Feature

Listening Up

Historical Truth, Beguiling Stories & Three Kinds of Hearers by Anthony Esolen

There once was a man.

Almost thirty years ago, the students at Alfred University, named for its small town of Alfred, New York, expressed their concern that a statue of King Alfred the Great, standing on campus, might be the wrong choice for a logo to advertise the school. One female student, a junior in English, noted: "If he was living in this day, would he endorse the education of women and minorities? Back then, education was just for the aristocratic males."

Well, it was not, really. Charlemagne himself, who inaugurated a minor educational and cultural renaissance in France, could read but not write. Alfred, who could do . . .

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Anthony Esolen is a professor at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts in Warner, New Hampshire, and the author of many books, including Life Under Compulsion (ISI Books), Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius Press, 2019). He has also translated Dante's Divine Comedy (Random House). He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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