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May / June 2016

When Worlds Collide


he Help is all about race. The story takes place in the early 60s when racial tensions were high. Skeeter, single, gangly, and unsure of herself, grew up with a maid, Constantine. The maid disappeared while Skeeter was away at college, and no one will tell her the truth. In her struggle to become a writer, she writes to Harper & Row in NYC, eager to find a job. Elaine Stein tells her that if she has an idea, something fresh and edgy, she’d be glad to read it.

Skeeter’s childhood friend, Hilly, has decided that the black help need their own bathrooms. Convinced that they are dirtier than white people and carry diseases, Hilly campaigns for bathrooms to be added on for the help to use. It’s not long before Skeeter realizes the situation provides the perfect idea for a book. She wants to collect the stories, both good and bad, from those who serve white people. She approaches Aibleen, a maid who works for her friend, Elizabeth. At first, none of the

maids want anything to do with Skeeter’s plan to write a book, but after a black boy is beaten for using the wrong bathroom, two maids come forth. Those two turn into four, then a dozen. By the end of the book, Skeeter tells the stories of thirteen maids, including her own, Constantine. Throughout this book, black people are beaten, thrown in jail, denied the chance for further education, and fired for no reason other than not wanting to work for a harsh new mistress. Martin Luther King, Jr. marches


in Washington D.C., but in Jackson, Mississippi, few things change. Yet, some things do. Aibleen realizes the line between black and white people exists only in bigoted minds. Black people are allowed to use the white library. And through Skeeter’s book, the reader sees not just hate and division, but also the loving relationships between white people and their maids. In one case, the maid is the only one who understands the depression and inner turmoil her mistress suffers. In another, one white woman reaches out emotionally and financially after her maid’s son is beaten and blinded. The line between white and black is defined, and few dare cross it. When Skeeter writes her book, she underestimates the danger to herself and the maids. She also underestimates how close she will become to these women, and how differently she will view them. At the end of the book, Skeeter is still single, but she is single by choice. Skeeter is no longer gangly

or unsure of herself. She knows who she is, and who her true friends are. She also forgives her mother. The maid, Constantine, had a baby, a little girl who could have passed as white, and as a result, Skeeter’s mother fired her. Skeeter sees the racism surrounding her in Mississippi and knows she can’t beat it. She can only escape and start a new life in New York. I grew up in the South, and though I never saw beatings, I know racism. I know how easy it can be to be racist, and how parents teach it to their children. I have had to overcome it in my life, and I refuse to let my children treat others who have differences differently than those who are similar. We are all human, made in God’s image. At the end of The Help, both Aibleen and Skeeter realize that nothing separates them. They are both women, capable of anything they set their minds to. ♥

IN THIS ISSUE: The Help Page 2 Scandalous Queens Page 4 Roman Holiday Page 6 Zootopia Page 8 Pocahontas Page 10 Doctor Thorne Page 12 North & South Page 14 Angel & the Badman Page 16 Prince William & Kate Middleton Page 18 Judgement Day Page 20 Meet the Authors Page 22 © Charity’s Place 2016 No copyright infringement intended. All written content is original; it may not be reproduced without consent. Disclaimer: the opinions of the individual writers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Charity’s Place or Femnista; the stories and entertainment mentioned are not always appropriate viewing for all ages. Visit for future issues, info, and movie reviews.




istory has no end of scandals and forbidden marriages. In a few cases, crosscultural or status-challenging relationships changed entire nations. One such romance involved the War of the Roses. The Lancastrian King Henry VI was mad. The York King Edward unseated him. In an unstable new reign, Edward needed to establish alliances.

Edward’s death left England in upheaval. His brother Richard assumed the regency for Edward’s underage sons—who soon disappeared. Richard’s reign was short. Henry Tudor, a Lancastrian, invaded from France. Richard died within a lance’s length of the future king. Elizabeth Woodville was no fool.

Rather than wed a French princess, Edward announced he had married Elizabeth Woodville in secret! Marriage to lowborn English women were unheard of for English kings, whose unions needed to forge important European ties. This caused dissent and unease at the court. Elizabeth used her position to marry everyone in her immediate family off to the richest English landowners, which excluded other families from status climbing. Elizabeth only birthed two sons, further jeopardizing their reign. Royal marriages established trade, bought loyalty from foreign armies, and promised favoritism within foreign courts. While Edward and Elizabeth fought to keep England, in Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella married, their union uniting a oncedivided Spain. They arranged careful, profitable, dynastic marriages for their children— alliances with Burgundy, Portugal, and England, to help defend Spain against France.

Ferdinand’s daughter Katharine of Aragon to Prince Arthur. The boy’s sudden death broke the alliance. Katharine stayed in England as a pawn. A decade later, she became Henry VIII’s first wife. The match united different cultures; Henry benefitted from Katharine’s experience. She inherited her mother’s talent for seeing potential and her father’s cunning. Then the king’s eye fell on another “lowborn” lady, Anne Boleyn. With no son to secure the succession, Henry saw in Anne the potential for another Elizabeth Woodville. Both women refused to lie with kings outside marriage and won crowns. Henry’s refusal to take no for an answer demolished Catholic influences in England, resulting in wars, social upheaval, and violence.

