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"I looked at her, with my mind full of that other lovely face which had so ominously recalled her to my memory on the terrace by moonlight. I had seen Anne Catherick's likeness in Miss Fairlie. I now saw Miss Fairlie's likeness in Anne Catherick."

- Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White

 

We are joined for this episode of Risking Enchantment by Catholic author Eleanor Bourg Nicholson. Eleanor has recently published two Gothic novels, A Bloody Habit (2018) and Brother Wolf (2021). She joins us to talk about the Gothic genre, and why it's both relevant and interesting to Catholic writers and readers. We also delve into the theme of gothic doubles, a theme powerfully explored in many of the classic novels of the genre including Dracula, Frankenstein and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

We also look at how the trope is explored in Sensation fiction, a genre adjacent to Gothic fiction, in particular in the novel The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. While Gothic fiction has the source of its uncanny doubling in the preternatural and phantasmagorical, Sensation fiction looks to the find the horror in the real societal problems found in the Victorian Age. Where the former genre examines how find ourselves reflected in the falleness of literal monsters, the latter genre examines how we find ourselves reflected in the villany and duplicity of our society.

 

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

Follow Rachel on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow Eleanor on Facebook here.

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

 

Buy A Bloody Habit by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson here.

Buy Brother Wolf by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson here.

Find out more about Eleanor Bourg Nicholson's work with Homeschool Connections here.

Related Risking Enchantment Episodes:

Dracula: The Presence of Evil and the Power of Sacramentals

Monsters and Morality in Romanticism

 

Works Mentioned:

A Bloody Habit by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

Brother Wolf by Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

The Victorian Age in Literature by G.K. Chesterton

 

What We're Enjoying at the Moment:

Eleanor: The Lord of the Rings on Audiobook

Rachel: The Ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke

 

 

“For us, we like going back to a time—and I’m sure nostalgia is feeding into that—where cell phones and the internet weren’t around. If you went off with friends, it felt like you really could get lost on a grand adventure.”

- The Duffer Brothers

In this episode of Risking Enchantment I'm joined by Robyn Conroy, a professional animator who previously joined us for our episodes 'Cartoon Saloon: Celtic and Christian Coexistence' and 'The Prince of Egypt: An Epic in Animation'.

This time she joins us to discuss the hit Netflix series Stranger Things. Set in the 1980s in the fictional town of Hawkins, Indiana, Stranger Things is a sci-fi horror series centered on the supernatural events occurring around the town, including the appearance of a girl with psychic and telepathic abilities.

In the episode we discuss our love for the show and it's grounding in the virtues of loyalty, friendship and courage. We also talk about the complicated relationship our society has with the past and nostalgia, as typified by the success of Stranger Thing's 80's setting. We look at the negative effect of an over reliance on nostalgia, as well as a look at how the digital age might be impacting our ability to embrace the present and even encounter the mystery of our faith.

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Robyn Conroy

Follow Rachel on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow Robyn on Instagram: @robynconroyart

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

Works Mentioned:

Stranger Things, created by The Duffer Brothers

"Why do we like 'Stranger Things' so much? A BYU professor explains"  

On Fairy Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien

 The Past Is a Foreign Country—Revisited by David Lowenthal

"Jack Antonoff has a 'Strange Desire' for the '80s"

1999 by Charli XCX

2002 by Anne-Marie

The 90s by Finneas

Coney Island ft. The National by Taylor Swift

"‘Stranger Things’ is all too familiar"

"The Strangness of Stranger Things"

"Gateway to the upside down"

 

What We're Enjoying at the Moment

Robyn: Take the Sadness out of Saturday Night by Bleacher

Rachel: An American in Paris

"One writes such a story [The Lord of the Rings] not out of the leaves of trees still to be observed, nor by means of botany and soil-science; but it grows like a seed in the dark out of the leaf-mold of the mind: out of all that has been seen or thought or read, that has long ago been forgotten, descending into the deeps."

