ON THE EDGE OF HISTORY
During the 19th century, the United States and Europe were on the brink of a transition that would lead to the modern world. In the middle of the Atlantic the Dabney family from Boston had settled on the small island of Faial in the Azores and quickly became involved in the political, literary, intellectual and religious changes taking place at that time on both sides of the Atlantic.
This book provides a rare glimpse of life from the point of view of some well-known historical figures, as well as some "anonymous" insiders, creating a picture of individuals and events in the 19th century from a fresh perspective. In some instances it fills in unsuspected gaps or provides different interpretations of what occurred in the story of the 19th century.
This American family at the crossroads of the Atlantic had an importance that was hidden behind the mists of the Atlantic.
THE QUIET RADICAL
Who is Samuel Longfellow? Most people have not heard of him, and those who recognize his name know him as the brother of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The few that are familiar with Samuel Longfellow know that he was much more than his brother’s secretary. In fact, he was a great influence on some of the leaders of social and religious movements during the mid-19th century.
After graduating from Harvard Divinity School Samuel became a Unitarian minister. His continually evolving theology became more radical over the years and created mixed feelings in his congregations. Aside from his religious activities, Samuel supported Women’s Rights, the Peace Movement and other ideas advocated by the more socially aware residents of New England. Some of his ideas, such as women receiving equal pay for the same work as men, were considered radical at the time and only obtained acceptance in the mid-20th century. While Samuel wrote articles on his beliefs for several periodicals, he generally avoided the limelight. He was outspoken only among his friends in the intellectual milieu of Old Boston and they listened carefully to his serene, well-considered opinions.
Samuel Longfellow was a noteworthy personality during the 19th century, but because of his quiet character he blended into the background while others took center stage.
THE CHRISTIAN DISCOVERY OF TIBET
The story of Christ spread from Jerusalem all through the world known at that time. The farthest distances traveled on the journey were toward the east, and this was first undertaken by the Apostle Thomas. He reached southern India and reminders of his visit still exist.
Over the centuries many missionaries made their way east to the various tribes stretching from Jerusalem through China. This reached a high point when the Portuguese started their exploration in the 15th century. The Jesuit missionaries who accompanied the explorers extended their effort as far Japan, founding over 800 missions along their route from Europe.
This book ends with the astounding story of Padre António de Andrade who went over the Himalayas to Tibet where he founded a mission in 1625 with the last missionaries not being allowed to visit the mission in 1641. From the first quarter of the 16th century on the number of missionaries increased as more religious orders began to send their missionaries. Some competed with the Jesuits and others went to areas newly opened to conversion to Christianity and settlement for commercial activities.
TRAM TOURS OF LISBON
Lisbon’s electric trams are the best choice for you to see the main attractions of the city at a leisurely pace. They provide an excellent option if you are not up to walking the distances or climbing Lisbon’s hills and do not want to take a bus tour.
Lisbon is one of the only cities that still maintains an extensive electric tram system. The trams, some of which date back to the early years of the 20th century, operate along five routes, primarily in the older sections of the city and pass by most of the important sights and museums. They travel at an unhurried pace providing you with the time to appreciate what you are seeing and, with a transport pass, you can get off, see what you want and get back on a tram at no additional expense.
This book describes what you will see along each tram route. It describes the areas you will pass through, the major sights along the routes and other attractions close to the stops. Although this book presents information not covered by other guide books, it does not go into as much detail about some of the major points of interest. This was done in order not to make this book too long and that you are reading this on a moving tram.
WORK IN PROGRESS
I am making a major change in my writing activities. Up till now I have written and published three historical nonfiction books and numerous articles. The books required years of research followed by selecting what was important and putting the book together so that it is informative while being interesting and enjoyable to read.
Now I want to try my hand at fiction, some having a historical basis. In addition to books, I want to do some short stories and scripts. I am finding the significant differences between writing nonfiction and fiction and working through the difficulties. But, that is what drives me on. Keep your eyes open for new additions.