She agreed to marry her eldest daughter and namesake to Henry VII, to unite Lancastrian and York bloodlines. Her daughter went on to birth two queens, who sat on foreign thrones (Scotland and France), and Henry VIII. Desperate to establish his reign, Henry VII needed alliances and wasted no time securing them. His prized union was Spain, through marrying Isabella and

This marriage ended differently from his grandparents’. Anne went to the block. Catholic and Protestant rivalries extended for generations. Both their mothers’ marriages found “unlawful,” Katharine and Anne’s daughters strove to fight labels of illegitimacy in their reigns. Executions, uprisings, civil wars, and religious rivalries endured for centuries… because two kings were courageous or foolish enough to marry across social barriers. ♥ 5


e all watch movies enough to have become familiar with certain on-screen formulas. The narrative theme of two different worlds colliding is usually shown within the confines of a romance. We've all seen the rich girl fall for the poor boy and her dad be determined to keep them apart ("But Daddy I love him!"). Done well, this formula can be fine, but when something with more layers, unpredictability, and depth manages to find its way onto film, that's special—and Roman Holiday does just that. The plot deftly illustrates a meeting between classes through humor, romance, and emotion.

Released in 1953, Roman Holiday stars Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn and was directed by William Wyler. Eddie Albert also has a supporting role. Peck plays Joe Bradley, an American journalist working for a news service in Rome and hoping to get back to the States. Hepburn (in her first leading role) is Princess Ann, a royal on tour around Europe whose latest stop is the Eternal City. One night, Ann's obligations become too much and she gets so upset that she is given sleeping medication. She escapes her handlers, though, and Bradley finds her in a woozy state. He takes care of her without realizing she is the Princess. After missing his assignment the next morning, Bradley

discovers who the girl is and plans to get an exclusive scoop by letting her pretend to be a normal woman visiting Rome and following along the whole way. The two must carefully reconsider what they're doing, however, when they fall in love. Though the audience is never told her last name or the specific country she hails from, Ann is established from the beginning as someone born to status in life, who has never known anything else. An early scene demonstrates just how tedious her life must sometimes be when she is a guest at a ball and must greet every attendee. It is clear she yearns for just one moment that isn't scheduled for her and to experience the little things the rest of us take for granted. Like pajamas instead of a fancy nightgown. During her day out with Joe, she does simple things that others


might not find so special. She gets a haircut, has some gelato, and sees tourist hot spots like the Spanish Steps and the Wall of Wishes. Ann may be used to a rarefied world but it clearly is missing some things. Hepburn gives a wonderful performance, and it's no wonder she was nominated for and won the Academy Award for Best Actress. The scenes where Ann is under the influence of the sedative are quite funny. Hepburn effortlessly captivates throughout. Joe Bradley’s situation is quite different. He has debts and struggles with money. His apartment is very small (but has a beautiful balcony) and he wants to get back to America. He knows Rome and how to move around a major cosmopolitan city in a way Ann has never had to despite all of her travels. Joe also faces the prospect of making mistakes in his job that Ann wouldn't be familiar with. After

all, it's not like she can be fired. When it hits him that he has unique access to a public figure, Joe's reporter instincts kick in. He intends to make to most of it. He even calls in his friend and photographer Irving (played by Albert) to covertly document the Princess during her runaway adventure. If Ann's world is rarefied, Joe's is resolutely real. The romance between Joe and Ann forms and builds slowly as they spend more time together. Neither one is telling the other the truth about what they do for a living but their interactions are otherwise honest. Ann can't fake her enthusiasm for the novelty of the new things happening to her; Joe can't help being enchanted. Even at the end of Ann's day off, when Joe drives her back to her upscale accommodations, they don't talk about who she really is and neither one entertains the possibility they might be able to be together. It is heartbreaking

but feels appropriate to the story. It's more important that Joe was a part of this extraordinary experience for Ann, and they are both changed for life by their time together. The final scene, where Ann greets some of the press to talk about the recent "illness" that kept her absent and Joe is one of them, is full of subtext. Underneath their words, the audience hears they will protect and treasure their Roman holiday. Romance, humor, and emotion shine through a plot where people from two different classes meet. The foundation of this story may be well-used but the execution of details set it apart and make it classic. There was a recent Hallmark Channel movie set at Christmas with a similar theme (Once Upon a Holiday), but Peck and Hepburn set the standard. Roman Holiday still feels like a fairy tale even without the typical ending. ♼



ootopia. You’ve all heard of it, some of you have seen it. Maybe you’ve seen it and don’t even have kids. I fall into that particular category myself. Guess what? It’s the most socially impactful movie of 2016 to date. You heard me right. Zootopia is a little movie that has so much heart it’s just absolutely full

to bursting. The little bunny who wants to be a cop and the fox who’s a confidence trickster. Both are exactly what they seem a.k.a. a dumb bunny and a sly fox. But on this journey they’re forced to work together to catch the bad guys. Judy Hopps and Nick Wilde discover that there’s more to each other and themselves than just the stereotypes.