- J.R.R. Tolkien

For this episode we are delighted to be joined by Dr. Holly Ordway, Fellow of Faith and Culture at the Word on Fire Institute. We discuss her recent title, Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages, which addresses the claim that Tolkien read very little modern fiction, and took no serious notice of it. What Holly reveals is that Tolkien was in fact was intimately connected with the literature of his own time and concerned with the issues and crises of modernity. 

In this episode we discuss Holly's book and also take an in-depth look at some of the themes in Tolkien's writings that may have been influenced by this interest in modern literature.

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Dr Holly Ordway

Follow Rachel on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow Holly on social media: @HollyOrdway

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Find out more about Holly at http://www.hollyordway.com/

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

Music: Ashton Manor by Kevin MacLeod

 

Works Mentioned

  • Tolkien’s Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Dr Holly Ordway
  • "Imaginative Apologetics" by Dr Holly Ordway - Word on Fire Institute Course
  • The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
  • Tolkien and the Great War by John Garth
  • The House of the Wolfings by William Morris
  • “The Ruin”, Anglo-Saxon elegy

What We’re Enjoying at the Moment
Holly: Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome
Rachel: Inside by Bo Burnham

"[T]he first aim of Dante, in his landscape imagery [in the Earthly Paradise], is to show evidence of this perfect liberty, and of the purity and sinlessness of the new nature, converting pathless ways into happy ones."

- John Ruskin

 

For the first episode back from the summer Rachel is joined by Theology Professor Matthew Rothaus Moser to discuss Dante's Divine Comedy and its themes of nature and Creation.

Matthew Rothaus Moser is Theology Professor at Azusa Pacific University. He has a recently published title Love Itself is Understanding: Hans Urs von Balthasar’s Theology of the Saints and has a forthcoming title Dante and the Poetic Practice of Theology.

To mark the 700th anniversary of Dante’s death, in this episode Rachel and Matthew discuss the depictions of nature in The Divine Comedy, in particular the end of Purgatorio where Dante enters Eden. We trace how Dante builds the imagery of forests, trees, rivers and more over the course of the Comedy. We discuss the various themes and theology that Dante is exploring with this imagery, from humanity’s current state of exile from the Garden of Earthly Delights, to the power of natural contemplation to turn us towards God, to the ways in which God reveals himself to us through his creation.

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Matthew Rothaus Moser

Follow me on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow Matthew on Twitter: @M_Rothaus_Moser

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

Music: Ashton Manor by Kevin MacLeod

 

Works Mentioned:

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

La Vita Nuova by Dante Alighieri

Sacred and Profane Love Podcast: Episodes 32,33,34

The Divine Ideas Tradition in Christian Mystical Theology by Mark A. McIntosh

“Narrator and Landscape in the "Commedia": An Approach to Dante's Earthly Paradise”

Kenneth A. Bleeth

After Dinner Scholar Podcast: Dante: “The Infinite Beauty of the World” with Dr. Jason Baxter

Dante: Knowing Oneself, Knowing God, by Christian Moev

“Scripture as Enigma: Biblical Allusion in Dante's Earthly Paradise” by Eleanor Cook

“All Smiles: Poetry and Theology in Dante” by Peter S. Hawkins

 Orchestra: or a Poeme of Dauncing by Sir John Davies

 

What We’re Enjoying At the Moment

Matthew

Looking East in Winter Contemporary Thought and the Eastern Christian Tradition by Rowan Williams

The California Mountains

 

Rachel

The Rat Catcher’s Olympics by Colin Cotterill

“[God] gave you strength to do what your conscience told you was right; and I don’t see that we need any higher or holier strength than that; or wisdom either."

- Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South

In this episode Rachel and Phoebe discuss North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Often dubbed ‘The Victorian Pride and Prejudice’ it is a wonderful love story but also a story of class struggles, the industrial revolution and religious turmoil. Throughout all these themes is Gaskell’s exploration of the importance of following your conscience, maintaining your principles and speaking and acting honestly. Rachel and Phoebe look at the ways in which each of these ‘unfashionable virtues’ are represented in the novel, and why they still apply to us in the modern day.

