The Black Tortoise: Being the Strange Story of Old Frick’s Diamond

by Frederick Viller

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Frederick Viller is the nom de plume of Christian Herman Sparre, a Norwegian Commanding Admiral and a member of Parliament. Sparre was born on July 30, 1859 in Norway to a prominent physician father, who also was a member of Parliament. Sparre was a graduate of both the Norwegian Naval Academy and the Norwegian Military Academy. He went on to a distinguished military career, all while serving as a politician, first serving on the Council of State Division in 1900, later being elected to the Norwegian Parliament in 1913.

Sparre also wrote a variety of fiction as well. The Black Tortoise is a detective novel, followed by The Mysterious Ship. The works were translated from the original into English. This particular work was translated by Mrs. H. L. Braekstad.

This new edition is dedicated to Larissa P. Watkins, scholar and librarian extraordinary, guide to Masonry and mystery.

 

The Life And Works Of Charles Lamb: The Essays Of Elia

by Charles Lamb

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Charles Lamb (1775 – 1834) was a popular English author of works for both adults and children. His siblings were fairly spread out in age, so his elder sister Mary, 11 years older, became his closest friend. She taught him to read and would later author books with Charles. Lamb was educated throughout his life, enjoying a lifelong friendship with his first schoolmistress, Mrs. Reynolds. He went on to attend such institutions as Christ’s Hospital, a boarding school. Lamb was considered to be very popular and well-liked, however, he had a speech impediment, and it was this stuttering that kept him out of going onto college. Instead, Lamb worked as a clerk in several offices, eventually remaining with the British East India Company.

Lamb also took care of his sister Mary after she killed her mother in a fit of madness. Rather than allow her to remain imprisoned for life, Lamb worked to ensure she had been cared for in an asylum, and then was allowed to return home and live with Lamb. Despite a few attempts to court women to marriage, he was unsuccessful, and remained a lifelong bachelor. He and his sister enjoyed a fruitful social life, participating in many English salons. Lamb enjoyed success as a writer, particularly with his prose works, and his famous, Essays of Elia series, and the children’s work, Tales from Shakespeare that was written with his sister.

This new edition is dedicated to Peter Dozal, with best wishes for his studies.

 

A Whistling Farmer

by H. W. Randolph

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Henry Wheeler Randolph was born in 1851. Not much is known about his life. However, through this book of his poetry, much can be gleamed from him and the circumstances of his life. His poems touch on lost love, farming, criminal justice, the Civil War, religion and the pleasures found in nature, general advice and of US history.As he states in his poem, “At the Front,”:”Through faith it is we see beyondThe pale of human thought,One glimpse, and, lo! a brilliant dawnForth stands before us wrought”This new edition is dedicated to Judith Rich Lauder.

 

The cover is teal and features light colored outlines of a hand and a long braid. The title, All Flowers Bloom, is in black and the author's name is in red below in a strong font.

All Flowers Bloom

by Kawika Guillermo

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In a cruise ship stateroom, a soul awakens in the afterlife, still dressed in the Roman servant garbs of his previous life.

He can’t remember much, but a silent woman stands out in his memory: his first and only love.

Unable to cope with an eternity without her, he leaps from the ship and back into the depths of the life stream.

Five hundred years later, he awakens again in the same stateroom, alone and fueled with new memories of her.

In his past lives she was a male insurgent, an elderly wise woman, an unruly servant.

For a millennia the pair are tethered together, clashing in love and fear, betraying each other in times of war and famine.

Before memory drives him mad, he vows to rescue her from the stream — even if it takes a thousand lifetimes more.

Published March 20, 2020


“A defiant and tender call for the power of love, across a thousand lifetimes and lands. Guillermo’s imagination is breath-taking, and he shows the power of the written word as at once the most high-fidelity and stylized of mediums.”
—Ken Liu, author of The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories and The Grace of Kings

“Kawika Guillermo has achieved an ambitious feat: to chronicle a memory—and its vast empire of battles and love, constant guises and surprises—that spans over four thousand years through a narrator who, like the beloved, is blessed, or cursed, with hundreds of lives, each rebirth announcing a different milieu, a different role. At its core, All Flowers Bloom is a lover’s discourse on desire, its multiple masks and power to make lovers and strangers, and traitors and rescuers out of us.”
—R. Zamora Linmark, author of Rolling the R’s and Leche

All Flowers Bloom is a beguiling book, with an inventive narrative unlike anything I have encountered before. This is an emotional journey through lifetimes and loves and losses. Kawika Guillermo delivers wonderment and surprise, a complex universe, and an unforgettable cast of characters.”
—Doretta Lau, author of How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?