Judy carries fox repellant with her wherever she goes. A parting gift from loving parents who instilled fear of foxes into her at a young age. So when she meets Nick Wilde, her first instinct is he’s dangerous because he’s… a fox. Turns out he’s not dangerous per se, but a confidence trickster instead, which is almost worse. As for Nick? He thinks Judy is an ignorant little bunny from the country with nothing to offer the citizens of Zootopia and absolutely no hope of proving herself a capable cop. She’s just a cute little bunny who doesn’t know her place... back on the farm growing carrots. When it turns out Nick witnessed a crime Judy’s investigating, she manages to outfox the fox and blackmails him into helping her track down a missing otter. Her fear decreases, Nick’s respect increases, and they start moving towards common ground.


That is, until they follow a trail of clues that lead to a conclusion that possibly predators aren’t as safe as they now seem. Trust is misplaced, fear grows, and Judy turns against Nick. Is Judy right or is her fear of predators clouding her judgment? In one scene Judy goes so far as to say to Nick, encouragingly, “you’re not like them” meaning other predators. He’s a predator she’s grown to like, almost trust, so he must be different from other predators, other foxes. Nick responds with, “Oh, there’s a them now?” As in the us vs. them mentality that rampages through our society at large. Homosexuals vs. Christians. Democrats vs. Republicans. Black vs. white. It’s always we’re right and you’re wrong because all I have to do is look at you and I can lump you into this comfortable little group of stereotypes that determine your behavior. Fear has a way of controlling us, doesn’t it? We grow up a certain way and nine times out of ten, bias and prejudice grow up right along with all the good things about our personality. “That woman sleeps around, look at how she dresses!” “That guy’s got to be in a biker gang, check out those tattoos!”

You can’t trust him because… She’ll betray you if... On and on it goes. A history of fear determining who we trust. Before we even know a person’s name, we’ve cast judgment on them by the way they stand, dress, walk, the car they drive, the purse they own, the shoes on their feet, the people beside them, etc.

of all ages. A lot of Christians believe that we need to defend Christ to the world. Is that right? Last time I checked, He doesn’t need us defending Him. What He wants is for us to present Him to the world as something attractive, as something lifealtering, as Someone who is worth knowing and whose followers are worth knowing. Disney’s latest really is a bit of a wake-up call for people that harbor prejudice in their hearts. It can be the smallest seed or the minutest thought, but prejudice is there in all of us. That doesn’t mean we break our value system and suddenly agree with everyone and everything. But shouldn’t we pick our battles? I’m pretty sure that the person of the opposite political party could be our friend if we let them.

Never mind that the dude with the tattoos runs a coffee shop downtown and donates his leftover baked goods to the homeless shelter. Never mind the gal with the low-cut shirt is in an abusive relationship and terrified to leave the guy who demands she wear those clothes. Nope, the opinion is solid… no facts need apply.

In a world of bias and hatred flung from all sides, with us sometimes doing the slinging, it’s good to be jerked up the by the bootstraps by Zootopia. We all need reminders that just because we were raised to think a certain way about someone doesn’t mean the stereotype actually fits. They’re called stereotypes for a reason—because they’re rarely ever accurate and they can hurt like a double-edged sword.

Zootopia is brutally honest about prejudice in a way that brings it home at a heart level to viewers

Fortunately for Zootopia, prejudice goes the way of the dodo. How about our world? ♥ 9



he life and relationships of Pocahontas are one of the most romanticized in history. There are countless portraits, literature, plays and films about her life. However, very few facts about her life are confirmed even by seasoned historians, which has lead much misinformation to be mistaken for fact by the general public. Although Pocahontas is the name she is known by, her actual name was Matoaka, she also had the private name of Amounte. Pocahontas was actually a nickname believed to mean “playful one.” It is widely believed that she was about ten years old when John Smith arrived in Virginia as part of the Jamestown settlement. A famous story recounted by Smith in his The Generall Historie of Virginia, New-England, and the Summer Isles (1624) is: “she [Pocahontas] hazarded the beating out of her own brains to save mine; and not only that, but so prevailed with her father, that I was safely conducted to Jamestown." Some historians believe Smith was in no real danger—the

supposed execution was actually an elaborate adoption ceremony. Also, Smith recounted this story 17 years after it supposedly happened, by which time Pocahontas was a celebrity. Smith had become a staunch supporter of colonization and published the story to show that the Native Americans could become “civilized”. Plus, it was

strangely similar to another story Smith claimed happened in one of his earlier adventures. Nonetheless, it is certain that Pocahontas and John Smith did not have a romantic relationship, despite multiple portrayals in the media, most famously in the 1995 Disney film. Another relationship shown in the same film was between her and Kocoum, again this has very few historical facts to back it up.

