Patrick Timmis

Beauty as capital

Your first response when you hear that someone goes to University of Virginia or Notre Dame is likely — “Oh, I hear the campus is beautiful.” You might also know that Virginia has a great law program, and Notre Dame is a top medieval studies institute, but that won’t color your perception of the entire […]

Book review: ‘Bring up the Bodies’

The top song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965 was a cover by the British group Herman’s Hermits. It had only one verse, repeated ad nauseum: “I’m Henery the Eighth, I am. Henery the Eighth I am, I am! / I got married to the widow next door; she’s been married seven times […]

Q & A: Meghan Cox Gurdon

Meghan Cox Gurdon is the children’s books reviewer for the Wall Street Journal. After working as a foreign correspondent in Hong Kong, Japan, Somalia, London, Ireland, and Cambodia, she retired and moved back to the States. Gurdon also writes a twice-weekly domestic column for the Washington Examiner. She was on campus this week to speak […]

Francis I elected to papacy

“I announce to you with great joy: we have a Pope.” Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, appeared on the Vatican balcony as Francis I at 8:12 p.m. local time. The crowd immediately erupted with cries of “Habemus Papam!” and “Viva la Papa!” Bergoglio served as the Archbishop of Buenos Aires since 1998 and became a cardinal […]

A book worth reading

My most vivid image from a childhood spent reading is a tall, skinny man cracking his thin, spidery fingers in front of a low fire. He has a shock of grizzled, unruly hair, shining eyes, and a long, pointed nose. I still get a pleasant shiver of horror the moment he rises from his seemingly […]

The boys who need the Scouts the most

If the Boy Scouts of America upholds the ban on gay members in May, the organization will have violated the core of its mission statement: “to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.” The BSA should vote to […]

Q & A: Francis Oakley

Francis Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin professor of the history of ideas at Williams College, and served as the president of Williams from 1985-1993. He is the past president of New England Medieval Conference, of the Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America, and of the American Council of Learned Societies, and is a […]

‘Strength of mind and body’

Four days ago, Pope Benedict XVI did something that no Bishop of Rome had done for 600 years. He resigned. In a move that shocked the church and the media, neither of which had any warning, Benedict announced that his failing health made him unfit to continue as head of the Catholic Church: “After having […]

Emma Watson: the perfect commencement speaker

Emma Watson should be this year’s commencement speaker. We’d get two people for the price of one: a famous actress and, more importantly, Hermione Granger. It’s like inviting Dr. Jekyll, if he were drop-dead gorgeous, and if Mr. Hyde were my magical dream woman. Ms. Watson also fits perfectly with the values of Hillsdale College. […]


Tom Hooper’s “Les Miserables” is not a perfect film. I’m not sure it is a great film. I think a movie such as “Lincoln” is far more deserving of honors come the Oscars next month. But “Les Mis” is a wonderful movie musical, easily the most ambitious and beautifully filmed that I have seen. As […]