Here’s an unusual chance to see the inner workings of a poet’s mind. Passing images, unanswered questions, social ills, daily frustrations—nothing is too big or too small to be worth observing and considering.

“He had the window seat. After take-off he said, ‘My line is socks; what’s yours?’ I said I was a writer. He smiled his least impressive smile and asked, ‘What do you write?’ I paused and said, ‘I hope they are poems.’ ‘Where are you headed now?’ he added. I told him I’d been invited to recite my poems at a university. ‘They pay you for that?’ ”

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The plan was simple: set fire to Rome, massacre the rich, loot their property, and take over the government. It was up to Cicero—a bookish orator—to save the republic. Caesar, Pompey, Crassus, Cato: they all have their parts to play, and the masterful pen of Gaston Boissier makes these outsized characters live once more.

Gaston Boissier, a member of the Académie française, was a brilliant historian who specialized in making ancient Rome live again for modern readers. This new translation brings one of his last and most entertaining works to English-speaking readers for the first time.

Find The Catiline Conspiracy in paperback at Amazon. Also available in a durable casebound hardcover edition.

A Catholic bishop running a gas station? Well, that was the story they told in Millbrook, New York. And it turned out to be true.

But the gas station is hardly the most interesting thing about this fascinating character. His is a story of catacombs in Rome, a failed bomb-building business in Connecticut and a sewer system in Cuba.

It is a story of allegations, from the serious to the sensational to the silly: that he shared in a million-dollar commission to sell Church property in Havana; that he was living with “a nun he stole from a convent in St. Louis;” that he was “running a hot dog stand” in upstate New York.

It is a story of a millionaire Congregationalist and his Catholic wife, an impeached governor of New York, quarreling siblings and quibbling Church hierarchy.

It is a tale of popes and politicians, business partners who throw inkwells at each other, and a lawyer who probes into a private papal conversation on behalf of a cardinal of the Church.

Strange, moving, funny, mysterious, exciting – this is a story that has fascinated Catholics for years. This is the first book that sifts through the evidence, digs into the mysteries, sorts the true from the false, and tells the whole story of the gas-station bishop from Millbrook.

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One of the most valuable histories of late antiquity is finally available in an economical and useful English edition, with the standard chapter numbers, chronological headings, and helpful and entertaining supplements.

What was it like to be a pagan after the final Christianization of the Empire? For Zosimus, it was clear that Rome had declined and Roman glory was gone—and it was all the Christians’ fault. The Romans had risen to power because they had the favor of the gods; Roman power collapsed because the gods justly withdrew their favor. Zosimus tells us at the beginning that this will be the theme of his history, and he sticks to it.

For much of the history recorded here, Zosimus is the only counterweight to the Christian historians. He is also an opinionated and entertaining companion, and history-lovers will be glad to make his acquaintance in a vigorous English translation.

In this new edition, we have corrected many errors in the 1814 translation (most of them probably the fault of the printer) and added chronological headings and the chapter numbers that have become a standard reference system for Zosimus. We also include the summaries of Zosimus’ now-lost sources by the great Byzantine scholar Photius, and a delightful defense of Zosimus by his Renaissance editor Johannes Leunclavius.

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Samuel Hazo is a legend in the world of poetry, and now he brings us a novel put together with a poet’s care, each sentence honed and crafted until the craft is completely invisible.

I Want It to Happen is a romance—but much more than just a romance. The plot is simple. When Halleluiah Quinn met Tonio Vargas, they knew this was forever. But when her doctor gives her a fifty-fifty chance of survival, Halleluiah has to learn just how much forever she can pack into right now. Two completely different styles of narration weave the tale and introduce us to characters who seem to live right in front of us.

Master poet, thoughtful essayist, captain in the Marine Corps, professor, and riveting novelist, Samuel Hazo was the first Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. In this new novel, he tells a simple and moving love story with the wisdom of a philosopher and the urgency of a text message.

