To This Great Stage of Fools: Born November 29th

Last year’s quiz for November 29th birthdays. Check it out, and then come back and read about why today is my favorite birthday of the year other than my own.

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Louisa May Alcott House, Concord, Massachusetts




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Three of my favorite authors were born on this date:

1. C.S. Lewis, b. 1898. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, in particular, has a wonderful Christmas-y theme to it, and I would be happy to enjoy it again with a cup of hot chocolate sitting near the Christmas tree. Several bloggers have written at various times on sundry blogs I frequent about C.S. Lewis, so you can enjoy these tributes:

Jared at Thinklings: Remembering Jack
Carrie reviews Jack: A Life of C.S. Lewis by George Sayer. (I read the same biography earlier this year, but I never got around to writing about it. So . . . what she says.)
Lars Walker at Brandywine Books: The Feast of St. Jack and on the 23rd The Great Man’s Headgear

2. Louisa May Alcott, b. 1832.

“Christmas won’t be Christmas without any presents,” grumbled Jo, lying on the rug.

“It’s so dreadful to be poor!” sighed Meg, looking down at her old dress.

“I don’t think it’s fair for some girls to have plenty of pretty things, and other girls nothing at all,” added little Amy, with an injured sniff.

“We’ve got Father and Mother, and each other,” said Beth contentedly from her corner.

The four young faces on which the firelight shone brightened at the cheerful words, but darkened again as Jo said sadly, “We haven’t got Father, and shall not have him for a long time.” She didn’t say “perhaps never,” but each silently added it, thinking of Father far away, where the fighting was.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Today seems a as good a day as any to remind you and myself to pray for those who are far away, where the fighting is.

3. Madeleine L’Engle, b. 1918. I have two Christmas books by Mrs. L’Engle, and I always ask for one of her books on my Christmas list. THis year I’d like a hard cover copy of The Love Letters or of A Wrinkle in Time.
You may want to look for the following books at the library or in the bookstore; I think either one would enrich your Christmas celebration:

The Twenty-four Days Before Christmas: An Austin Family Story tells of the arrival of a Christmas baby during a snowstorm.
Miracle on Tenth Street and Other Christmas Writings includes the story above and other Christmas stories and poems by Madeleine L’Engle. A Full House, another Austin family story, is one of our favorites; we read it every year.

Are any of you fans of these three authors? Which of their books are your favorites? Little Women is good, but my favorite Alcott book is Rose in Bloom. On my list I mentioned two books by Madeleine L’Engle, A Ring of Endless Light and A Severed Wasp, but tonight I’m thinking that my true favorite of all her books is one that’s not as famous, Love Letters, a book about an American woman who runs away from her troubled marriage and ends up in Portugal identifying with the equally troubled life of a sixteenth century Portuguese nun. Not a Christmas story, but I highly recommend it.

As for C.S. Lewis, how could I possibly choose just one? My favorite Narnia book is The Horse and His Boy because it has the best story and the richest lessons, but Lewis’s other fiction books and his nonfiction are all just as rewarding and enjoyable as the Chronicles of Narnia. Till We Have Faces is an excellent story, based on the tale of Cupid and Psyche but infused with all sorts of philosophical and theological truths. And The Screwtape Letters is the most insightful book about sin and temptation and goodness I’ve ever read or ever hope to read aside from the Bible itself. Just take a year or two and read them all.

5 thoughts on “To This Great Stage of Fools: Born November 29th

  1. I didn’t realize that they all shared a birthday. What a great day!

    C. S. Lewis is my most favorite author. Hard to pick a favorite book, though. Maybe Perelandra? My favorite Alcott book is Eight Cousins. I’ve recently realized that I sadly haven’t yet read a book by Madeleine L’Engle… which I will remedy immediately!

  2. It’s not a contest for me. I love this day because it is MY birthday and because it’s their birthday as well. :) All three are just amazing, but I love Lewis most of all. :)

  3. I have to say I love Lewis most of all, too, but I really like all of them. I don’t know that I could pick a favorite Lewis. It would definitely be a Narnia book, though. Which one is Puddleglum in? I love Puddleglum. Is that The Silver Chair? Hmm. . . I don’t know. I love them all!

  4. Pingback: Carol’s Meme for November 29th at Semicolon

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