Tap into the wealth and health of Christian civilization with the help of literary critic Joseph Pearce.
After learning the true meaning of the word "civilization"—a society rooted in truth—the reader is taken on a tour of twelve of the most important books ever written, from Augustine to Shakespeare to the masterpieces of nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature. Each work played a role, for better or for worse, in shaping the civilized world.
Great stories, even when flawed, are a reflection of the greatest truths ever taught, and they share in the storytelling power of God himself: Jesus Christ, who not only taught in parables, but lived out the most dramatic tale ever told. Twelve Great Books takes readers deeper into the presence of the Creator through the beauty of the fruits of his creative gifts.
"The great literature of the world is the telling and retelling of the human story. Joseph Pearce has proven himself to be one of the outstanding men of letters of our time. There could be no better Virgil to our Dante to guide us through the heights and depths of the great works."
— Dale Ahlquist, President, Society of G. K. Chesterton; Author, The Story of the Family
"A valuable guide. Pearce's thoughtful commentary is particularly helpful for works with darker themes such as Othello, Wuthering Heights, and The Power and the Glory, and offering fresh insights into beloved works such as A Christmas Carol."
— Holly Ordway, Author, Not God's Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms
"A companion study for readers of the great books that were formative for the English-speaking Christian moral imagination. Especially valuable is his attention to historical and biographical contexts, rooting each in the author's personal, historical, and spiritual matrix. Highly recommended!"
— David Lyle Jeffrey, F.R.S.C., Distinguished Senior Fellow, Baylor Institute for Studies in Religion
"If you have an interest in the great works of English Literature, but do not know where to start, this is the book for you. If you were put off reading at school by uninspiring teachers, this is the book for you. Joseph Pearce's new book is a tour-de-force."
— Fiorella de Maria, Author, the Father Gabriel Mystery series
"Combining a love of literature with his love of the Lord, Pearce sheds light on Shakespeare, is frank about Frankenstein and is witty and wise about Wilde and Waugh. Pearce's comments and criticisms will help you understand and enjoy civilization's greatest books."
— Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Author, Beheading Hydra: A Radical Plan for Christians in an Atheistic Age
"A work to inform, instruct, and delight. Pearce recovers the access that literature of the highest quality gives us to the structure of reality and to the nature and destiny of the human soul. He recovers the image of man as homo viator, a pilgrim in search of truth and eternal felicity."
— Daniel J. Mahoney, Author, The Idol of Our Age and The Other Solzhenitsyn