Bookbeat: February 2008

A River in Flood And Other Florida Stories by Marjory Stoneman Douglas

A River in Flood And Other Florida Stories by Marjory Stoneman Douglasedited by Kevin McCarthy, Department of English
(University Press of Florida, 1999)
Available through Amazon  

Marjory Stoneman Douglas (1890-1998), Florida's eloquent and passionate environmentalist, shaped the world's perception of the Everglades as a vast, flowing river supporting a beautiful and carefully balanced ecosystem. Her lyric masterpiece, The Everglades:  River of Grass, was published in 1947, the same year Everglades National Park was dedicated—the same year federal engineers began their project to drain the Glades. She worked tenaciously to preserve the fragile wetland throughout her life, founding the nonprofit Friends of the Florida Everglades in her late seventies. Among her books are Florida:  The Long Frontier, Alligator Crossing, Hurricane and Freedom River. Years before her classic appeared, Douglas's short stories, published mainly in the Saturday Evening Post, evoked the natural splendor of Florida.

- Publisher


She stood by the window staring out over the old hotel garden at the bright glitter beyond, where the river sparkled into the turquoise of the bay, at the morning blaze of sky over that. She was only vaguely aware that this tropic garden she had gazed out upon for nearly ten seasons from these same windows had the look of striving to conceal that they had been badly battered. She was only vaguely aware that the great palm trees reared themselves over the cut-back shrubs like disheveled, long-legged birds. The Florida hurricane, which she had read about back in the solemn library of the Moreton mansion in Bridgehampton, had been little concern of hers until now, except a certain mild satisfaction that this brilliant land and water which had seemed so soft, so bright, so sheltered from the rigors of living which were everywhere else, had at last endured hardship. It was her grim New England feeling that nothing was any good until it had demonstrated its ability to live through hardship.

The Myths Behind Our Words:  English Vocabulary Derived from the Myths of Greece and Rome

The Myths Behind Our Words:  English Vocabulary Derived from the Myths of Greece and Romeby Karelisa V. Hartigan, Department of Classics
Illustrations by Desmond Jackson
(Forbes Custom Publishing, 1999)  

For the people of ancient Greece and Rome, their myths were vital legends about every aspect of daily life. These stories explained the natural world, its beginning, its landscape, and its climate. They explained also the social order of peoples, giving families a genealogy and political structures a foundation. The myths took terror out of the unknown by offering reasons for the changing seasons, bolts of lightning, storms at sea. The Greek myths also described the workings of the human psyche and the human emotion. In short, the mythology of the Greeks, and later the Romans, played a key role in their society and religion.

In this book I have presented the words which come to us from the myths of Greece and Rome, words whose meaning comes from the legends and sagas of the Greek and Roman people. For almost every word I have provided an illustration to show that language has both an oral and visible vitality.


June:  the sixth month of our calendar. June was the month sacred to Juno, queen of the gods, wife and sister of Jupiter. Juno is the Roman version of the Greek goddess Hera. Originally Juno was one of the Triad of major Etruscan gods, known as luni and hence her Latin name. As the Romans learned of the Greek divinities, they chose to identify their gods with the Greek pantheon. Juno became the wife of Jupiter and the third member of the Etruscan triad, Minvra, became Minerva, taking on the attributes and aspects of Athena. As Athena was the favored daughter of Zeus, so Minerva became the favored daughter of Jupiter. Juno, as a goddess-wife, looked after marriage and the duties of married women. June was thus a favorite month for marriage among the Romans and remains the preference for weddings today. 

Chroniques: Jean Froissart

Diller bookby George T. Diller, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures
(Librairie Droz S.A., 1999)

Professor Diller has recently published the fifth volume of his edition of the Amiens manuscript of Jean Froissart's fourteenth-century Chroniques. This volume provides a lexicon of all the forms transcribed for the edition in volumes 1-4 of his edition. Each entry groups together all the forms of a word, as well as the number of each occurrence and definitions of terms which have disappeared from modern French. Corrected readings of the manuscript are also included. This work will permit for the first time researchers to undertake full, quantitative studies of the vocabulary, morphology, orthography and semantic productivity of the first Book of the Chroniques, whose four books constitute the largest work in Middle French.  

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