Book Display: Romantic, Victorian, and Modernist British Literature (from Romanticism →Modernism)

Celebrating the English Language

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(Portrait of William Blake (first) by Javler Chandla on Flickr; Photograph of Virginia Woolf, 1902 (second) by Mark LaFlaur on Flickr; Illustration from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (third) by Gyulavalko on Flickr).

DC Sullivan Library’s most recent display case is a continuation of the former, featuring some of the most significant works and authors of British Literature from the 18th to the mid-20th century. 


(Photograph of a passage from Kubla Khan (written by Samuel T. Coleridge, 1816) by Circled Thrice on Flickr).

The literature that is featured on display covers three periods that span over approximately 200 years, from 1800 to the mid-1900’s. Beginning with The Romantic Era, the case exhibits significant poets and authors, such as William Blake, William Wordsworth, John Keats, Lord Byron, Samuel T. Coleridge and Mary Shelley; as well as significant writers from the Victorian and Modernist Eras of British Literature, such as Robert Browning, Bernard Shaw, Alfred Lord Tennyson, W.B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, and Joseph Conrad, as well as many others. The literature on display is a combination of scholarly critiques of these timeless works, as well as newer books that feature the original plays, novels, and poems of these writers. A few of the works that are featured can be found below.


Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, Introduction by Robert Penn Warren: A Modern Literary Book

Nostromo is a 1904 novel written by Joseph Conrad, a famous author of the late 19th and early 20th century. The book takes place in a fictitious and war-ravaged South American republic that experiences brief stability and peace under the rule of a dictator, Ribiera. The novel was ranked #47 out of 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century by the Modern Library in 1998. In this edition of the book, a literary scholar, Robert Penn Warren, writes an introduction that gives his perception of the timeless story.


The Devil & the Lady: and Unpublished Early Poems By Alfred Lord Tennyson, Forward By Rowland L. Collins

This book was published in 1964, about 70 years after Alfred Lord Tennyson’s death. It is a collection of his most early works, and many poems that were unpublished during his lifetime. Tennyson was born in 1809 and died in 1892 at the age of 83. He was a Victorian poet and author, with some of his most famous works being “Ulysses,” “Nothing Will Die,” and “Lady Clara Vere de Vere.”


Pygmalion By Bernard Shaw

Pygmalion is a play written by Bernard Shaw, and it was first introduced to the public, on stage, in 1913, making it a 20th century play. Bernard Shaw was an Irish playwright, critic, and political activist that had dual citizenship in both Britain and Ireland. He wrote more than sixty plays, with Pygmalion being one of his most major works. His use of contemporary satirical humor, contemporary social issues, politics, and historical allegory made him one of the most significant playwrights of his generation, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1925 for his influence on Western theater and literature. His full name was George Bernard Shaw, but he went by the name of Bernard Shaw.



(Heart of Darkness was first published as a three-part serial story in Blackwood’s Magazine (first), Photo from Wikipedia; Copy A of William Blake’s original printing of The Tyger, c. 1795 (second), Photo from Wikipedia; Photographs from the 1918 production of Mrs. Warren’s Profession, Written by Bernard Shaw, Directed by and Starring Mary Shaw (photographed in bottom two frames) (third), Photo from Wikipedia.)


If you are interested in Literature, and want to do more than check out the books that are available on Display at DC Sullivan Library, then get involved in Campus Life by joining the English Club! If interested, contact the Head of the English Department, Ellen Dolgin, or the Club President, Christine Ditzel. 


Book Display: Early British Literature (from Beowulf to the Enlightenment era)

Celebrating the origins of English Language and Literature

Illustration of Beowulf (left) from Wikimedia Commons; Portrait of the playwright and poet Shakespeare (right) by Tonynetone on Flickr)

DC Sullivan Library’s latest display case is celebrating the origins of English language, featuring some of the most significant works and authors of British Literature through the 18th Century. The literature that is featured on display covers several periods that span over a thousand years, as well as numerous developments, and outright changes, of the English language. Beginning with one of the earliest pieces of British Literature, the case exhibits a translated version of the epic poem Beowulf, which was written by an unknown author sometime between the 8th and 11th century; as well as significant authors, such as Geoffery Chaucer and Shakespeare, all the way up until the 18th century.

