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Grace Notes


May 2008

Did You Know?

MSSI member Monty Payne has a cousin he’s very proud of and rightly so: she is Elizabeth Payne Rosen. Cousin Elizabeth has published a historical novel entitled Hallam’s War. Elizabeth will be in town for a book event at Davis-Kidd on Thursday, June 5th at 6 pm. Here is a brief description of her book:

Hugh and Serena Hallam have made the decision to leave everything they knew in Charleston behind them, hoping to create a stable, productive home for themselves and their three children in the near-wilderness of West Tennessee. Though now war may loom on the horizon, life at Palmyra is good, for both themselves and—they believe—their slaves.

Hugh is convinced that reason- able men of good will with a tolerant respect for their countrymen might yet prevail against the increasingly tense atmosphere that is dividing the

two American cultures. Capable and practical, he is nevertheless consid- ered by his neighbors to be an idealist, with progressive notions concerning the science of agriculture and the requirements of Southern commerce, an ambivalent attitude toward slavery, and a confidence about the way things should be done. But when events move their entire world toward destruction, Hugh’s values are put to the test, with only his surpassing love for Serena and his belief in himself to possibly sustain him.

Hallam’s War is the saga of one man’s struggle to defend his family, his neighbors and his honor, and of the moral compromises forced upon an otherwise good man caught in a maelstrom that leaves him no accept- able choices. A man of remarkable resilience, resourcefulness and contra- dictions, Hugh must learn to face his own conscience with as much courage

as he displays at Shiloh. Ultimately, Hugh and Serena confront the reality surrounding their relationships with their neighbors and with their slaves. If neither of them is completely trans- formed, each takes a step toward a new understanding.

Elizabeth Payne Rosen’s near-epic debut is thoughtful, authentic and carefully researched. From Nashville and Memphis to Richmond, Charles- ton and Washington D.C., and across the bloody battlefields of Shiloh and Bull Run, Rosen brings vividly to life a heart-rending tale that resonates with deep personal grief shot through with moments of beauty and joy. In the end, there is hope for reconciliation among us all, even in the face of all the struggles that lie ahead.

National Library of Scotland News

On Friday 4 April, Scotland’s oldest dated printed book was exactly 500 years old. Produced in Edinburgh, the only known copy of ‘The Complaint of the Black Knight’is in the National Library. In digital form it is now part of a web feature we have launched to celebrate the 500th anniversary of printing in Scotland. ‘The Spread of Scottish Printing’ covers the period 1508-1900, and includes 33 items digitised from our collections. Each item represents the first printing press in the first 33 Scottish printing towns Read more on the news page: h t t p : / / w w w. n l s . u k / n e w s / ‘The Spread of Scottish Printing’ is online at http://www.nls.uk/print- ing/

Comics, graphic novels and local heroes

In the 21st century, printers pro- duce work far beyond anything their counterparts in 1508 could ever have imagined. Today’s graphic novels present their own challenges, and Scottish writers and artists are making their mark there too. We examine the development of comics and graphic novels in our new exhibition - ‘Local heroes: The art of the graphic novel’. We look at everything from the first comic strip (1827) to Japanese manga, taking in the likes of ‘The Broons’, Dan Dare and Batman along the way.

See the news page for details: http://www/nls.uk/news/

Songs to sing about A’ Adam’s Bairns, Scotland’s history and the slave trade, modern issues relating to racism and religion

These are among themes covered in a folk music concert in the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, on 17 April. ‘A’ Adam’s Bairns’ presents top-line Scottish folk singers and musicians performing contemporary arrange- ments of manuscript music from NLS collections. The songs also feature on a CD which will be sent out with a resource pack to every Scottish school.

For further information, go to http://www.nls.uk/events/a-adams- bairns.html --------------------------------------- Thanks to Carmen Wright of Gordon Wright Booksellers for alerting us of this information.











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