Native traditions state that her first husband was Kocoum, but he was killed by the English while Pocahontas was held captive in 1613. It is also said they had a daughter together. She was raised in another tribe after her father died and her mother was abducted. The only proof of Kocoum’s existence comes from a single mention of him as a "private captain called Kocoum" who was married to Pocahontas. It is certain that John Rolfe married Pocahontas in 1614. If Pocahontas and Kocoum had been married, it either ended with his death or in Powhatan tradition when Pocahontas was captured. Pocahontas was abducted from her tribe during the First Anglo-Powhatan War (1610-1614). The English held her ransom in exchange for the release of war prisoners and the return of tools and weapons. During this time, she was taught English and baptized under the name of Rebecca. Eventually, the Powhatans managed to get her ransom; according to English sources, she told them that she wanted to stay with the English. It was also during this time that Pocahontas met John Rolfe. His first wife and son died prior to moving to Virginia, and he was

known as a pious man who spent most of his time cultivating his tobacco crops. In a letter he wrote to the governor asking for permission to marry Pocahontas, he expressed his belief that he would be saving her soul: “motivated not by the unbridled desire of carnal affection, but for the good of this plantation, for the honor of our country, for the Glory of God, for my own salvation... namely Pocahontas, to whom my hearty and best thoughts are, and have been a long time so entangled, and enthralled in so intricate a labyrinth that I was even awearied to unwind myself thereout.” Sadly, it is unknown what her thoughts on John Rolfe were. Their son Thomas was born

Their son Thomas was born about 9 months later, in 1615. Pocahontas’ new family life was about to be played out for huge propaganda purposes.

slander of Pocahontas by the English during her stay, but it is likely she was treated more as a curiosity and something to gawk at than as a person.

One of the primary goals of the Virginia settlement was to convert the Native Americans to Christianity. With an important soul like Pocahontas converted and married to a colonist to boot, this was a golden opportunity. In the eyes of the organizers of the Virginia settlement, Pocahontas was the embodiment of a “tamed savage” and proof the settlement was not a lost cause. The Rolfes travelled to London where she was presented to the nobility and taken to many events in English high society. There is no evidence of mistreatment nor slander of Pocahontas by the

On the return voyage, she fell ill; the ship stopped at Gravesend. She died in John Rolfe’s arms at the age of about 22. According to Rolfe, her dying words were “all must die, but tis enough that [my] child liveth.” Even if she did not have much to say in her marriage to John Rolfe, she cared for their child. Pocahontas’ relationships crossed cultural, geographical, and racial boundaries. She became a living symbol during her life, resulting in the Americas never being the same again. ♥ 11


W tries to secure a higherhen Emma Woodhouse

born match for Harriet Smith than a local man, Mr. Knightley scoffs, “[Is it] a degradation for illegitimacy to marry a respected, intelligent farmer?” Emma has higher ambitions for Harriet. Local parson Mr. Elton makes overtures to Emma of a “distasteful nature,” and she snubs him. He is lower class. In her mind, Harriet is not beneath him. Mr. Elton disagrees; Harriet is illegitimate. Illegitimacy in the modern age is a nonissue. Few object. In bygone eras, it was scandalous. Pregnancy outside marriage lost women reputations, social positions, and lives. Les Miserables’ Fantine enters a life of prostitution; having a child disallows honest labor. Hardy’s Tess of the D’Urbervilles is raped and ostracized. The heroine of The Scarlet Letter wears public shame by sewing “A” (Adultery) onto her garments, while her lover, the local pastor, escapes detection. Anna Karenina scandalizes Russian society by having her lover’s child. While a hard man, Karenin understands this girl will have no future without his name’s protection. The climax of Pride & Prejudice finds Lydia living unmarried with Mr. Wickham, forcing Mr. Darcy to prevent scandal from ruining the family. Highborn

households cannot associate with immoral behaviors… or illegitimate children.

illegitimate parents.” Mary cannot help illegitimacy. She had no part in it, yet suffers for it.