After this episode, Risking Enchantment will be taking a break over the summer and will return in September. To get notified when it returns, or to keep up to date with any additional content, sign up to our newsletter at: Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

 

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Phoebe Watson

Follow me on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

Music: Ashton Manor by Kevin MacLeod

 

Works Mentioned:

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Story of a Soul: The Autobiography of St. Thérèse of Lisieux by Thérèse de Lisieux

Illustrated London News by G.K. Chesterton

The Catechism of the Catholic Church

What's Wrong with the World by G.K. Chesterton

"The Inner Ring" by C.S. Lewis

Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
 

What We're Enjoying at the Moment

Phoebe: Garden's World

Rachel: From Up on Poppy Hill (film. 2013), Whisper of the Heart (film. 1995)

“Why is it that of all the billions and billions of strange objects in the Cosmos - novas, quasars, pulsars, black holes - you are beyond doubt the strangest”

- Walker Percy Lost in the Cosmos

 

In this episode Rachel is joined by Shane Jenkins to discuss Walker Percy’s satirical self-help book Lost in the Cosmos. In this book Percy explores ideas of the self, as well as the problems of modernity, scientism, identity crisis, and the breakdown of meaning in the modern age. Lost is the Cosmos is a complex and often troubling book but it also contains many keen observations and humorous moments. 

 

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Shane Jenkins

Follow us on social media: @seekingwatson @shanekins

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

Music: Ashton Manor by Kevin MacLeod

 

Works Mentioned

Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy

The Moviegoer by Walker Percy

“Everything is Broken” Tablet by Alana Newhouse

Mystery and Manners by Flannery O’Connor

Thoughts after Lambeth by T.S. Eliot

“Is Pope Francis Anti-Modern?” The New Atlantis by M. Anthony Mills

 

What We’re Enjoying at the Moment

Shane: Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.

Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Hippo Campus (band)

 

Rachel: Tickets to my Downfall by MGK (album)

“If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”

 

― C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

 

In this episode we are delighted to welcome to the show David Bates, co-host of the Pints with Jack podcast. He joins Phoebe and Rachel to discuss The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis’ imaginary supposition of Hell, Purgatory and Heaven. We talk about how Lewis demonstrates the ways that sin traps us and prevents us from entering into the joy of heaven, as well as Lewis’ unique ability to capture the vital energy and attraction of virtue. 

 

Check out David’s podcast: Pints with Jack 

@PintswithJack on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

Check out David’s wife Marie’s podcast: Pints with Chesterton 

 

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Phoebe Watson, David Bates

Music: Ashton Manor by Kevin MacLeod

Follow me on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

 

Works mentioned in this episode:

 

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell by William Blake

Inaugural Homily, Pope Benedict XVI

New Seeds of Contemplation by Thomas Merton

“The Age of Anxiety” by W.H. Auden

The Four Loves by C.S. Lewis

The Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Misquotable C.S. Lewis: What He Didn't Say, What He Actually Said, and Why It Matters by William O’Flaherty

 

What We're Enjoying at the Moment

David: Speaking to his unborn son

Phoebe: Smith of Wootten Major by J.R.R. Tolkien

Rachel: Brideshead Revisited, 1981 TV Series

“‘You will find,’ he explained, ‘that when the kings are bullies who believe in force, the people are bullies too. If I don't stand for law, I won't have law among my people.’”

In this episode Rachel and Phoebe discuss the figure of King Arthur in Malory’s Le Morte Darthur, the biblical echoes of his kingship, his attempt to create a just society and his failure to embody Christ-like ideals. We also discuss the new Catholic magazine, Leaven, launched by friend of the show, Greg Daly. It’s a digital magazine which showcases a coherently and distinctly Irish Catholic vision, and explores a mix of topics from science to literature, pop culture to social justice, history to philosophy and beyond. It’s first edition features articles and interviews with a range of established and new Catholic writers, including an article by Rachel on the theme of Pentecost in Arthurian myth, which forms a backdrop to this podcast episode. 

