Join Joseph Pearce on a journey into the real Shire—a voyage into the mysterious presence of an England which is more real than the one you are accustomed to seeing, the one which seems to be in terminal decline. The England Pearce wants us to know is an enchanted and unchanging place, full of ghosts who are as alive as the saints. It is an England that is rural, sacramental, liturgical, local, beautiful . . . a place “charged with the grandeur of God”.
In this wonder-filled journey, Joseph Pearce shows us the true England through the splendor of the Good, the True, and the Beautiful. He shows us an England that can never die, not because it lingers like a fading coal in the memory of mortal men, but because it exists as a beautiful flower in the Gardens of Eternity.
About the Author
Joseph Pearce is Director of the Center for Faith and Culture and Writer in Residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee. He is a renowned biographer whose books include his autobiography, Race with the Devil: My Journey from Racial Hatred to Rational Love (Saint Benedict Press, 2013); Candles in the Dark: The Authorized Biography of Fr. Ho Lung, Missionaries of the Poor (Saint Benedict Press, 2012), Through Shakespeare's Eyes: Seeing the Catholic Presence in the Plays (Ignatius Press, 2010); and Tolkien: Man and Myth, a Literary Life (HarperCollins, 1998). He is the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Higher Education from Thomas More College for the Liberal Arts and also received the Pollock Award for Christian Biography. He is co-editor of the St. Austin Review and has hosted two series on Shakespeare for EWTN, as well as hosting several EWTN productions on J. R. R. Tolkien.
Item No: 2611
Publication Date: June 2016
Binding: Illustrated Hardcover
More morose than merrie Review by David Mayeux
Joseph Pearce is his attempt to create a memoir of pilgrimage in "Chesterbellocian" voice falls very flat—he seems to think that merely mentioning either Chester or Belloc every few pages will invoke their style or wit. In his subtitle: A Journey Through the Shire he alo tries to invoke the wonder and epic quality of Tolkien's Middle Earth, but there is none of that here. There is, however, much purple prose, none of it inspiring, and all of it trying too hard to be clever. From its first chapters, the book fails in its promise to be "merrie" at all, Pearce spending more of his time decrying the modernist and post-modernists effect on the land than trying to capture the Eternal England he claims to long for in his Preface. Instead, by criticizing the contemporary ugliness of a given location, he does the opposite, temporizing his pilgrimage to where it shall become meaningless by tomorrow.
There are some interesting anecdotes on a few Catholic martyrs of the Reformation, and lip service to some of England's Post-Reformation Catholics of note, but for mention of St Aidan and St Cuthbert in his visit to Lindisfarne, I have no memory of any other great English saints mentioned, though my attention severely faded toward the end of what become a dreary literary pilgrimage and a disappointment in having spent $25 on this instead of (what could have been several) other great Tan classics. (Posted on 7/1/2016)