Illegitimacy plagues the heroine of Anthony Trollope’s novel, Doctor Thorne. Mary does not know the true story of her birth, or who her parents were, but understands the “taint” of illegitimacy. It persuades her to dissuade the man she loves from making romantic overtures. His mother, likewise, does not favor the match—less due to Mary’s

By the end of the novel, Mary has money—but is still illegitimate and from a “low-born family.” Frank’s parents are in debt for a hundred thousand pounds to a local baron who “purchased” a title, after making a fortune the old-fashioned way (with labor!). Trollope mocks social classes and stations by exploiting their weaknesses; showing the kindhearted illegitimate Mary, the hardworking, industrious Doctor Thorne, the illtempered “richest” man of low birth in town, and the penniless highborn snobs. Everyone is out to get something, or advance in station… except Mary.

birth and more because she has no money to compensate for it. In a poignant scene, Mary tells her uncle, Doctor Thorne, that she understands his reason for dissuading her from marrying Frank. She imagines the doctor believes Mary is “unworthy” because she is illegitimate. It is untrue but shows how fixed Mary’s worldview is, influenced by the society around her. Mary’s kindness matters less to some than the state of her birth. I once heard, “There are no illegitimate children—only

Stories from earlier generations grant insights into the era. It is no longer scandalous that Margaret Hale embraced a man at a train station without a chaperone, or that Lady Dedlock bore a child out of wedlock. The former prejudices, mistreatments, and snobbery show how humanity fails to live according to Jesus’ simple instructions: “love one another,” and “treat one another as you want to be treated.” Society prefers to enforce rules and punish “misbehavior.” The best stories show love breaking beyond social or prejudicial barriers and illustrate the best of the human heart. ♥ 13

lizabeth Gaskell chose to write North and South inspired by her life in Manchester. The haughty Margaret Hale moves from southern England with her genteelly impoverished family to Milton, in northern England. Considered by some to be similar to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in themes, North and South takes it a step further, exploring the great divide of rich and poor, good breeding and bad, manners and customs of two different worlds that are united.



Margaret is the daughter of an Anglican minister. The Hale’s live for years in the agricultural south until Mr. Hale begins to have doubts about his vocation. A man of conscience, he quits the church and takes his wife and daughter from their beloved home in Helstone to the smoky, dirty city of industrial Milton. The family is taken aback by the darkness of the town, the laborers, and the crudity of manners of the northerners. While Margaret and her family have no wealth of their own, in a sense she looks down on the

citizens of Milton. Her southern roots and breeding causes her to put on airs. On the other hand, her religious convictions and sense of charity inspires her to reach out to the humble Higgins family, befriending Bessie and her father Nicholas. Through them she learns life is not all black and white, or in her case, North and South. The hero of the novel is John Thornton, who in contrast represents the north. His father took his life when John was sixteen; leaving the young man

solely responsible for his mother and sister’s wellbeing. From that moment on, everything John has done is with intention of rising out of debt and providing a decent life for those he loves. A product of Milton, he is not below getting his hands dirty. Even so, once he is a “master” and owns his own cotton mill, he is above mingling with the lower classes and his workers. It does not weigh on his conscience that some of his workers are children and many fall ill from the white fluff they inhale. He comes to know Margaret through lessons with Mr. Hale. As a young man, John had not the luxury of being well-versed in the classics. On their initial meeting, John and Margaret’s first impressions of one another are skewed. She views him as a crude northerner, who dares to shake her hand is in breach of social decorum. John considers her haughty, yet is instantly attracted to her. His visits to her father provide ample opportunity for them to interact and argue. Northern practicality and southern affected manners continue to clash throughout the book. When Margaret protects John from a rioting crowd of union workers, they must examine their feelings. Unable to deny his love any longer, he makes her an offer of marriage which is harshly rebuffed.

Both Margaret and John are on a journey of self-discovery and must grow before they can commit to one another. Through Margaret’s friendship with the Higgins’, including Nicholas who loathes John Thornton, she begins to see the man she spurned through different eyes. The longer she thinks about it, the more she realizes how wrong she is about John. He is an intelligent, hardworking, thoughtful man who challenges her opinions. He is her equal in every sense of the word. Following Margaret’s rejection, John succumbs to his anger and tries unsuccessfully to convince himself that he no longer loves her. However, whenever he encounters her, he cannot help but to continue to act in her best

interest. He protects her when she finds herself in trouble with the law, and shows charity to the family when they lose one of their own. At her suggestion, he hires Nicholas Higgins, who stirred up many of the union workers, and slowly lays down his pride. John begins to value his employees, not so much as workers or as a means to an end, but as human beings. Tragedy strikes Margaret and John, which eventually raises Margaret up in the social sphere while it lowers John. Through their various circumstances, they cross paths once more, this time forever. Their differences, which initially parted them, brought them together. ♥




ne of the things I like best about stories set in the Old West is the endless possibility for diverse characters to encounter each other. Characters from every imaginable background, ethnicity, ideology, religion, and lifestyle can very naturally get thrown into contact with one another because, in real life, western settlers really were a diverse bunch. You had immigrants from Europe, Civil War veterans, Chinese railroad workers, Native Americans, and Mexicans all rubbing shoulders with families coming out from the eastern United States. And whenever you have that varied a mix of people, you get conflict. And when you have conflict, you get dramatic stories. Angel and the Badman (1947) tells you right in the title that it's about the pairing of two very different people. An angelic woman and a bad man—what could they have in common? How would they meet? What kind of love story might they create together, and how could it be anything but doomed to failure? Bad men don't get to marry angels, do they? No, they don't. Unless, of course, one of them changes.