Click here to get your copy of Leaven:

Leaven Magazine leavenmagazine.ie

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Phoebe Watson

Follow me on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

 

Works mentioned in this episode:

Le Morte Darthur, The Winchester Manuscript by Sir Thomas Malory

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

“The Sword of the Spirit,” Leaven by Rachel Sherlock

“King Arthur and the Liturgical Year,” quiteirregular by Jem Bloomfield 

“Lancelot Versus the Pentecostal Oath,” Arthurian Literature by Kiera Schneider

“A Real Catholic Monarchy,” The Distributist Review by John C. Médaille

“Reflections for the Feast of Christ the King,” Vatican News by Fr. Antony Kadavil

“Christ the King of the Universe,” National Catholic Reporter by Mary M. McGlone, CSJ

 

What We’re Enjoying at the Moment:

Phoebe: The Sound of Music

Rachel: 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

"Our Lord began his public life on the Mount of the Beatitudes and closed it on the Mount of Calvary. This books tells the story of how he practiced the meekness, the mercy, and the poverty of the Beatitudes." - Ven. Fulton Sheen

In this episode of Risking Enchantment Rachel and Phoebe discuss the short book by Ven. Fulton Sheen called The Cross and the Beatitudes. In this book, Sheen correlates the Beatitudes to the seven last words of Christ, and in so doing he illuminates how Christ embodied the Beatitudes not only in his ministry but in the Passion itself. It is a book full of insight and wisdom, and at under 100 pages it is an ideal devotional to read this Holy Week. 

We wish you all a prayerful Holy Week and a blessed Easter Season.

 

Works Mentioned:

The Cross and the Beatitudes by Ven. Fulton Sheen

The Beauty and Ugliness of the Cross - Risking Enchantment

Sacred Songs for Sorrowful Times: Music for Holy Week - Risking Enchantment

The World’s First Love by Ven. Fulton Sheen

“The Beatitudes Confront the Seven Deadly Sins” by Dennis and Rose Wingfield

Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

"The Seven Words Spoken by Jesus Christ on the Cross" by St. Alphonsus Liguori

 

What We're Enjoying at the Moment:

Phoebe:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Pints with Jack: Season 4 - The Screwtape Letters

 

Rachel:

Tolkien's Modern Reading: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages by Holly Ordway

Boreas/Zephyrus Vinyl by The Oh Hellos

"I will smite Egypt with all my wonders"

- The Prince of Egypt

For this episode of Risking Enchantment, we are joined by animator and friend Robyn Conroy to talk about the 1998 Dreamwork's film The Prince of Egypt. A fantastic film in its own right, it is also an interesting modern example of a biblical story becoming a prestigious entertainment and artistic event. We talk about the incredible visuals and music of the movie, as well as the filmmaker's faithful and accurate adaptation of this sacred story. An excellent family movie for Lent, The Prince of Egypt is a masterful example of both animated and musical storytelling.

 

Hosts: Rachel Sherlock, Robyn Conroy

Follow Rachel on social media: @seekingwatson

Follow Robyn on Instagram: @robynconroyart

Follow the podcast on Instagram: @riskingenchantmentpodcast

Find out more at www.rachelsherlock.com

Sign up for our email list at www.rachelsherlock.com/podcast

 

Works Mentioned:

The Prince of Egypt (1998)

The Making of The Prince of Egypt (YouTube)

"An Ecumenical ‘Prince of Egypt’" By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times

Francis of Assisi by G.K. Chesterton

 

What We're Enjoying At the Moment

Robyn: Principium, Album by The Arcadian Wild

Rachel: Dubliners by James Joyce, audiobook read by Andrew Scott

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