This book is presented as a dialogue between "a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitaller and a Genoese Sea-Captain". Inspired by Plato's Republic and the description of Atlantis in Timaeus, it describes a theocratic society where goods, women and children are held in common. It also resembles the City of Adocentyn in the Picatrix, an Arabic grimoire of astrological magic. In the final part of the work, Campanella prophesies —in the veiled language of astrology— that the Spanish kings, in alliance with the Pope, are destined to be the instruments of a Divine Plan: the final victory of the True Faith and its diffusion in the whole world. While one could argue that Campanella was simply thinking of the conquest of the New World, it seems that this prophecy should be interpreted in the light of a work written shortly before The City of the Sun, The Monarchy in Spain, in which Campanella exposes his vision of a unified, peaceful world governed by a theocratic monarchy.
More big questions – and more interesting answers – from Gay Byrne's hugely popular RTÉ TV show
We all look for meaning in our lives and here twenty well-known public figures share what gives their lives meaning, prompting us to ponder the question ourselves and perhaps even find some answers.
Following last year's bestselling The Meaning of Life, Gay Byrne is back with more insightful discussions on the big themes that bind us all: childhood, love, faith, disbelief, morality, religion, grief.
Based on his popular and long-running RTÉ TV show, The Meaning of Life 2 explores life's big questions with an array of fascinating public figures, among them Ronan Keating, Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh, Ian Paisley and Imelda May.
With Peter McVerry he ponders whether life is shaped by accidents or by the way people respond to accidents. Mary Robinson reveals the beliefs and values that fuel her formidable moral engine. Eamon Dunphy's early experiences led him to believe that 'everyone is magnificent in their own way', and Edna O'Brien discusses her struggles with the Catholic Church after the infamous banning of The Country Girls.
'There are many pearls of wisdom to be harvested from the human oysters featured here who share with me the beliefs, values, thoughts and experiences that have shaped, or been shaped by, their lives.'
The Meaning of Life 2: Table of Contents
Preface by Gay Byrne
- Imelda May
- Peter McVerry
- Mary Robinson
- Brian Cody
- Ian Paisley
- J. P. Donleavy
- Emily O'Reilly
- John Lonergan
- Ronan Keating
- Maureen Gaffney
- Sean O'Sullivan
- Christina Noble
- Micheál Ó Muircheartaigh
- Fionnula Flanagan
- Colm Tóibín
- Mary Byrne
- Colm Wilkinson
- Celine Byrne
- Edna O'Brien
- Eamon DunphyFor each book sold, a donation will be made to The Peter McVerry Trust and The Christina Noble Children's Foundation.
The Friendly Animals: A Christmas Story is taken from a centuries-old folk song now brightly and gently illustrated. This traditional Christmas story is perfect to read to small children during the holidays to teach about the nativity and the heart-felt gifts the animals at the manger gave to baby Jesus, sharing their kindness and love.
Impoverished Southern belle Joelle Daughtry has a secret. By day she has been helping her sisters in their quest to turn the run-down family plantation into a resort hotel after the close of the Civil War. But by night and under a male pseudonym, she has been penning articles for the local paper in support of the construction of a Negro school. With the Mississippi arm of the Ku Klux Klan gaining power and prestige, Joelle knows she is playing a dangerous game.When childhood enemy and current investor in the Daughtry house renovation Schuyler Beaumont takes over his assassinated father's candidacy for state office, Joelle finds that in order to protect her family and her home, she and Schuyler will have to put aside their longstanding personal conflict and develop a united public front. The trouble is, what do you do when animosity becomes respect--and even love--if you're already engaged to someone else?
Police Chief Autumn Long is fighting to keep her job in the quiet Alaska town of Shadow Gap when an unexpected string of criminal activity leaves her with a wounded officer, unexplained murders, and even an attack on her own father. Despite her mistrust of outsiders, she turns to Grier Brenner, a newcomer who seems to have the skills and training Autumn needs to face this threat to her community.
Grier is in Alaska for the same reason so many others are--to disappear--when Chief Long enlists his help. He emerges from the shadows and proves his mettle, but his presence in her life could be a deadly trap for them both. If his secret is exposed, all will be lost. And he's not sure even Autumn could save him.
As the stakes rise and the dangers increase, Autumn and Grier must rely on each other to extinguish the deadly threats.
Believing herself guilty of a crime, Olivia Keene flees her home, eventually stumbling upon a grand estate where an elaborate celebration is in progress. But all is not as joyous as it seems.Lord Bradley has just learned a terrible secret, which, if exposed, will change his life forever. When he glimpses a figure on the grounds, he fears a spy or thief has overheard his devastating news. He is stunned to discover the intruder is a scrap of a woman with her throat badly injured. Fearing she will spread his secret, he gives the girl a post and confines her to his estate. As Olivia and Lord Bradley's secrets catch up with them, will their hidden pasts ruin their hope of finding love?
The Dramatic Conclusion to Michael Phillips's Shetland Islands SagaLoni Ford's unexpected inheritance of substantial real estate--not to mention a title--in the Shetland Islands has caused more than a stir in the quiet fishing hamlet of Whales Reef. How is life ever to be the same with an outsider--and a woman, at that--playing such a pivotal role in the life of this conservative community? But it isn't just the locals who have deep misgivings about the current situation. Loni herself never imagined this in her wildest dreams. What Loni is more sure of, however, is that she is falling in love--with Whales Reef, with its hardy people, with its simple, peaceful way of life, and with local chieftain David Tulloch, whose inheritance she has usurped, at least in the eyes of some. But life in Whales Reef is not without drama. Deep rifts exist between certain lifelong residents, and when one local resident turns up dead, suspicion is cast in the direction of the island's most prominent family. How Loni and David deal with this challenge will go a long way in determining their future, and that of the quaint island community.
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