Monday, August 30, 2010

Opening Guns

Can you imagine a better opening to a book than Dickens' first paragraph in A Tale of Two Cities?

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way--in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

It sets a tone for the universiality of the experience of this book. It reminds us that all times are God's times, and that all times in a fallen world are times of glimpes of grace and of judgment.

This week we will be slowly moving through the first part of this book.

Also, shifting gears to a historical topic, be reading The Great Siege by Ernle Bradford. I first heard the story of this book from R. J. Rushdoony who told it on his World History tape series. For years, I looked for the book. When the Internet changed the world of book searching, I bought a copy of the book and enjoyed the story first hand. Then the book was reprinted. I not only used it in several classes over the years, but also sold (or gave away) numerous copies of the book.

So, we have a novel that reads like history and a history that reads like a novel. What a delight.

Great first day.


  1. Ben, I will be a follower as you go through A Tale of Two Cities. I read it a while back, but look forward to new insights the second time around. I am unable to sign in as a follower. I keep getting an error message.


  2. Thanks, Troy. It is good to hear from you. I don't know enough about signing up as followers on blogs. I do know that often I follow the directions carefully, then nothing happens. If you haven't read the Great Siege, by all means, get the book and read it. Steve Wilkins will second my recommendation.