Illustration (left) of Geoffrey Chaucer from Wikimedia Commons; Illustration (middle) of the Oldest English Poem The Dream of the Rood from Wikipedia; Illustration (right) of John Milton from Wikimedia Commons

This case is relevant for anybody and everybody who speaks English, because it represents the origins of our language, as it even exhibits works of the earliest English dialect, known as Old English, which was spoken by the Anglo-Saxons. Additionally, Dominican College’s very own British Literature I class (Fall 2017), and Professor Dr. Robert Stauffer, will be supplementing the case with a series of timeline posters that will fill in all of the blanks of the several time periods that the case pursues to cover.

Come check out the display during Finals Week, when the Library Hours are extended until 2 AM, and snacks are provided. To read more in depth about these subjects, visit the timeline posters that will be put up during Finals Week, or check out one of the many books available on the topic at Sullivan Library. Some books that are exhibited in the case, which can also be checked out at any time, will be provided below.

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Beowulf: a New Verse Translation, Translated by Seamus Heaney 

This is a translation of the Anglo-Saxon epic, Beowulf, which is a heroic narrative of the adventures of Beowulf, who saves the Danes from the apparently indomitable monster Grendel, as well as from Grendel’s mother. After this feat, the hero returns to his own nations, where he is killed in an honorable battle with a dragon, that he is also able to kill and save his country before he ultimately dies. This poem was evidently written in segments, and was not meant to be read all at once when it was originally written; which explains the vast amount of Beowulf’s life that is covered throughout the entirety of the epic.


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Poems From the Old English, Translated by Burton Raffel

This book organized the most significant Old English poems, except for Beowulf, in a manner that is comprehensive for researching, studying, and teaching. This book organizes the poems into four categories, which are elegies, heroic poems, religious poems, and wisdom poetry;



Shakespeare’s Symmetries: The Mirrored Structure of Action in the Plays, by James E. Ryan

While Shakespeare’s narratives vary from play to play, the thematic action is structured in a patterned manner, which leads critics and readers to consider how these plays are thematically organized, and whether thorough attention was paid to their placements when they were crafted by Shakespeare in the late 16th and early 17th centuries. Ryan describes these thematic patterns as an arch, and their relevance is that they allow us to recognize aspects of the poem that otherwise couldn’t be.



Suffering in Paradise: The Bubonic Plague in English Literature from More to Milton, by Rebecca Totaro

This book focuses on the Bubonic Plague and its influences on English Literature from 1500 through the first half of the 18th century. Men and women of these harsh times had to search for an understanding of man’s relationship with nature, as well as to which degree they held their faith in their nation and their God.

October 31st marks the 500th anniversary of the birth of the Protestant Reformation



Photo by Sharonang


Reformation Day, October 31st, celebrates the day that Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the University of Wittenberg’s chapel door. Martin Luther is well-known for his influence in religious reform. He was inspired to post these complaints on the door because he was fed up with Pope Leo X, and other religious officials, selling indulgences in the name of God to people who feared they would not receive salvation in Heaven (which was practically everyone during the 16th century).  Indulgences were sold as a form of impunity from sins by the Catholic Church, and many people purchased these because they were told, and believed, that they would be absolved from sin and get into Heaven.

The 95 Theses influenced Europe profoundly. Within just a few months, copies of the text had practically circulated throughout the entire continent. They had come a long way from the chapel doors he had initially posted them on in Wittenberg, Germany. Ultimately, Martin Luther changed the course of religion and remains to be one of the most influential figures in Western history.

