BOOKS BY LEGACY READERS
“Bloody Farce”: Irony, Farce and Morality in Dorothy L. Sayers’ Have His Carcase by Nancy-Lou Patterson (Ontario, Canada, 1999: 38 pages, 150 copies). Patterson begins by stating frankly that Have His Carcase is the least appreciated novel by Sayers. She quotes various critics: “the weakest of the Wimsey stories,” “intricacy of plot development that becomes oppressive,” “not by any means Dorothy’s best,” “flawed and unwieldy… bulky… brooding,” “weak in its characterization,” and “a puzzle mystery that has not worn well.” Then she sets forth her thesis “that Have His Carcase is the supreme example in Miss Sayers’ ouvre of irony and farce in the literary treatment of mortality, and thus, in its distinctively distressing way, a masterpiece.” With loving, meticulous scholarship, Patterson analyzes a long-neglected novel.
David Brainerd by Ranelda Hunsicker (Bethany House Publishers, 1999, 146 pages). David Brainerd, in the Men of Faith series, is the story of the pioneer missionary to North American Indians, whose journal became a devotional classic. Brainerd (1718-1747) died of tuberculosis at the age of 28, departing from an energetic life plagued by bad health, personality problems, and bouts of depression. As a headstrong student at Yale, Brainerd was expelled in his junior year; largely as a result, two of his friends eventually founded the college known now as Princeton. When he died, he had only been a licensed preacher for five years. His friend Jonathan Edwards edited his journals, creating the first missionary biography. It spread quickly and has inspired thousands, including such luminaries as John Wesley (1703-1791); William Carey, called “the founder of modern missions” (1761-1834); and Jim Elliott (1927-1956).
Groups and Characters by Victor E. Hill IV (Chapman & Hall, Price: $54.95). Group representation theory is both elegant and practical, with important applications to quantum mechanics, spectroscopy, crystallography, and other fields in the physical sciences. Groups and Characters offers an easy-to-follow introduction to the theory of groups and of group characters. Designed as a rapid survey of the subject, this unique text emphasizes examples and applications of the theorems, and avoids many of the longer and more difficult proofs.