I am a product of long corridors, empty sunlit rooms, upstairs indoor silences,attics explored in solitude, distant noises of gurgling cisterns and pipes, and the noise of wind under the tiles. Also, of endless books. My father bought all the books he read and never got rid of any of them. There were books in the study, books in the drawing room, books in the cloakroom, books (two deep) in the great bookcase on the landing, books in a bedroom, books piled as high as my shoulder in the cistern attic, books of all kinds reflecting every transient stage of my parents' interest, books readable and unreadable, books suitable for a child and books most emphatically not. Nothing was forbidden me. In the seemingly endless rainy afternoons I took volume after volume form the shelves. I had always the same certainty of finding a book that was new to me as a man who walks into a field has of finding a new blade of grass.(Chapter 1, The First Years)
I came back from the library last night with four books entirely unrelated to any of the courses I'm taking this semester. It felt so indulgent to crack the Lewis book instead of studying for my test in theater class. The more I know of Lewis, the more there is to love. Dr. Head says C.S. Lewis is the reason we all want to become English majors.
Other items of interest: Ioan Gruffudd just finished filming Amazing Grace, a movie about the life of one of the men I most admire in British history: William Wilberforce. An Evangelical Christian, Wilberforce almost gave up his political career to pursue Christian "ministry", but was apparently persuaded by John Newton to remain in Parliament and affect changes there. Wilberforce fought 20 years to abolish slavery in Great Britain.
I plan to do some reading on Wilberforce's life before the film comes out. Another of the books I found at the library is about the lives of Christian social reformers in the 19th century. I believe it has a chapter on Wilberforce. A book the college library doesn't hold, but I'd like to get my hands on is this one I found on Amazon: Hero for Humanity: A Biography of William Wilberforce by Kevin Belmonte.
Amazing Grace releases February 23, 2007, the bicentennial of Wilberforce's victory. For more production stills, visit ioanonline.com.