Friday, October 14, 2011

This is supposed to be a post about "Men Without Chests."

But my children are clamoring for me to read another chapter of Rafael Sabatini's Captain Blood, about an Irish soldier-doctor living in England during the reign of James II who is falsely accused of treason then sold into slavery. Peter Blood has so far quoted Horace and Richard Lovelace (I've had a crush on Lovelace ever since I read "To Lucasta, going to the Wars" in my teens), and is showing us how Courage, Honour, and Kindness behave in adverse circumstances.

I must warn you that this is a dangerous route. My oldest son is an EMT/firefighter, which is scary enough for a mom, but he's also working hard on academics this year so he can be accepted into an ROTC program -- he would love to be a fighter pilot like my hero-uncle was.

So I don't have time to write just now. I have to go pray for my son's success and my own peace of mind. And read more hero stories to my children.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Follow the discussion at Cindy's blog.


  1. I am thinking of buying a Sabatini book or two for my son for Christmas. Any suggestions on which to begin with?

  2. Cindy would know better than I do -- this is the first one I've ever read.

    Be forewarned that the bad guys sprinkle their speech with coarse language. But even the good guys say things that we moderns consider taking the Lord's name in vain, though I know from reading Jane Austen's books that in the nineteenth century people didn't see it that way.

  3. Oh, and since you're not on FB you didn't see me gushing about how much I love the book, which I will reproduce here for your amusement:

    "Reading Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini to the kids. I LOVE the movie (Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland -- best pirate movie ever) but when I found out from Cindy Ward Rollins that it was a book and the author wrote tons of stories I had to read it. Now my question is -- HOW COME I NEVER HEARD OF RAFAEL SABATINI BEFORE? I love him! I love this book! I love Peter Blood! I have a new hero! The Scarlet Pimpernel better watch himself -- he's about to be dethroned."

  4. Perhaps I should use it as a read-aloud first before handing it over, just in case. We are still fairly little around here. :)

  5. I always love to read your posts... my only complain is that it was too short, Kelly.
    But oh, well, I understand your reasons and I'm glad now I have one more hero waiting for us to discover.
    His name, Rafael Sabatini, sounds perfect. And Richard Lovelace has the name of a person you'd fall in love with.
    Sorry for being a bit shallow today! We went to a ranch to hear a man talk about horses, and though I'm very inspired, my brain is fried. I'll have to refresh it to then share... Am I going crazy? I only see CM and now C.S. Lewis everywhere, even in the words of this cowboy guy from Arizona.

  6. Brandy, I'm with you. I'm very strict about what language our littles are exposed to, while their taste and morals are still being developed.

    Silvia, I wanted to write about training the emotions but couldn't figure out how to go about it until last night when I decided to write about this book and the role all such stories plays, but then I just couldn't find the words to explain it. So today, I decided just to show it.

    And no, you don't sound shallow at all!

  7. PLAY, not plays! Someone was talking to me while I was typing. Serves me right for not stopping and listening.

  8. Believe it or not I have not read these out loud but rather we have all just read them to ourselves at various times.

    My favorite was Scaramouche and it is Sabatini's most famous work.

    Other popular works in this family are: The Sea Hawk, The Captain Blood books, and Bellarion which I have had to rebuy several times because it gets lent out and not returned and my son James rereads it all the time or at least feels slighted if he can't see it on the shelf. I usually buy James a few new volumes of Sabatini for presents.

  9. Thanks for the reminder about Sabatini. You can never have too many hero stories when raising your kids!

    During this reading of Abolition of Man, I've been trying to read CS Lewis as a schoolteacher, as if I were at a homeschool conference getting clues for how to raise my three boys still at home. Teaching courage is very hard without some hero stories and "just do it" type moments, because cautious or cowardly people can usually rationalize that they have good reason for their hesitance in danger. So to get around that, it seems important to raise boys with heroic ideals, especially if they're naturally quiet and not the rough and tumble type.

    Sports seem to help too, and the company of their brothers ;-)


What are your thoughts? I love to hear from you!