Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Idle Kings

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Match'd with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know me not...
This round, our topic is people who achieved greatness early in life. Sometimes it's art, sometimes business, sometimes war, but there are certain people who always live after their greatest moment. What happens to them later in life? Who makes it? Who is never the same? We'll look to books to find the answer.
Much have I seen and known: cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honor'd of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy...
Like both Tennyson and his subject, the author of your book may be dead. But this time, you may also read a living author, so long as your subject is dead. Post any ideas you have here in the comments section, to help others who are looking for topics.

There's no location planned yet, but we're working on getting one, after which we'll have a better idea of a date too. At this point we're looking at early June. Enjoy the reading. We're trying to revive the presentation system this time, so try to think of a creative way to share the insight your book provided on this topic, so as to keep providing something worth showing up for. The book club has been around for awhile, but unlike our subject this month, still probably has good days ahead of us, so come on out and join us.
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil;
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods...


  1. Tim O'Brien is still alive, but 'The Things They Carried' is a series of short stories that deal directly with the post-war experience of Vietnam veterans who returned home to a country that didn't necessarily view them as heroes for all they sacrificed at war.

  2. Good recommendation. One of the debates we had when deciding was whether there were enough fiction options for this one. T.E. Lawrence makes an interesting study for this, because the fictionalized Lawrence is the one best known, but the real Lawrence also had a similar story.

    I'm leaning towards something with the Civil War generation, particularly the Southerners.

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