Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mother Magdalen Taylor and Tyborne

A few months ago, Father Nicholas at Roman Miscellany had a wonderful post about Mother Magdalen Taylor, the foundress of the Poor Servants of the Mother of God, and the author of the historical novel, Tyborne. Tyborne is the story of a group of young Catholics during the reign Queen Elizabeth I and how they are compelled to make difficult choices. Mother Taylor displays a deep insight into the human heart, showing how easy it is to fall, and how steep the price of virtue can be. Ultimately, the book is about the struggle of passion and human respect with doing what is right for the love of God. It may not be among the great masterpieces of English literature but it is well-written, meticulously researched, and a classic portrayal of the English martyrs. Against the backdrop of estates of the landed gentry, the royal court, the prison of Mary Queen of Scots, dungeons, torture chambers, and the infamous scaffold at Tyburn, the novel gives the reader a rare glimpse of what it was like to live under the penal laws. Many bitter betrayals are countered by heroism and stoic sacrifice. Tyborne should be part of every homeschooling library and will be relished by all who enjoy good historical fiction.

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