Quirt Evans (John Wayne) is not an outlaw. He's got a reputation for being fast with a gun, but isn't wanted for any crimes, though he's suspected of being involved in some. A stubborn U.S. Marshal (Harry Carey) is convinced that Evans is up to no good, and he keeps an intermittent watch over him to see if he strays from lawful pastures. And, at the beginning of the film, it seems Evans may have done just that when he engages in a gunfight we see only a fraction of. Wounded in the abdomen and leg, he literally falls into the hands of a kindly Quaker family, the Worths. Mr. and Mrs. Worth believe in helping all people, all the time. The local doctor patches Evans up for them but insists they are exposing themselves needlessly to danger by harboring a dangerous man. At the very least, Evans could be a bad influence on their lovely adult daughter, Penny (Gail Russell), and their young son, Johnny. And it seems like the doctor might be right. While he convalesces, Quirt flirts with Penny, has long conversations with Penny, and generally takes a great interest in her. Penny

reciprocates. He may not remember it, but the first day he was under their care, he collapsed in Penny's arms and then kissed her as if by reflex before passing out. From that moment on, she became increasingly smitten with him, very obviously and with a kind of innocence that makes her forthright declarations of affection sweet instead of overbold. Yes, Penny comes right out and tells Quirt Evans she loves him even though she disapproves of his former life of violence and suspicious activities. Her family invites him to share their life as long as he wishes, and, for a time, he seems content to do so. It appears he has changed his ways. But eventually, Quirt's past catches up with him. A friend turns up to tell him how he can find the men he believes killed his foster father. And Quirt realizes that he hasn't changed after all. He still wants to use his gun to wreak violent vengeance on those men, something that his pacifist friends would never condone. He leaves. The habits and desires of his past have too strong a hold over him. The

affection of a comely naif can't break them, because he doesn't truly desire to change. Quirt goes back to a former girlfriend who works in a saloon, engages in some rustling, and generally throws himself back into his former lifestyle. Penny mopes around her house, all the joy gone from her young life. She has another suitor, but he is hopelessly dull when compared to Quirt Evans. For a bit, it seems like their accustomed ways of life will separate them for good. But Quirt's old flame tells him he's less romantic, more absent-minded, and not nearly as fun to be around as he used to be. He tries to convince her, and himself, that he's still just as wild and carefree as before. But when she teases him about the Bible his Quaker friends had given him, he storms out angrily. The next thing we know, he's back at the Worth's farm, where he promptly proposes to Penny. And not only does he propose, but he agrees to stop carrying his gun. Penny, with her gentle words and immovable beliefs, has convinced him to try to change for real. But when his old enemies return, Quirt finds he must choose between vengeance

and love. Either he can avenge his foster father, or he can marry and settle down to a peaceful life. He can't have both. And the violent, desperate, occasionally bad man finally discovers that he's not nearly as strong as the gentle, peaceful woman. Nor does he want to be. In the end, it's his own desire to

change that breaks him free of his past ways, not her begging or telling him to do so. His change had to come from within in order to be complete. And so the bad man gives up his old ways and becomes a good man, one who can build a life with a good woman by his side. ♼



P rince William and Kate

Middleton’s romance captivated the world because they seem to exude a genuine love for each other. How did a commoner win the heart of a prince? Catherine Elizabeth Middleton arrived January 9, 1982. Her father, Michael, was a flight dispatcher. Mother, Carole, worked as a flight attendant. Carole started a family business in 1987, Party Pieces, which sells party supplies and decorations in the UK. As the business grew and flourished, Michael quit his job to help Carole. They became selfmade millionaires. Kate and her siblings attended privileged schools. Kate went to the University of St. Andrews where she met her future husband. Prince William Arthur Philip Louis arrived June 21, 1982. His mother, Diana Spencer, came from an aristocratic background and married Prince Charles in a wedding seen around the world. His parents had an unhappy marriage and divorced. The public adored Princess Diana, who gave her sons as normal a life as possible and immersed herself in philanthropy.

On August 30, 1997 Princess Diana had a horrific car crash while trying to escape paparazzi and died the next day. William grew up under the care of their father until he went to the University of St. Andrews. College placed Kate in St. Salvators Hall, the same building as William. They shared several classes and breakfasted together. They were friends at first. Kate was dating a senior. She ended the relationship when he graduated. William invited Kate and several friends to share a flat. Soon, they started dating. They tried to keep their relationship a secret for several years, especially from the press. After both graduated, Kate attended a royal family ski trip, making it obvious she was the prince’s girlfriend. William went to a military academy. Kate tried to contend with paparazzi and find a flexible job that allowed her to take time off to be with William. She landed at the British clothing store Jigsaw. William joined the army. They broke up in April 2007. Kate wanted to get married; William wasn't ready yet.

