Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Preserving Western Culture one 50-cent Book At A Time

"Ecce Ancilla Domini" by Rossetti (downloaded from*
Books are on sale at Palmer Home again. I brought home $6 worth and made an involuntary contribution of $0.42 to the coffers of the Sovereign State of Mississippi. Several were of a religious nature.

The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis (The Macmillan Company, New York, 1943). I'll be reading this over a few winter afternoons.

Poets and Puritans Third Edition, T.R. Glover (Methuen & Co. Ltd., London, 1923, orig. 1915). All the usual suspects-- Spencer, Milton, Bunyan, et al.-- but as I don't know too much about the usual suspects, this will come in handy.

Monser's Topical Index and Digest of the Bible, Harold E. Monser, ed. (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1960, orig. 1914).  This was an amazing find. A. Leland offered me real cash money for it. Not a chance! I may write about this in the future.

The one from which the picture above does not* come is Christ and the Fine Arts Revised and Enlarged Edition: An Anthology of Pictures, Poetry, Music and Stories Centering in the Life of Christ, Cynthia Pearl Maus (Harper & Row, Publishers, New York, 1959, orig. 1938). "No Sunday School can be complete without this book." It contains 76 stories, 256 poems, 117 hymn interpretations, 100 art interpretations, and 100 art reproductions-- all in black & white!

As it is the Christmas season, I thought it appropriate to look through the section on the Annunciation and Nativity. It begins with with a (black and white) reproduction, and interpretation, of the  painting "Ecce Ancilla Domini."
Among the many beautiful painting of the Annunciation few,  if any, possess greater spiritual appeal than Rossetti's "Behold, the Handmaid of the Lord."
A fair bit of the interpretation is actually descriptive-- we have to know what color the curtain is in order to appreciate that it suggests "the ideal of truth which has been preparing Mary to be a fine woman since her girlhood." Likewise, the red loom is the color of Divine love. The white lilies of the loom "tell of the purity of [Mary's] thoughts and deeds."

I should make a concerted effort to know a little more about art. Maybe I'll keep my eyes peeled for crappy old art books.

* And now... to the asterisk. is going to become one of my favorite web sites-- I can just feel it. I can't believe I found it just today searching for a color image of
"Ecce Ancilla Domini."
I have lots of old and antiquarian books, and many of them have got really neat pictures in them even if they are not very valuable or expensive books. I thought it was a shame that no-one but me could see them so I started putting them online.

I also collect old dictionaries, and over the years I've typed (and later scanned) some of the dictionary entries.

I am not a book-seller. I do not buy books to make money by selling them.


I use an Epson E10000XL museum-quality flat-bed scanner together with xsane and GIMP on GNU/Linux[tm].

This is a hobby, a private interest site.
 See what I mean? Old dictionaries! GIMP! 

 Check out the site. It's searchable. Most of the images are free although Liam, the site's proprietor will not turn down a donation.

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