Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Michaelmas is Here

If you'd like to celebrate this feast, come to St. Timothy's Anglican Church in Elizabethtown, KY on Sunday, 9/29! We will celebrate Holy Communion together, and then partake of a brief desert reception before our Christian Education time
.
On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God," or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH, in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel" [ Digression: ANGELION means "message, news" and EUANGELION means "good news = goodspell = gospel," from which we get our word "evangelist" used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of The Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). In iconography, he is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. Oftentimes, his lance pierces the mouth of the serpent, as this demonstrates the power of truth to conquer the Father of Lies. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven archangels.

What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given, the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants, enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.
 
Coelites Plaudant - 5 verses, C
Found at bee mp3 search engine

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Universal Abortion Background Check

On February 1st the president's executive orders go into effect, assuring all citizens are safe from the dangers of unregulated abortions.

All women who desire an abortion will be entered into a national registry. The government has decided that women will only be allowed to have one abortion per year, and no more than seven in a lifetime. “Women have a right to choose in the constitution...er...somewhere, but we do need to make sure they know that their government is best at distributing those rights.”

All women who wish to have an abortion must produce references from a close friend or relative who will certify their need for abortion is absolutely necessary. “We support a woman’s right to choose” said Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs, “but think these regulations are necessary to protect the public from the violence associated with unrestricted access to abortions.”

Those seeking abortion must now undergo a background check, where financial records will be obtained to determine whether she can truly support a child. Those found able to do so will not be allowed to terminate the life of another human being. (Tip from Planned Parenthood: Leave the iPhone at home when pleading economic hardship!)

Further, if the background check reveals mental illness or demonstrates reasonable doubt as to the carefulness with which the woman is exercising her reproductive rights, the decision to abort will be placed in the hands of an arbitrator.  “While due regard must be maintained for a woman's privacy, stemming human-on-human violence for the public good outweighs the risks,” said legislators.

There will be mandatory counseling from an authorized counselor, psychiatrist, or clergyperson coupled with a three day “cooling off” waiting period.

Small rural clinics will be replaced with satellite abortion operating rooms attached to major hospitals in large cities where federally licensed and properly supervised abortion providers will ensure documentary compliance.

In attempt to close the “private practice loophole” only federally licensed abortion providers will be able to prescribe Mifepristone (RU-486, aka “the morning after pill”).

No one under the age of eighteen will be allowed to have an abortion without the supervision of their parents.

Finally, all non-medically necessary abortions must take place within the first trimester. “No one really needs more than three months to decide on something like taking a human life. High Capacity Waiting Periods - those consisting of more than three months for choosing termination - are really only needed by medical professionals and law enforcement agencies...and eugenicists,” quipped someone in a rather dashing vest.

Abortion Extremist™ Terry O'Neil, President of The National Organization For Women (NOW) disagrees. “These regulations are nothing more than a draconian curtailment of the God given freedoms that established this country and made it the beacon of hope it has become for people around the world. We will fight this by any means necessary.”

Further legislation will seek to reinstate and strengthen the late-term abortion ban; give law enforcement additional tools to prevent and prosecute unlawful abortions; and end the media silence on abortion violence research.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Michaelmas is coming!


If you'd like to celebrate this feast, come to Holy Apostles Anglican Church in Elizabethtown, KY on Sunday, 9/30!

