What We’re Reading – Jonathan M. Paquette

What We’re Reading

In a new seasonal feature, QR writers and readers tell us what’s on their summer reading lists. This time - JONATHAN M. PAQUETTE

British History

Cecil, Gwendolen. Life of Robert, Marquis of Salisbury. London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1921. A magisterial, unfinished account of her father’s life, Lady Gwendolen’s biography of the Third Marquess is an achievement in its own right.

Cutmore, Jonathan Burke. Conservatism and The Quarterly Review: A Critical Analysis. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2007. A detailed study of the Quarterly Review’s ideological underpinnings and its influence on the early Conservative Party.

Cutmore, Jonathan Burke. Contributors to the Quarterly Review: A History, 1809-25. London: Pickering & Chatto, 2008. A series of biographical descriptions of key Quarterly Review contributors in its early years.

Fiction

Davies, Robertson. The Deptford Trilogy. New York: Penguin Books, 1990. Blending myth and magic, The Deptford Trilogy is Canadian author Robertson Davies’ magnum opus.

Hatto, A. T. The Nibelungenlied. Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1965. Plunging into Teutonic legend and sorcery, The Nibelungenlied ranks with Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur as a great medieval romance. I’ve been meaning to read this work in its entirety for some time.

Le Fanu, Joseph Sheridan. Uncle Silas; A Tale of Bartram-Haugh. New York: Dover Publications, 1966. This chilling tale by Le Fanu takes place in an Irish mansion haunted by family secrets.

History of the French Revolution

Barruel, and Robert Clifford. Memoirs Illustrating the History of Jacobinism. London: Printed for the translator by T. Burton, 1798. Written by a French Jesuit, this account of the French Revolution declares that a secret occult conspiracy of philosophes, Freemasons and Illuminati toppled Louis XVI.

Carlyle, Thomas. The French Revolution; A History. New York: Modern Library, 1934. I’ve been meaning to read Carlyle’s history of the French Revolution for some time. It’s historically important in its own right and created so many of our assumptions about those momentous days.

Koselleck, Reinhart. Critique and Crisis: Enlightenment and the Pathogenesis of Modern Society. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 1988. This is a clever theoretical work by a West German academic, which argues political authority became diffused and refracted by Enlightenment thought.

Taine, Hippolyte, and John Durand. The French Revolution. Gloucester, Mass: Peter Smith, 1962. Taine ranked as one of France’s greatest historians in the Nineteenth Century and I’m looking forward to reading his interpretation of the Reign of Terror.

Webster, Nesta Helen. The French Revolution; A Study in Democracy. London: Constable and Company Ltd, 1919. Similarly to Abbe Barruel’s, Nesta Webster wrote that a network of subversive movements began the French Revolution.

Occult

Conway, Moncure Daniel. Demonology and Devil-Lore. New York: H. Holt and Company, 1879. Written by a Harvard academic, this book still serves as a useful study of Western demonology.

Lévi, Eliphas, and Arthur Edward Waite. The History of Magic: Including a Clear and Precise Exposition of Its Procedure, Its Rites, and Its Mysteries. York Beach, Me: Samuel Weiser, 1999. A French occultist, Levi’s studies on Western esotericism is still worth reading today.

Waite, Arthur Edward. The Brotherhood of the Rosy Cross, Being Records of the House of the Holy Spirit in Its Inward and Outward History. New Hyde Park, N.Y.: University Books, 1961. Belonging to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Waite provides his readers with an excellent study of the Rosicrucian Order.

Philosophy

Faye, Emmanuel. Heidegger, the Introduction of Nazism into Philosophy in Light of the Unpublished Seminars of 1933-1935. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009. Written by a French academic, this book is a controversial interpretation of Heidegger’s ideological views.

Scruton, Roger. Beauty. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Defending classical aesthetics, Roger Scruton boldly argues for the concept of beauty’s relevance and importance in contemporary society.

Religion

Eliade, Mircea. Cosmos and History: The Myth of the Eternal Return. New York: Harper, 1959. An academic study that appropriately contrasts ancient, cyclical notions of history with modern, linear conceptions of human civilization

Yates, Nigel. Anglican Ritualism in Victorian Britain, 1830-1910. Oxford: Clarendon, 1999. Published by Oxford University Press, this revisionist work argues that Anglican ritualism spread beyond working-class Anglo-Catholic parishes into rural English churches

JONATHAN M. PAQUETTE writes from Rhode Island

 

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5 Responses to What We’re Reading – Jonathan M. Paquette

  1. Kirby Olson says:

    Your list looks ambitious! I did read Beauty last summer by Scruton. I’ve also read his books on Kant, and two books he’s written on the history of philosophy. One of the neatest things he’s written is his defense of fox hunting. He claims that since the fox has to die, it might as well die in a blast of pageantry with trumpets and majestic folderol. I thought this was ridiculous, but a lot of fun to attempt to argue.

    • Derek Turner says:

      Your list is almost as ambitious, Kirby! On the subject of Scruton, I’m reviewing his Green Philosophy at the moment and, as ever with his books, he brings lots of unusual perspectives to bear. Even when he’s not right, he’s always interesting and usually very fair. I haven’t read the fox-hunting book, but I think I am broadly familiar with his arguments from other writings in newspapers, etc. The difference between fox-hunting and normal pest control is like the difference between war and murder. Both are ghastly, but sometimes the former is tempered by tradition and a kind of rough chivalry. The hunt is a ghastly ordeal for the fox, but then so is being poisoned or shot (if not killed outright by the bullet)

  2. David Ashton says:

    For readers interested in Heidegger’s card-carrying politics and – eventually dashed – expectations that the “frenzied” technological assault on nature and humanity could be “bridled” rather than further intensified by the new German government, may I recommend also writers, more balanced than Faye, who tends to use guilt by supposed association with “The Holocaust” to condemn various ideas in which others might find at least partial merit: (1) Bernhard Radloff, “Heidegger and the Question of National Socialism” (Toronto UP 2007); (2) Charles Bambach, “Heidegger’s Roots” (Cornell UP 2005); (3) Christopher Hutton, “Race and the Third Reich” (Polity Press 2005). “Rational discussion of [Faye's] points is impossible if we are unable or unwilling to read [Heidegger's] texts with a minimum of intelligence and care” (Taylor Carman, TLS, November 19, 2010).

  3. David Ashton says:

    May I add another reference for readers interested in the religious foundations of western civilization? Shawn Kelley, “Racializing Jesus: Race, Ideology and the Formation of Modern Biblical Scholarship”, published in 2002 (not surprisingly) by Routledge, is not a critical analysis of the views of pre-war German NT scholars like Kittel, Grundmann and Hirsch, but mainly of the “malign” influence of Heidegger. Its false assumptions and definitions, and its ultimately totalitarian implications, are quite instructive as a “perfect” recent example of sweeping “deconstruction”.

  4. Joshua Rinard says:

    Your Dad Rules. I work with him at the apple store south shore.

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