Only one person wound up in the water today, which was a relief. Otherwise, this was another one of those oy gevalt-type research days, what with the non-existent books and the totally irrelevant books. Anyway, read some short books, discussed below, plus a couple of tracts about how icky confession is.
Also, on a totally unrelated note, why does the British Library's cash register ring up a salmon sandwich on regular bread as a bagel? As a Jew, I must register a stern protest.
- Emily Mary Shapcote, The Story of Little Tina and Other Tales (Washbourne, 1888). Catholic collection of children's stories, featuring the relatively lengthy title story and a few shorter pieces. Little Tina, devout Catholic daughter of a nice but non-religious working man, is tied to a tree by Bad Working-Class Agitators, then catches typhus from the man who rescues her and, of course, dies (at more length than necessary). Of course, her father converts. (Tina demonstrates that Protestants did not have a monopoly on angelic children implausibly spouting theology.) Other stories feature a poor boy invited into a Catholic church by a young girl named Mary who, of course, dies (offstage), but he prays for her ever after, and twin sisters who grow up to have lousy marriages, but one of them is sustained by her Catholic faith and the other one is married to a Protestant (oh no!). Both, of course, die. You may detect a trend. The other stories are more allegorical in nature. BODY COUNT: Three.
- Mabel E. Flower, Hope: A Tale of a Somersetshire Village (SPCK, n.d.). Hope, a working-class girl, is distraught when her fiance, Tom, turns to drink like his father. However, overhearing a sermon about the right way to treat sinners sets things all right. Fortunately, she is run over while rescuing Tom from an oncoming carriage, and he vows to become a good husband. Which he does, and they live happily ever after, especially once his father dies. BODY COUNT: One.
- Julia E. Mathews, Jack Granger's Cousin (Nisbet, 1872). UK reprint of a popular American school story. Jack Granger, a "manly" boy, has to deal with his rather obnoxious cousin Paul, who is a "pretty girl." Many obvious attempts to assert gender norms later, Jack and Paul both achieve truly Godly manhood by demonstrating honesty, self-control, and self-sacrifice, as well as an ability to swim. No cricket, but there is a bully; Paul does get doused in the river, with no harm done. BODY COUNT: Zero.
- "Veritas," The Confessional: A Mother's Tale (William Macintosh, n.d.). Same author as the one who wrote yesterday's story about the Anglican priest. Another tale about the dangers of ritualism, this time involving a young girl whose life is forever tainted by confessing to that nice Ritualist clergyman--so much so that she runs away from home to join a sisterhood, then runs away again and dies of consumption. Even a good dose of sola scriptura wasn't enough to save her, but at least she died a firm Protestant, eh? BODY COUNT: One.