On the Feast of Michael and all Angels, popularly called Michaelmas, we give thanks for the many ways in which God's loving care watches over us, both directly and indirectly, and we are reminded that the richness and variety of God's creation far exceeds our knowledge of it.
The Holy Scriptures often speak of created intelligences other than humans who worship God in heaven and act as His messengers and agents on earth. We are not told much about them, and it is not clear how much of what we are told is figurative. Jesus speaks of them as rejoicing over penitent sinners (Lk 15:10). Elsewhere, in a statement that has been variously understood (Mt 18:10), He warns against misleading a child, because their angels behold the face of God. (Acts 12:15 may refer to a related idea.)
In the Hebrew Scriptures, it is occasionally reported that someone saw a man who spoke to him with authority, and who he then realized was no mere man, but a messenger of God. Thus we have a belief in super-human rational created beings, either resembling men in appearance or taking human appearance when they are to communicate with us. They are referred to as "messengers of God," or simply as "messengers." The word for a messenger in Hebrew is MALACH, in Greek, ANGELOS, from which we get our word "angel" [ Digression: ANGELION means "message, news" and EUANGELION means "good news = goodspell = gospel," from which we get our word "evangelist" used to mean a preacher of the Good News of salvation, and, more narrowly, one of the four Gospel-writers: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.]
By the time of Christ, Jewish popular belief included many specifics about angels, with names for many of them. There were thought to be four archangels, named Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, and Uriel. An alternative tradition has seven archangels (see Tobit 12:15 and 1 Enoch 20). Sometimes each archangel is associated with one of the seven planets of the Ptolemaic system (the moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn). Michael is associated with Saturn and Uriel with the Sun. The other pairings I forget, but I believe that you will find a list in the long narrative poem called "The Golden Legend," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. (I believe that a pairing is also offered in the opening chapters of the Proof of The Apostolic Preaching, by Irenaeus of Lyons, but I have not the work at hand.)
Michael (the name means "Who is like God?") is said to be the captain of the heavenly armies. He is mentioned in the Scriptures in Daniel 10:13,31; 12:1 (where he is said to be the prince of the people of Israel); in Jude 9 (where he is said to have disputed with the devil about the body of Moses); and in Revelation 12:7 (where he is said to have led the heavenly armies against those of the great dragon). In iconography, he is generally pictured in full armor, carrying a lance, and with his foot on the neck of a dragon. Oftentimes, his lance pierces the mouth of the serpent, as this demonstrates the power of truth to conquer the Father of Lies. (Pictures of the Martyr George are often similar, but only Michael has wings.)
Gabriel (the name means "God is my champion") is thought of as the special bearer of messages from God to men. He appears in Daniel 8:16; 9:21 as an explainer of some of Daniel's visions. According to the first chapter of Luke, he announced the forthcoming births of John the Baptist and of our Lord to Zachariah and the Virgin Mary respectively.
Raphael (the name means "God heals") is mentioned in the Apocrypha, in the book of Tobit, where, disguised as a man, he accompanies the young man Tobias on a quest, enables him to accomplish it, and gives him a remedy for the blindness of his aged father.
Uriel (the name means "God is my light" -- compare with "Uriah", which means "the LORD is my light") is mentioned in 4 Esdras.
It is thought by many scholars that the seven lamps of Revelation 4:5 are an image suggested by (among many other things) the idea of seven archangels.

What is the value to us of remembering the Holy Angels? Well, since they appear to excel us in both knowledge and power, they remind us that, even among created things, we humans are not the top of the heap. Since it is the common belief that demons are angels who have chosen to disobey God and to be His enemies rather than His willing servants, they remind us that the higher we are the lower we can fall. The greater our natural gifts and talents, the greater the damage if we turn them to bad ends. The more we have been given, the more will be expected of us. And, in the picture of God sending His angels to help and defend us, we are reminded that apparently God, instead of doing good things directly, often prefers to do them through His willing servants, enabling those who have accepted His love to show their love for one another.


Coelites Plaudant - 5 verses, C


Found at bee mp3 search engine

Friday, September 14, 2012

Feast of the Holy Cross

There's no better way to start off this day than with the greatest processional / recessional of all time, Lift High the Cross!
Lift High the Cross


Found at bee mp3 search engine

Readings for the Feast of the Holy Cross are found here.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit,
have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
have mercy on us.

The word of the Cross is folly to those who are perishing,
but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Jesus has many who love His Kingdom in Heaven, but few who bear His Cross. He has many who desire comfort, but few who desire suffering. He finds many to share His feast, but few His fasting. All desire to rejoice with Him, but few are willing to suffer for His sake.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Why do you fear to take up the Cross, which is the road to the Kingdom? In the Cross is salvation and life, protection against our enemies, infusion of Heavenly sweetness; in the Cross is strength of mind,joy of spirit, excellence of virtue, perfection of holiness. There is no salvation of soul, nor hope of eternal life, save in the Cross.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: Take up the Cross, therefore, and follow Jesus, and go forward into eternal life. Christ has gone before you, bearing His Cross;He died for you on the Cross, that you also may bear your cross,and desire to die on the Cross with Him. For if you die with Him,you will also live with Him. And if you share His sufferings, you will also share His glory.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: See how in the Cross all things consist, and in dying on it all things depend. There is no other way to life and to true inner peace, than the way of the Cross.Go where you will, seek what you will; you will find no higher way above nor safer way below than the road of the Holy Cross.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Reflection: The Cross always stands ready, and everywhere awaits you. You cannot escape it, wherever you flee; for wherever you go,you bear yourself, and always find yourself. Look up or down, without you or within, and everywhere you will find the Cross. And everywhere you must have patience, if you wish to attain inner peace, and win an eternal crown.

God forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,
by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord!.
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us, O Lord!
Lamb of God, Who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.
Let us pray.
Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen us to follow Thee not only to the Breaking of Bread but also to the drinking of the Cup of Thy Passion. Help us to love Thee for Thine own sake and not for the sake of comfort for ourselves. Make us worthy to suffer for Thy name, Jesus, our Crucified and Risen Lord and Savior, now and forever. Amen.


If you haven't taught your children to remember their salvation using the sign of the cross (a duty Martin Luther put especially on fathers), why not today? For further reflection, I recommend ECatBedside's reflection piece.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

A Lenten Psalm 51

Listen to audio track of this song

Have mercy, O God

© 2008 Mick Truman
Credits: Mick Truman - vocals, acoustic guitars, piano

shedrecordings


Refrain:

  • Have mercy, O God,
    have mercy, O God
    1. Have mercy, O God, in your kindness,
      in love and compassion set me free,
      O wash me more and more from my guilt and my sin.
      O cleanse me, O God, O cleanse me, O God.
    2. A pure heart create for me, O God,
      your Spirit, O Lord, within my heart,
      your presence, O God, is my only desire.
      O heal me, O God, O heal me, O God.

    3. Salvation, the joy that you send to me,
      your presence and Spirit give me strength.
      Your glory and praise I will sing and proclaim.
      O save me, O God, O save me, O God.
    © 2008 Mick Truman

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    Copyright notice:

    Please contact us using the website contact form for permissions or email copyright@micktruman.com.

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Gingerbread Pancakes for Shrove Tuesday

    GINGERBREAD PANCAKES
    (inspired by Kerbey Lane in Austin)

    Cream together:
    6 eggs
    2/3 cup brown sugar

    Add, then mix well:
    1 cup buttermilk*
    3/4 cup water
    1/2 cup coffee (brewed)
    2 tsp vanilla

    In a seperate bowl, combine dry ingredients:
    5 cups all-purpose flour
    1 tsp baking powder
    2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 Tbs. cloves
    2 Tbs. cinnamom
    2 Tbs. ginger
    1.5 Tbs. nutmeg

    Add dry ingredients to wet, mixing gently. When combined, mix in:
    1 stick of butter, melted

    This makes about 7-8 thick, plate sized pancakes. SUPER thick. Cut back a tsp of baking soda or so if you prefer less cake-y pancakes.

    * buttermilk is easy to make: 1 c. milk + 1 Tbs. lemon juice or vinegar, I let it stand for a half hour or so, but you could probably push it to even 5 or 10 minutes in a pinch.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Telegraph's 100 Novels everyone should read

    The London Telegraph editors compiled a list of the novels they think every cultured person should read. I'm grateful for Jane Austen only showing up once (though Brontë showing up twice is borderlilne inexcusable). I'm also happy to add some "world literature" to my repertoire. I've asterisked the ones I've already read.

    *100 The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein

    WH Auden thought this tale of fantastic creatures looking for lost jewellery was a “masterpiece”.

    *99 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    A child’s-eye view of racial prejudice and freaky neighbours in Thirties Alabama.

    98 The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

    A rich Bengali noble lives happily until a radical revolutionary appears.

    *97 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

    Earth is demolished to make way for a Hyperspatial Express Route. Don’t panic.

    96 One Thousand and One Nights Anon

    A Persian king’s new bride tells tales to stall post-coital execution.

    95 The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Werther loves Charlotte, but she’s already engaged. Woe is he!

    94 Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

    The children of poor Hindus and wealthy Muslims are switched at birth.

    93 Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

    Nursery rhyme provides the code names for British spies suspected of treason.

    92 Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

    Hilarious satire on doom-laden rural romances. “Something nasty” has been observed in the woodshed.

    91 The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki

    The life and loves of an emperor’s son. And the world’s first novel?

    90 Under the Net by Iris Murdoch

    A feckless writer has dealings with a canine movie star. Comedy and philosophy combined.

    89 The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

    Lessing considers communism and women’s liberation in what Margaret Drabble calls “inner space fiction”.

    88 Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin

    Passion, poetry and pistols in this verse novel of thwarted love.

    87 On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    Beat generation boys aim to “burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles”.

    86 Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

    A disillusioning dose of Bourbon Restoration realism. The anti-hero “Rastingnac” became a byword for ruthless social climbing.