Prince Charles encouraged William to not string Kate along and let her move on. William called her at work and broke up with her over the phone. Instead of becoming a recluse or eating lots of ice cream, Kate worked out, lost weight, joined a rowing team, dated other people and attended public events. She turned down exclusive interviews to talk to the press about her former relationship. The classy way she handled the breakup made Kate irresistible. Their separation soon ended. Kate is the first royal bride to have a university degree. She is the first commoner in 350 years. She comes from a middle-class background, without titles or connections. They married on April 29, 2011, and had their first child, Prince George on July 22, 2013. Kate gave birth to Princess Charlotte on May 2, 2015. Although people seem to call Kate a commoner, in a way she isn't, because her parents went from the middle-class to selfmade millionaires. They worked hard for their success. When you enter the wealthy class, you are introduced to their way of life and habits. It was easier for Kate

to fit in with William because she understood where he came from and how wealthy people think. Other commoners have found love with kings. Queen Letizia met King Felipe of Spain as journalist. They are married with two children. Princess Charlene of Monaco was a former Olympic swimmer; she married Prince Albert II, they have twins together. Princess Tatianna was an event planner before getting married to Prince Nikolaos of Greece and Denmark. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands worked for Deutsche Bank when she met her husband King WillemAlexander. Sofia Hellqvist was a model and reality TV star before she married Prince Carl Philip. Princess Victoria of Sweden married Daniel Westling. He came from a rural town and owned a series of gyms. Queen Rania of Jordan married King Abdullah II, but before that worked at Apple. As long as two people love and respect each other, can work through their problems, and

fight fair, it doesn't matter where they came from. William and Kate have established a legacy that royal families don't have to be miserable, but can be happy. The contrast between their happiness

and William’s unhappy parents is evident. Their romance seems genuine and warms the public to the monarchy. William has found a happy ending with Kate. Somewhere in Heaven, Princess Diana is watching over them. ♼



ll my stories are about the action of grace on a character who is not very willing to support it, but most people think of these stories as hard, hopeless and brutal,” wrote Flannery O'Connor. It's a good thing that O'Connor wrote non-fiction as well as fiction. If I had encountered her first through her fiction rather than through a quote about her convictions, I don't know what would've happened. I might never have noticed the wisdom of her words, might never have trusted her into my mind again! Her stories—including Judgement Day—often do appear unrelentingly hopeless and brutal. In Judgement Day, Flannery O'Connor unflinchingly portrays a wicked, foolish old man, T.C. Tanner. We even are favored with a "mind's-eye-view" of the crochety old fellow's selfish internal monologue! He is cynical in his assessments. He scarcely retains a scrap of affection for his grown daughter. He is unrepentantly racist in his ways of speaking and in most of his ways of thinking. He is growing senile. The only thing he holds on to is the one hope which he is planning for. But "morbid" is

the most appropriate word to describe the crackpot scheme in which Tanner places his hope. The world inside Tanner's mind is pretty bad in many ways. On the other hand, the cold, hard world outside of him is even worse! His world has recently contracted from the bright Georgia landscape of woods and fields he was familiar with. He now sees the world through the window of a New York apartment. ("a pigeon-hutch of a building," he says.) Tanner's window looks out —not upon sky — but on the window of another apartment. Tanner is lonely. He has just been violently beaten by a stranger and suffered a stroke. He is constantly humiliated by his dependence on his prideful daughter. This elderly father has slowly, steadily been losing everything that once made him "a somebody." Worse yet, Tanner's mortality is catching up to him. His death is in the air. His daughter knows

it. She argues with her husband, "My daddy is here to stay. He ain’t going to last long..." Tanner himself knows it: before, he was ready to fight with his daughter to return home to the South to live out his days. Now, after his hospitalization, the question shifts to where he will be buried. Tanner has memories of the place in which he lived out most of his life. When his mind moves backward in time, Tanner remembers the shack he inhabited in Corinth, Georgia. "After he lost the place, his daughter came down in person to offer him a home with her." That daughter of his takes one look in the shack and sees an old black man, Coleman, lying on a pallet on the floor. She then derides her father as being the kind of person "that likes to settle in with n*****s." Coleman rises up and slips away from this family squabble. So Tanner makes sure to shout so both his


daughter and Coleman can hear: "Who you think cooks? Who you think cuts my firewood and empties my slops...?" From that scene, Tanner's thoughts wander first forward to the day he was evicted from the shack, but then back in time over thirty years: He recalls the fateful day when he first met Coleman. On that day, they approached eachother with all the violence of two men who might as well kill each other. So it's such a strange thing that the only consolation Tanner has in his present life is communication with Coleman and their friend Hooten. A week after Tanner moved, he received a postcard from Coleman and Hooten. They asked how he was, and he sent one back. In fact, the only benefit Tanner can imagine from having lived in New York is this: he could show Coleman around—the expert city-dweller explaining how people are in a huge, bustling city. "I come here to show you it was no kind

of place. Now you know you were well off where you were," Tanner would say. And Coleman would say, "I knowed it before. Was you didn't know it."

