Christine Norvell

Christine Norvell

About Christine Norvell

Christine Norvell is Senior Contributor at The Imaginative Conservative. A classical Christian educator, she is a graduate of Faulkner University's Great Books program, from which she earned a Master's degree in Humanities. Mrs. Norvell is also the author of Till We Have Faces: A Reading Companion and writes weekly at her website christinenorvell.com.

Why Charles Dickens Makes Me Cry

By |2019-03-13T17:00:52-05:00March 13th, 2019|Categories: Books, Charles Dickens, Christine Norvell, Compassion, Literature, Senior Contributors|

I have read A Tale of Two Cities at least eight times now. Each time, I cry. Yes, each time. Why, I wonder, does Charles Dickens’ writing have this effect on me? I surprised myself today. As I was discussing the end of A Tale of Two Cities with my high-school juniors, we reviewed how [...]

Vivaldi and the Cello

By |2019-03-03T22:22:43-05:00March 3rd, 2019|Categories: Antonio Vivaldi, Christine Norvell, Culture, Music, Senior Contributors|

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi’s music is timeless. Performed within the orchestral world, period films, and popular culture today, his works and melodies are recognizable, even to a movie crowd. Yet his work was often discredited in his lifetime because he was prolific. Composers and critics alike believed that Vivaldi’s sheer quantity of production outweighed his quality. Vivaldi [...]

Booker T. Washington’s Compromise

By |2019-02-07T12:05:07-05:00February 6th, 2019|Categories: Books, Character, Christine Norvell, History, Senior Contributors|

Booker T. Washington indeed might have sought reconciliation between white and black, but his call was truly to his own race alone to educate themselves and to work hard to improve mind and character. Does that make Washington a lesser advocate for racial equality, a less successful one? I first read Up from Slavery ten years [...]

Truth in Story: Lois Lowry and “Gathering Blue”

By |2019-01-24T22:13:56-05:00January 24th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christianity, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Senior Contributors, Truth|

Tales and stories are an elementary wonder because they touch the nerve of the ancient instinct of astonishment. Wonder and astonishment can prepare our minds and hearts to receive truth just as soil receives seed; one such truth-bearer is Lois Lowry’s Gathering Blue… According to G.K. Chesterton, tales and stories are an elementary wonder because they [...]

The Humanity of Huck Finn

By |2019-01-10T15:36:43-05:00January 9th, 2019|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Fiction, Literature, Mark Twain, Senior Contributors, Virtue, Wisdom|

Huckleberry Finn is no hero, though he does symbolize the American conscience at the time Mark Twain wrote, or at least the conscience Twain hoped for. Yes, Huckleberry Finn is a coming-of-age tale and a social criticism and satire, but it also asks crucial questions: Who actually changes? What type of American will change? Huckleberry [...]

Home and Hearth: A Cautionary Christmas With Washington Irving

By |2018-12-08T00:35:23-05:00December 6th, 2018|Categories: Advent, Books, Charles Dickens, Christendom, Christianity, Christine Norvell, Christmas, G.K. Chesterton, Literature, Senior Contributors|

In the 1820s, Washington Irving was credited with inspiring the romantic revival of Christmas in America. His Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, Gentleman relayed sentimental tales of the British holiday with all its romance and traditions. The five Christmas tales were later published in 1875 as a separate collection titled Old Christmas.* Having lived in London and its [...]

John of Salisbury and the Ideal Scholar

By |2018-11-26T09:25:28-05:00November 25th, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Christine Norvell, Education, History, Liberal Learning, Reason, Senior Contributors, Timeless Essays|

Today’s offering in our Timeless Essay series affords our readers the opportunity to join Christine Norvell as she considers the model of scholarly endeavor embodied by John of Salisbury. —W. Winston Elliott III, Publisher John of Salisbury not only depicts the thorough and balanced measure of the education of the ideal scholar, but he also [...]

Tether to the Past: Willa Cather’s “Song of the Lark”

By |2018-11-15T23:33:46-05:00November 15th, 2018|Categories: American West, Art, Beauty, Books, Christine Norvell, Imagination|

Though land and setting seem rarely featured in Willa Cather’s The Song of the Lark, they do comprise an unusual role, one that grows towards the past instead of the future. Cather expresses a sentimentality and longing for the old ways because it somehow grounds her central character Thea Kronborg. For Thea, the desert town [...]

To Tell a Tale With Washington Irving

By |2019-06-27T10:39:49-05:00October 30th, 2018|Categories: Books, Christine Norvell, Halloween, Humor, Imagination, Literature|

Storytelling shaped Washington Irving and his life as much as he shaped it. Irving describes how from boyhood he rambled about the countryside and “made myself familiar with all its places famous in history or fable. I knew every spot where a murder or robbery has been committed or a ghost seen. I visited the [...]

Five Great Classical Pieces for Cello

By |2019-09-03T15:09:28-05:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Antonin Dvorak, Camille Saint-Saëns, Christine Norvell, J.S. Bach, Music|

Having played the cello for more than thirty years, I am often asked what I would recommend for listeners, especially for those who aren’t necessarily concertgoers. As a cellist, it’s hard to categorize what to listen to. Some pieces are fun to play and to listen to, while others require such technical practice that they [...]

Melville and Hawthorne on Good, Evil, & Human Nature

By |2018-11-04T23:12:27-05:00May 31st, 2018|Categories: Christianity, Christine Norvell, Literature, Virtue|

Fiction often clarifies our thinking about moral quandaries, distilling muddy waters into clear ones and dissecting our common human experience. The stories of Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne do just this. In the scope of American literature, Melville and Hawthorne reflect both the reasoning of the Enlightenment and the emotional and spiritual influence of [...]

Willa Cather: The Land Is Alive

By |2019-04-30T16:46:30-05:00March 29th, 2018|Categories: Books, Character, Christine Norvell, Nature|

Majesty, beauty, ferocity, personality—all these traits typify the settings Willa Cather employs in her writings. More lush and alive than I could have imagined, these fullest of descriptions drew me to her work. When I first read O Pioneers!, I wanted to be there in Hanover, Nebraska. I wanted to work the hard land, [...]