    85 The Red and the Black by Stendhal

    Plebian hero struggles against the materialism and hypocrisy of French society with his “force d’ame”.

    84 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

    “One for all and all for one”: the eponymous swashbucklers battle the mysterious Milady.

    83 Germinal by Emile Zola

    Written to “germinate” social change, Germinal unflinchingly documents the starvation of French miners.

    *82 The Stranger by Albert Camus

    Frenchman kills an Arab friend in Algiers and accepts “the gentle indifference of the world”.

    *81The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

    Illuminating historical whodunnit set in a 14th-century Italian monastry.

    80 Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

    An Australian heiress bets an Anglican priest he can’t move a glass church 400km.

    79 Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

    Prequel to Jane Eyre giving moving, human voice to the mad woman in the attic.

    *78 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

    Carroll’s ludic logic makes it possible to believe six impossible things before breakfast.

    *77 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Yossarian feels a homicidal impulse to machine gun total strangers. Isn’t that crazy?

    *76 The Trial by Franz Kafka

    K proclaims he’s innocent when unexpectedly arrested. But “innocent of what”?

    75 Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee

    Protagonist’s “first long secret drink of golden fire” is under a hay wagon.

    74 Waiting for the Mahatma by RK Narayan

    Gentle comedy in which a Gandhi-inspired Indian youth becomes an anti-British extremist.

    *73 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Remarque

    The horror of the Great War as seen by a teenage soldier.

    *72 Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant by Anne Tyler

    Three siblings are differently affected by their parents’ unexplained separation.

    71 The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

    Profound and panoramic insight into 18th-century Chinese society.

    70 The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa

    Garibaldi’s Redshirts sweep through Sicily, the “jackals” ousting the nobility, or “leopards”.

    69 If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

    International book fraud is exposed in this playful postmodernist puzzle.

    68 Crash by JG Ballard

    Former TV scientist preaches “a new sexuality, born from a perverse technology”.

    67 A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul

    East African Indian Salim travels to the heart of Africa and finds “The world is what it is.”

    *66 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Boy meets pawnbroker. Boy kills pawnbroker with an axe. Guilt, breakdown, Siberia, redemption.

    65 Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

    Romantic young doctor’s idealism is trampled by the atrocities of the Russian Revolution.

    64 The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz

    Follows three generations of Cairenes from the First World War to the coup of 1952.

    *63 The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

    Stevenson’s “bogey tale” came to him in a dream.

    *62 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

    Swift’s scribulous satire on travellers’ tall tales (the Lilliputian Court is really George I’s).

    61 My Name Is Red by Orhan Pamuk

    A painter is murdered in Istanbul in 1591. Unusually, we hear from the corpse.

    60 One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

    Myth and reality melt magically together in this Colombian family saga.

    59 London Fields by Martin Amis

    A failed novelist steals a woman’s trashed diaries which reveal she’s plotting her own murder.

    58 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

    Gang of South American poets travel the world, sleep around, challenge critics to duels.

    57 The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse

    Intellectuals withdraw from life to play a game of musical and mathematical rules.

    56 The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

    Madhouse memories of the Second World War. Key text of European magic realism.

    55 Austerlitz by WG Sebald

    Paragraph-less novel in which a Czech-born historian traces his own history back to the Holocaust.

    *54 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    Scholar’s sexual obsession with a prepubescent “nymphet” is complicated by her mother’s passion for him.

    *53 The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

    After nuclear war has rendered most sterile, fertile women are enslaved for breeding.

    *52 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

    Expelled from a “phony” prep school, adolescent anti-hero goes through a difficult phase.

    51 Underworld by Don DeLillo

    From baseball to nuclear waste, all late-20th-century American life is here.

    *50 Beloved by Toni Morrison

    Brutal, haunting, jazz-inflected journey down the darkest narrative rivers of American slavery.

    *49 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    “Okies” set out from the Depression dustbowl seeking decent wages and dignity.

    48 Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin

    Explores the role of the Christian Church in Harlem’s African-American community.

    47The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

    A doctor’s infidelities distress his wife. But if life means nothing, it can’t matter.

    46 The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

    A meddling teacher is betrayed by a favourite pupil who becomes a nun.

    45 The Voyeur by Alain Robbe-Grillet

    Did the watch salesman kill the girl on the beach. If so, who heard?

    *44 Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre

    A historian becomes increasingly sickened by his existence, but decides to muddle on.

    *43 The Rabbit books by John Updike

    A former high school basketball star is unsatisfied by marriage, fatherhood and sales jobs.