His influence was admirable because he challenged some of the most powerful rulers in Europe at that time by not recanting his writings and accusations against the Church. Even after being summoned before an imperial diet assembly in 1518 in Southern Germany, and then again before the papal commission in Rome in 1520, Luther refused to recant his opinions both times. The Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V, signed an edict for all of Luther’s writings to be burned, and finally, Luther was officially excommunicated from the Catholic Church by Pope Leo X in 1521.

Martin Luther’s bold writings laid the foundation for the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century.  Largely, Luther’s texts are famous because they were an incursion of the church’s corruption, and the pope’s abuse of power and scripture, in a time where the Church possessed much of the political power in Europe. Not only did these texts revolutionize the course of religion, but they also began the reforms of European culture. His largest contribution to theological history was probably his insistence that the Bible should be translated from Latin to other languages, such as German and English, so that it would be available for common folk to read. Prior to this, it was rather beyond the pale for common people to read the bible, and many people were not able to, because it was written in Latin, rather than a language such as English, French, or German. Luther’s perseverance in emphasizing these reforms were truly revolutionary in his day and are still recognized for their profound impacts in theological and political history.

Please check out Sullivan Library’s display case to read more about Martin Luther, and the Protestant Reformation. Additional books pertaining to this topic or those related can be found in the stacks, and their call numbers can be accessed through the Library’s Search Catalog.



Photo by Falco


Works Cited Staff. “Martin Luther and the 95 Theses.”, A+E Networks, 2009,


Book Display in Honor of Founder’s Week


For this month’s display case and book selection, Sullivan Library is celebrating Founder’s Week by honoring Antonio de Montesinos for his efforts to support the rights of Indigenous Peoples. Antonio de Montesinos was a Dominican friar who was a missionary on Hispanola during Spain’s attempt to colonize the island in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. He is best known for a famous sermon he gave on December of 1511 where he condemned the colonists for enslaving the natives of Hispanola. Montesinos was eventually run out of Hispanola by the colonists for his unpopular opinion; however, he and his fellow Dominicans were ultimately successful in convincing the King of the inhumane nature of the colonists’ abuse and enslavement of the natives. This broke the ice for future laws to be created in order to protect native rights.

Indigenous people are people who inhabited a land prior to it being taken by colonizing societies. According to the United Nations, Indigenous people occupy 20% of the world’s land. However, when discussing Indigenous Peoples, it is crucial to understand that there are thousands of groups which are very diverse from one another. They live in nearly every country and every continent in the world. Continue reading

New display case featuring Mental Health Awareness books


May has been recognized as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949. Each year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental health condition. One in every five adults in the United States will experience a mental health condition in their lifetime. In an effort to bring this issue to light and remove stigma, Mental Health Awareness month seeks to educate the public about mental illness and related issues, in addition to promoting wellness concepts and support.

We have compiled a Bibliography for Mental Health Awareness which features a collection of books related to mental health and wellness related topics.

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New and notable books by subject! Teacher Education


Teacher educationThe library recently purchased over 20 new titles related to Teacher Education! This popular DC program gives students the option to pursue a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in an Education.  The program best suits students who desire to work in the field of Childhood, Early Childhood, or Adolescence Education, as well as those interested in Students with Disabilities. The Masters program offers an accelerated study of the same curriculum, including an additional avocation, concentrating on teaching the blind and visually impaired.

Below are some featured titles of note. We also compiled a bibliography on the subject that any Teacher Education student should consult!

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April is National Poetry Month

poster96poetry month posterApril started being recognized as Poetry Month in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets in order to encourage the reading and publication of American poetry, as well as supporting poets’ and their legacy. Over the last 20 years, National Poetry Month has become one of the largest literary celebrations in the world! To show our appreciation for poetry this month, we have compiled a bibliography of both print and electronic books in or collection related to an expansive variety of poetry and poets. Continue reading for an overview of our featured poetry books.

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