 

Kingsglaive’s Exploration of World War II, Cultural Trauma, and the Plight of Refugees: An Animated Film as Complex Narrative

by Amy M. Green

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Kingsglaive’s Exploration of World War II, Cultural Trauma, and the Plight of Refugees: An Animated Film as Complex Narrative posits that the 2016 film, tied narratively to the video game Final Fantasy XV, merits far more critical attention that it has received. Given that Kingsglaive is both CGI animated and erroneously seen as only a video game tie-in, it has tended to be consistently dismissed by critics. A closer examination of the film reveals a deeply complex narrative, one that contends with the lingering cultural trauma of WWII in Japan, as especially evidenced by images of fire and burning. The film also contends with the plight of refugees and immigrants, both in Japan and around the globe, as recent years have seen a drastic spike in anti-immigrant sentiment. Finally, through the film’s hero and protagonist, Nyx Ulric, Kingsglaive presents a man who is himself suffering from trauma, standing in the present, yet unable to fully imagine a future for himself.

About the author: Amy M. Green received her Ph.D. in literature from UNLV in 2009. She specialized in Shakespeare and 19th century American literature. Today, her work has evolved and she focuses her research on the exciting and evolving field of digital narrative study. She is especially interested in the expanding presence of video games as a compelling source of narrative, one that is necessarily participatory by nature. Further still, video games have long merited the right to be considered as important cultural artifacts and her study and analysis of their stories focuses especially on their historical, political, and social relevance. She also maintains her love of the written word and loves to explore how storytelling, in all of its forms, reveals important aspects of our shared humanity. Most of all, she loves her time in the classroom, sharing ideas and thoughts with students from all backgrounds. Her classes feature the close and careful study of storytelling in both written and digital forms. She is the author of three books, Storytelling in Video Games: The Art of the Digital Narrative, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Trauma, and History in Metal Gear Solid V, and A Cure for Toxic Masculinity: Male Bonding and Friendship in Final Fantasy XV as well as numerous articles.

 

Tales of the Mermaid Tavern

by Alfred Noyes

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The Mermaid Tavern was a real place in London. Among other frequenters, a group called the “Fraternity of Sireniacal Gentlemen”, met monthly. They were famed literary figures of the Elizabethan period, Nov 17, 1558 – Mar 24, 1603. In this work, Noyes writes chapters celebrating these figures, including Shakespeare.

Alfred Noyes (1880-1958) was a prolific writer who was able to move successfully across several genres. Though he began in poetry, he also wrote screenplays, science fiction novels, ballads and short stories. He did a great deal of traveling and lecturing, spending time in his birth country of England as well as the United States, Canada, various points in South America, and eventually returning to the Isle of Wight where he spent his final years. He wrote numerous works, including The Loom of Y ears (1902), a biography, William Morris (1908), Some Aspects of Modern Poetry (1924), The Last Man (1940) and his autobiography, Two Worlds for Memory (1953).

 

 

Contemporaries of Shakespeare

by Algernon Charles Swinburne

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Algernon Charles Swinburne was born on April 5, 1837 in London. Having been born into a wealthy family, he enjoyed extensive education, learned multiple languages, such as French and Italian, and knew them well enough to win awards for writing poetry in those languages. Swinburne did attend college, but did not graduate. Rather, he went on to become a member of intellectual circles that were open to him due to his background, such as the Literary and Philosophical Society in Newcastle upon Tyne, and Lady Pauline Trevelyan’s intellectual circle at Wallington Hall. Swinburne was talented and wrote many critically acclaimed pieces of prose and criticism. He touched on many subjects that were not often written about publicly, such as BSDM and lesbianism.

Swinburne unfortunately battled with ill health throughout his life. His love of drink and algolagnia did not help. He spent time in the French Riviera to reduce his dependency on alcohol. Swinburne created a larger than life persona arguably, and many stories about his exploits circled society. However, Oscar Wilde put a damper on such, stating Swinburne was “a braggart in matters of vice, who had done everything he could to convince his fellow citizens of his homosexuality and bestiality without being in the slightest degree a homosexual or a bestialiser.” By age 42, he ended up in the care of friends, who helped him regain his health. He lived until the age of 72, passing away on April 10, 1909. He wrote enough to fill numerous collections. Archival material on his life can be found at the Leeds University Library.