You know Mike Aquilina from his TV shows on EWTN, from his bestselling books on the Church Fathers, from his podcasts, from his radio appearances. But do you know Mike Aquilina the poet? The Invention of Zero is a collection of splendidly humorous poems in a glittering variety of forms. If you thought about the structures of these poems, you would be dazzled by their technical brilliance. But you’ll probably be enjoying yourself too much to think about technique. This is poetry doing what poetry does best—making us laugh, making us think, making us feel and remember.

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A collection of stories, legends, and snappy comebacks preserved for us by one of the most entertaining companions among ancient writers. It’s a long and rambling conversation with an ancient Roman whose mind is full of trivia, and who knows how to make those trivia as interesting to us as they are to him.

I am told there is a Law at Thebes, which commands Artificers, both Painters and Potters, to make the Figures as good as may be. This Law menaceth to those who mould or paint them not well a pecuniary mulct.

Socrates being very old fell sick; and one asking him how he did, “Well, saith he, both waies: for if I live longer, I shall have more Emulators; if I die, more Praisers.”

I have heard of a woman that could sound a Trumpet, which art was her way of living, by name Aglais, daughter of Megacles; she wore a Periwig and a plume on her head, as Posidippus relates. At one meal she did devour twelve pounds of flesh, and four Chœnixes of bread, and drank a Congius of wine.

Which of these two was the better General, Demetrius Poliorcetes, or Timotheus the Athenian? I will tell you the nature of both, and then you may judge which deserves to be preferred. Demetrius by force and avarice, and oppressing many, and committing injustice, took Cities, battering their Walls with Engines, and undermining them: but Timotheus by discourse, persuading them it was most to their advantage to obey the Athenians.

The Various History of Aelian, at

Chesterton was always Chesterton. No matter where he was writing or what the subject, his mind ranged over the whole universe of thought. These occasional pieces are as filled with his eccentric but provoking wisdom as any of his more famous writings, and they have this great advantage: you probably haven’t read them yet.

A great drama of the past does not consist of one sincerity. A great drama consists often of twenty sincerities, all colliding with each other.

A teacher who is not dogmatic is simply a teacher who is not teaching.

While order would make the Cabinet Minister appear as automatic as the cow, literature would, on the other hand, make the cow appear as disturbing and incredible as the Cabinet Minister.

I am concerned here only with urging that aristocracy is in its essence anarchic. It is a mere trend towards that vague victory of the fortunate over the unfortunate which would occur more completely if there were no government at all.

Aristocracies in a state mean simply the strength of Nature and the weakness of the state; just as weeds in a garden mean the strength of Nature and the weakness of the gardener.

Political equality grows greater by being remembered, like the words of the American Declaration. But political inequality grows greater by being forgotten, like the power of the American Trusts.

Capitalism is not at present even a practical success, far less a moral or artistic one.

Art exists solely in order to create a miniature universe, a working model of the universe, a toy universe which we can play with as a child plays with a toy theatre.

When chaos overcomes any moral or religious scheme, it is not merely the vices that are let loose. The vices are let loose and wander and do terrible damage. But the virtues are let loose even more; and the virtues wander more wildly, and the virtues do more terrible damage.

A seven-headed dragon is, perhaps, a very terrifying monster. But a child who has never heard about him is a much more terrifying monster than he is. The maddest griffin or chimera is not so wild a supposition as a school without fairy-tales.

Our historians lie much more than our journalists; our fashionable conceptions of the past change with every fashion; and like most fashions, are fantastic and hideous.

The first use of good literature is that it prevents a man from being merely modern.

The only object of education is to make us ignore mere schemes of education. Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

In dealing with the arrogant asserter of doubt, it is not the right method to tell him to stop doubting. It is rather the right method to tell him to go on doubting, to doubt a little more, to doubt every day newer and wilder things in the universe, until at last, by some strange enlightenment, he may begin to doubt himself.

The Miscellaneous Chesterton, at