the folk revival, walking and hiking later in life. Now fairly sedentary. Enjoy reading, esp. mysteries and fantasy, but my reading is pretty eclectic. Enjoy movies, giving Netflix a workout.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Friday, February 02, 2007
Freya (the sister) with whom I used to play folk music a long time ago, and who lived in England for a long time, played in a folk group and often appeared on BBC programs was in a talkative moods. Funnily, she wanted to talk about Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner who later broke a leg in the Preakness and has been in the hearts of many people ever since. He underwent many surgical procedures but last week when he was no longer comfortable, he was euthanized. I was surprised at how closely Freya had followed the course of Barbaro's procedures and ups and downs of recovery. She was truly distraught about the horse, his tribulations and subsequent death. She had written a poem in tribute to the great horse. Perhaps he might have been even greater. Might have been sire to many other great race horses.
I think perhaps the topic of conversation changed to Barbaro because neither of them wanted to talk about the situation much closer to home. Meanwhile all I can say a prayer for my friend who has had the stroke, and mourn, with the millions of horse lovers and school children, the loss of the great horse, Barbaro. I remember writing about him months ago when it was felt he had a chance to win the three races that make up the Triple Crown. It was not to be. Get well, Dick, please! Rest in Peace, Barbaro.
Thursday, February 01, 2007
Scott's The Monastery
During our trip last fall I picked up a copy of Scott’s Waverly and read it after breakfast each morning. One of the delights of retirement is that you can read for a half-hour or so before getting dressed for the day. Just this morning I finished The Monastery. Scott wrote complex novels, most of which involved local history of the border country and the legendry of that area. This novel also involves the Catholic church, for so long the religion of England and Scotland, and the new Reformation under Queen Elizabeth and the Scottish reformer, Knox.
Part of the story concerns Father Eustace, the sub-prior of St. Mary’s monastery, a strong man at odds with Henry Warden, a preacher of the reformed faith who had once attended a college in France with Eustace. Formerly they were great friends. Another part concerns Julian Avenel, who has usurped the castle and grounds of Mary Avenel, the rightful heir. Driven from her estate, she finds refuge at Glendearg, up a dark and hidden glen. There she is befriended by Dame Glendinning, and her two sons, Edward and Halbert. They have thrust upon them the foppish Sir Pearcie Shafton, all slashed doublets and ringing high-flown speech. Scott does a wonderful job with this character.
In the end there is near conflict between England and Scotland over this fop, who turns out to be not at all what he seems. And there is a good bit of supernatural, for Pearcie and Halbert are at odds and fight a duel. Halbert runs the foppish knight through and flees. But the White Lady of Avenel heals the young man and though he shows the marks of the blade, he is completely healed.
I ramble on. There is a wonderful showdown between the Earl of Murray (Scotland) and the Earl of Morton (England). But all’s well that ends well. A fine story. But by today’s standards of writing, the syntax is overblown. It takes a while to become accustomed to the language but for me it was well worth the effort. My next breakfast book is likely to be from a more recent writer, Jeffrey Farnol. Still not contemporary, but 1920s. And after that Stevenson’s Catriona, the sequel to Kidnapped.