Category: The Historical Muse

Thoughts on history and the historical profession. Clio is the muse of history–this category title is a play on that concept.

C. S. Lewis Loses His Joy

On this day, July 13, 1960, C. S. Lewis lost his wife, Joy, to cancer. It was a devastating loss for him; their very short marriage he considered the apex of his life. Here’s how I wrote about it in my book, America Discovers C. S. Lewis: His Profound Impact: “The blow has fallen,” Lewis informed [his friend Chad] Walsh in October 1959. News that Joy’s cancer had returned was a shock. Prior to receiving this bad news, they had… Read more »

Chambers: Why the Christians Are Right & the Heathen Are Wrong

Here’s the scenario: the culture is in decline due to a loss of Biblical principles; beliefs based on those principles that used to hold the society together are attacked as bigoted, narrow, and intolerant; the government is increasingly dysfunctional and policies, despite the best efforts of honest and caring representatives, move further away from Biblical norms. What’s someone to do about this, especially when one feels called by God (to some, that’s a rather presumptive and/or arrogant statement right there)… Read more »

A New Federalist Party?

Throughout my thirty-year teaching career, speaking to students about history, government, and politics, I’ve never had much good to say about third parties in the American political system. More often than not, they have caused a problem, their adherents allowing someone—usually not the right one—to win the presidency. Third-party platforms are then absorbed into one of the two major parties and that third party ceases to exist. For any new political party to rise up and be a major factor… Read more »

In the Fog between Legend & History: The Tale of St. Brendan

Historians must always be careful not to accept too readily what may appear to be fantastical accounts. We are trained to check sources for confirmation of stories that may be more legend than actual history. Yet sometimes those legends come about because they are based on real events. Such, perhaps, is the legend of St. Brendan. Here’s the story, received today in an e-mail from the Christian History Institute. See what you think about the accuracy of what we consider… Read more »

Lewis & Sayers Wordsmithing: The Mind of the Maker (Part 3)

Dorothy Sayers’s The Mind of the Maker, as I’ve pointed out in two previous posts, has a lot in common with how C. S. Lewis thought. Here are two more examples of why Lewis liked what Sayers had to say. Sayers focused on the power of words to move men. Lewis was a dedicated wordsmith who knew that the right words used at the right time in just the right way, could spark the imagination and jumpstart the mind. Sayers… Read more »

Christian Principled Constitutional Conservatism: A Personal Manifesto

I’ve been consistently concerned now for the last couple of years with respect to what is happening in our political realm. I come at politics and government from a very definite perspective. Here, therefore, is my attempt at a personal manifesto. I believe in Christian principled constitutional conservatism. Let me now explain what that means to me. Christian Jesus Christ is Lord of all aspects of life. My own life would have no meaning without His love, His forgiveness, and… Read more »

On Lewis Reading Sayers

Dorothy Sayers was never present at an Inklings meeting. She was never considered as a member of that weekly sharing of readings and thoughts. Yet she is often seen in conjunction with the Inklings because she graduated from Oxford herself and was friends with two of its leading members: Charles Williams and C. S. Lewis. Lewis, responding during the last year of his life about his connections with Sayers, gave this summary: Dorothy Sayers, so far as I know, was… Read more »