Bookman and I were planning to go to another community sing last night but we were under a heat advisory because it is so darn hot and humid and we decided not to go. The air is so thick with humidity I wish I had gills. We stayed home in the air conditioning instead, put on some music, ate homemade vegan ice cream and played cribbage. I won both games. *gloat* There is another sing at the end of August and it has a theme! Songs written by women. It had better be cool enough to go to that one or I will be very sad.
In one of those delightful moments of reading synchronicity, I was reading Crisis of the European Mind by Paul Hazard and he mentioned William Temple, husband of Dorothy Osborne whose love letters to Temple I recently read. I do believe I figured out why Dorothy’s family wasn’t very keen on Temple. He was a Freethinker.
There were different sorts of Freethinkers and Temple was among the English sort rather than the French sort who were much more, um, free. Temple was more for the quiet, Epicurean life. The basis for Freethinkers however, was the belief that logic, reason and empiricism should rule rather than authority, tradition and religious dogma. In Temple’s time (17th century), the Freethinkers stood in opposition to the Church and a literal interpretation of the Bible.
Now something Dorothy said in one of her letters makes total sense. Dorothy’s brother, who didn’t like Temple and tried to keep her from marrying him, had been insulting Temple in company for being an atheist who wanted to destroy the Church. Not true of course, but Europe was not long past the Reformation and Counter-Reformation and religious matters were in a precarious balance.
So there we have it. An indirect and serendipitous discovery of why Dorothy’s family was not pleased with her selection of husband.
I so love when stuff like this happens! And it seems I have read a number of blog posts around the book blog world of late in which others are having similar occasions of bookish alignment. The book gods must be in a good mood and feeling playful or something.