    *42 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    A boy and a runaway slave set sail on the Mississippi, away from Antebellum “sivilisation”.

    *41 The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

    A drug addict chases a ghostly dog across the midnight moors.

    40 The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

    Lily Bart craves luxury too much to marry for love. Scandal and sleeping pills ensue.

    39 Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    A Nigerian yam farmer’s local leadership is shaken by accidental death and a missionary’s arrival.

    *38The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

    A mysterious millionaire’s love for a woman with “a voice full of money” gets him in trouble.

    37 The Warden by Anthony Trollope

    “Of all novelists in any country, Trollope best understands the role of money,” said W?H Auden.

    *36 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

    An ex-convict struggles to become a force for good, but it ends badly.

    35 Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

    An uncommitted history lecturer clashes with his pompous boss, gets drunk and gets the girl.

    34 The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

    “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts” in this hardboiled crime noir.

    33 Clarissa by Samuel Richardson

    Epistolary adventure whose heroine’s bodice is savagely unlaced by the brothel-keeping Robert Lovelace.

    32 A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

    Twelve-book saga whose most celebrated character wears “the wrong kind of overcoat”.

    31 Suite Francaise by Irène Némirovsky

    Published 60 years after their author was gassed, these two novellas portray city and village life in Nazi-occupied France.

    30 Atonement by Ian McEwan

    Puts the “c” word in the classic English country house novel.

    29 Life: a User’s Manual by Georges Perec

    The jigsaw puzzle of lives in a Parisian apartment block. Plus empty rooms.

    28 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

    Thigh-thwacking yarn of a foundling boy sewing his wild oats before marrying the girl next door.

    *27 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    Human endeavours “to mock the stupendous mechanism of the Creator of the world” have tragic consequences.

    26 Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

    Northern villagers turn their bonnets against the social changes accompanying the industrial revolution.

    25 The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

    Hailed by T?S Eliot as “the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels”.

    24 Ulysses by James Joyce

    Modernist masterpiece reworking of Homer with humour. Contains one of the longest “sentences” in English literature: 4,391 words.

    23 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

    Buying the lies of romance novels leads a provincial doctor’s wife to an agonising end.

    22 A Passage to India by EM Forster

    A false accusation exposes the racist oppression of British rule in India.

    *21 1984 by George Orwell

    In which Big Brother is even more sinister than the TV series it inspired.

    *20 Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

    Samuel Johnson thought Sterne’s bawdy, experimental novel was too odd to last. Pah!

    *19 The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

    Bloodsucking Martian invaders are wiped out by a dose of the sniffles.

    *18 Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

    Waugh based the hapless junior reporter in this journalistic farce on former Telegraph editor Bill Deedes.

    17 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

    Sexual double standards are held up to the cold, Wessex light in this rural tragedy.

    16 Brighton Rock by Graham Greene

    A seaside sociopath mucks up murder and marriage in Greene’s literary Punch and Judy show.

    15 The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse

    A scrape-prone toff and pals are suavely manipulated by his gentleman’s personal gentleman.

    *14 Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    Out on the winding, windy moors Cathy and Heathcliff become each other’s “souls”. Then he storms off.

    *13 David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

    Debt and deception in Dickens’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman crammed with cads, creeps and capital fellows.

    *12 Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

    A slave trader is shipwrecked but finds God, and a native to convert, on a desert island.

    *11 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Every proud posh boy deserves a prejudiced girl. And a stately pile.

    *10 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

    Picaresque tale about quinquagenarian gent on a skinny horse tilting at windmills.

    9 Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

    Septimus’s suicide doesn’t spoil our heroine’s stream-of-consciousness party.

    8 Disgrace by JM Coetzee

    An English professor in post-apartheid South Africa loses everything after seducing a student.

    *7 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Poor and obscure and plain as she is, Mr Rochester wants to marry her. Illegally.

    6 In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

    Seven-volume meditation on memory, featuring literature’s most celebrated lemony cake.

    *5 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    “The conquest of the earth,” said Conrad, “is not a pretty thing.”

    4 The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    An American heiress in Europe “affronts her destiny” by marrying an adulterous egoist.

    3 Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

    Tolstoy’s doomed adulteress grew from a daydream of “a bare exquisite aristocratic elbow”.

    I2 Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

    Monomaniacal Captain Ahab seeks vengeance on the white whale which ate his leg.

    1 Middlemarch by George Eliot

    “One of the few English novels written for grown-up people,” said Virginia Woolf.