Recent posts? ~ Find more in my Blog
• Wildfires, wildflowers
The power of fire to preserve
• Quantum mechanics, life’s motive force?
Simulating Nature? Make it quantum mechanical
• ‘The Red Shoes’, Catharsis or Trauma?
Yes, that old movie; as it was, and as it returned
• Of Potter’s Clay and DNA
Nature considers ‘old’ DNA as good as new
* * *
Wessex Tales, Volumes 1 and 2
STORIES OF HISTORY, ADVENTURE AND FOLKLORE transport readers through “eight thousand years in the life of an English village” — the author’s home village in Dorset. Perfect for time travel, stories bring us Stone Age hunters, a troubadour lost in dark woods, a missionary from Canterbury, and the tale of an ancient tree.
Bronze Age workers hoist the final lintel on Stonehenge. Evading Army patrols, a boy leads pack-ponies loaded with smuggled goods, by night. In historical fiction—as well as in historical fact—King Alfred’s Wessex levies halt an advancing Viking army. And a young soldier advances in the Battle of the Somme. See an illustrated list of all 40 stories.
The following review describes the Wessex Tales story, “A Short Walk in France”, one of 20 stories in Volume 1 >
“A harsh, sobering, and accurate description of combat reminiscent of All’s Quiet on the Western Front. Although set in 1916 France, it could very well have been anywhere from Stalingrad to Inchon, la Drang Valley, Baghdad, or Afghanistan. … Five stars without hesitation and highly recommended reading for everyone.” ~ David H. Keith, former U.S. Army combat medic and paramedic.
* * *
Spirit in Health: Spiritual roots in modern healing (2nd edition, 2017)
SPIRIT IN HEALTH: Some healing techniques from pre-history find places in our modern healing arts. Healers and shamans in ancient societies invoking spiritual forces, asked spirits for wisdom, for help in the hunt, for healing in its many forms, and for knowledge of plant and animal powers. Healers were also psycho-therapists. Their spiritual powers treated mental health, too.
Nor did shamans distinguish among medicine, religion, myth or philosophy. Among primal peoples these areas merged. Lore intermingled with law. In prehistory, an act of healing often mingled reason with myth. Perhaps our world goes too far when science rides roughshod over older, other approaches to medicine and healing. This is the 2nd edition of Spirit in Health, 2017 >
* * *
Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine
ELEANOR OF AQUITAINE PREVAILED in an ‘iron, bearded world’, as she writes in her memoir, Power of a Woman. Memoirs of a turbulent life: Eleanor of Aquitaine. Eleanor’s long life was a fight to build and sustain feminine power and influence in an era controlled by two male-dominated hierarchies, the Church and royal courts.
Power of a Woman… captures Eleanor’s thoughts in her voice, recalling exploits that carried her through peaks and troughs for eighty turbulent years. Robert Fripp channeled Eleanor for several years: her memoirs re-live her roles: from childhood to Duchess of Aquitaine at 15, Queen of France at 17, warring courtier, patron of troubadours, crusader, Queen and Regent of England, empire builder, femme fatale, and muse for romantic bards.
Separating from Heny II, Eleanor founded her Court of Ladies. Then, having given King Henry too many sons, she seems to have instigated and arbitrated family strife among the father and his sons. Scorned by Henry, he exiled her until his death when she again became Regent of England, ransom collector, peacemaker, matchmaker, and consummate negotiator. Our magnificent Eleanor ‘retires’ at 81 to dictate her memoirs.
* * *
DARK SOVEREIGN is ‘The play in Shakespeare’s English that Shakespeare should have written’. Dark Sovereign counter-attacks Shakespeare’s play Richard III. King Richard III remains widely respected in the North of England. * pdf excerpt
Dark Sovereign is the only play in nearly four centuries crafted precisely in the language of the ‘Golden Age’—the apex of the Renaissance in English literature. Dark Sovereign is now the longest play written in the language of the Renaissance. * pdf excerpt
Dark Sovereign serves as powerful drama and a potent teaching tool, involving the Wars of the Roses, the Battle of Bosworth, and the intrigues of Edward IV’s queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Its sources reach back to fine writers—i.e. Queen Elizabeth I, Francis Bacon, Edmund Spenser, Shakespeare and contemporaries, redactors of the King James Bible. Syntax and vocabulary is that of 140 Tudor authors—all of whom wrote the English of the ‘Golden Age’. * pdf excerpt
* * *
Design and Science: the life and work of Will Burtin
THIS RICHLY ILLUSTRATED, LARGE FORMAT BOOK traces the career of leading modern designer Will Burtin. A design innovator, Burtin pioneered “info-graphics”, and built solid models and graphics to explain scientific and biomedical functions. Burtin pioneered multimedia—which he called “Integration”—as well as visual display of complex processes. Considered the “father” of corporate branding, Will Burtin was an early proponent of Helvetica in North America. Sample ‘Design and Science’ here >
* Will Burtin ‘conceived’ this ‘test tube baby’ magazine cover for the Upjohn Company in 1941. Another 37 years would pass before science caught up. Burtin’s visual forecast eventually became reality when the phrase ‘test tube baby’ came into the world along with the first successful in vitro birth, in 1978.
Publishers: Lund Humphries, London; Ashgate, N.Y. (2007)
* * *
Let there be Life
MODERN SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE long ago relegated Genesis’ creation story to what it once was, a Bronze Age myth. But science also stole more than archaic meaning: it robbed us of that sweep of majestic vision that the Genesis creation represents. Let There Be Life is science writer Robert Fripp’s attempt to bring the Genesis story up to date. Essays drawn from modern researches into cosmic change and organic evolution accompany sixty-two verses in the style of the King James Bible, and an interesting foreword by novelist John Fowles. Let there be Life >
From John Fowles’ Introduction and literary review: ‘Robert Fripp’s ingenious idea, to resurrect Genesis in the light of our present knowledge of evolutionary process, must, I suppose, count as literary curiosity; but I have long been in favour of literary curiosities. They have a perverse habit of provoking more thought than the orthodox approach. By simplifying the complex and broadening the narrow, they spark the imagination … Our past remains our now; I pray the reader will not forget that, as he or she goes down the vast vistas of these pages.’ John Fowles >
* * *
READERS, thank you for coming this far. May words on these pages reward your interest, and may your Fates be kind! ~ Robert Fripp
* Photo by Taffi Laing, Toronto