The only hope that Tanner has left for his future is also linked to Coleman. Tanner has no hope left for this life—his life will end in a way that is brutal and wretched even beyond what I have described. His

scheme to get his body back home to Corinth is reminiscent of something from the Old Testament, though. It is Jacob charging his son to carry him out of Egypt and bury his body in the land of Canaan so that he can rest with his own people. Tanner's hope of resurrection is deeply distorted. But it is at least concrete. The prankster-ish scheme he imagines executing when he meets Coleman and Hooten again on the Day of Judgement is ludicrous. But in that future time, so many "rules" will change. In this life, I don't think Tanner could handle using the word "friend" to describe Coleman or Hooten, simply because they are black. But they are the people who know him. Tanner wants to go fishing with them. He actually craves their attention. And he so longs to see their faces in the Age to Come. ♥


Carissa Horton works at Compassion International whose tagline reads “Releasing Children from poverty in Jesus’ name.� She is an avid crafter, a prolific blogger on Musings of an Introvert about all things literary and film-based, and dreams of getting her stories published. Carol Starkley lives in New England with her husband, three daughters, and nuermous pets. She likes to read, write, bake, and dabble with the clarinet. She also infrequently blogs. Charity Bishop is fanatical about history and loves to bore her friends with it. Her free time is spent writing novels & movie reviews, blogging, and personality typing fictional characters on tumblr. Jaime Donovan is a Christian and a university student. She loves to read, draw, write, and has a blog.

Rachel Sexton is from Ohio. She loves her parents and her dog Lily. She has to have acting, film, reading, and dance in her life. Her hobby is editing fan videos. Rachel Kovaciny passes the time by writing, reading, baking, watching movies, crocheting, blogging, and homeschooling her three children. She blogs about books, and also has a personal blog that talks about movies and other important things.

The original Star Trek broke all kinds of racial TV barriers, including a kiss between Uhura and Kirk.

Scarlett Grant is going to be graduating university this year, she is half scared and excited to be entering the real world. In addition to being an amateur history buff she is also interested in music, film and writing. Veronica Leigh is an aspiring novelist, who lives in Indiana with her family and six furbabies. Her obsessions range from Jane Austen to the Holocaust to Once Upon a Time. She has published two short autobiographical pieces and hopes to see more in print. She also lurks on her blog. Victoria Williams is a Christian woman who loves reading, teaching math, and watching people grow. Her obsessions include the Gospel, loving the weak, peacemaking, cross-cultural ministry, storytelling, nerdy conversations with friends, and coffee. She also blogs.

Historical Fiction with a Divine Twist by Femnista editor Charity Bishop. The nightmares began in my childhood‌ Since then, they have grown stronger. Horrific dreams of blood and death, of dark specters and betrayal haunt me. Mother wants me to become a seer in the temple of Minerva. I would much rather marry the dashing military commander, Pilate, instead. Every auger that sees me, fears me. They know, as I do, that something is different about me, something I cannot control, and that will haunt me until a Jewish messiah takes my hand in Judea. Not even he can save me from what lies ahead in Rome, nor, I fear, can he save Pilate from a choice that will change the course of history forever. My name is Claudia, and this is my story. Purchase from Amazon.

A cleric with a closet full of weapons, a mysterious aunt she has never heard of, a villainous neighbor, and a cunning cat feature in Thornewicke

A diabolical past, a possessed house, a secret organization, and the RMS Titanic feature in The Secret in Belfast

A family curse, a band of Romani, the famous Dr. Joseph Bell, and Jack the Ripper feature in The Giftsnatcher

A haunted assassin’s academy, a would-benun, an army of ghosts, and Napoleon Bonaparte feature in Ravenswolde

Purchase at Amazon

Purchase at Amazon

Purchase at Amazon

Purchase at Amazon 23

“A Touch Of Shakespeare” Coming Aug 1st!

Sept/Oct: Derringers & Fedoras Drop into the world of spies, assassins, and private eyes.

Promised: Veronica Mars, Jason Bourne, The Rosenbergs, Psych, Count von Stauffenberg, The Man from UNCLE, Agent Carter, Revolutionary Spies / Turn.

William Shakespeare as a playwright, poet, and man. His plays, films centered around his life, and the debate over authorship. Promised: Shakespeare’s Theatre, Much Ado About Nothing, Anonymous, West Side Story, Hamlet, Richard II, How Shakespeare Shaped Tudor History.

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Femnista May June 2016  

Zootopia, The Help, Doctor Thorne, Scandalous Royal Marriages, Kate Middleton and Prince William, Angel and the Badman, Roman Holiday, Pocah...

Femnista May June 2016  

Zootopia, The Help, Doctor Thorne, Scandalous Royal Marriages, Kate Middleton and Prince William, Angel and the Badman, Roman Holiday, Pocah...