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Full-Text Articles in English Language and Literature

Conception: A Personal History, Kathryn Rhett Oct 2006

Conception: A Personal History, Kathryn Rhett

English Faculty Publications

November 19 is Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, the day that Lincoln dedicated part of the battlefield as a cemetery for the Civil War dead in 1863. That year in July the dead lay on the battlefield, on the farmers’ fields planted with crops and in the summer-green woods where they had taken positions behind boulders and tree trunks. Some lay covered with dirt, and others just lay bare to the weather. When land for a cemetery was set aside, the townspeople moved the dead to proper graves.

As a citizen of Gettysburg more than a century later, I carry no ...


In Transit, Kathryn Rhett Apr 2006

In Transit, Kathryn Rhett

English Faculty Publications

There is the birthplace and there is the deathplace. We are in the deathplace. The deathplace is Bad Aibling, in southern Germany, just north of the Austrian border. To get here, we have driven through the Tyrol, the Italian-Austrian-German alpine region in which gingerbread houses stack up on the green slopes of valleys.

Bad Aibling sounds fitting for a deathplace, a bad place, though in fact “bad” means “bath.” As we drive on a two-lane road, we see cars parked in bunches on the grassy shoulder, and it seems people might be bathing, dipping their feet in the country creeks ...


Our So-Called Illustrious Past, Kathryn Rhett Jan 2006

Our So-Called Illustrious Past, Kathryn Rhett

English Faculty Publications

I went to London not to see the queen, but to find the Dutch baronet from whom we were all descended. I went as my father and forefathers and foremothers had done, to turn the crackling pages of a parish register and put my finger on our name. I went with an image of Gualter de Raedt, a young Dutchman in 1660, boarding a ship to accompany Charles the Second back to England, where monarchy would be restored. The fleet of thirteen ships sailed from Schevinengen on a flat gray sea as fifty thousand people stood on the beach to ...