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.


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.


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.


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.


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

His website is www.jonathanmpaquette.com


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