Presentation by Dr. Patrick Allitt
Save the Date
Dear Atlanta Branch Members:
I recently accepted the challenge of serving as your president for the 2016-2017 year, and I have been gratified at the support of directors, officers, and members.
It is indeed an interesting time to be a member of the English-Speaking Union. In 2015 we celebrated the 800th anniversary of the signing of Magna Carta and the 200th anniversary of Wellington's victory at Waterloo. This year, we observe the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charlotte Bronte.
This year's party was another special treat at the home of James and Elizabeth Munson. Their beautifully decorated home was so welcoming and definitely set the tone for the Christmas party celebration. The centerpiece was a huge tree with abundant decorations.
Everyone seemed very pleased with the buffet items expertly prepared by Party Express and calorie-busting desserts that were just delicious!! Lots of glass clinking with Christmas wishes all around.
How fortunate our Branch is have had our own personal docent to give us a guided tour of the Shakespeare First Folio Exhibit at the Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University. Dr. Sheila Cavanaugh offered to take us through the Shakespeare Exhibit not only in the museum but also in the Library where there were several areas focusing on Shakespeare's influence even in the modern world. Dr. Cavanaugh spent the better part of this past year organizing and setting up these exhibits which was all very impressive.
A member of our Branch, Dr. Sally Parsonson, presented us with a visual and verbal account of how Wordsworth's poems referenced the scenic world around him. We learned that William Wordsworth wrote several travel guides of the Lake District, and needless to say, Grasmere was a favorite.
His poems reflected his life and the memories he had of his childhood near the Derwent River in the Lake District. His passages consisted of recollections of his youth and experiences with nature – the lakes, rivers, streams, animals and plants.
Gordon Mathis, former principal at the Galloway Upper School, gave an interesting presentation on the origin of the King James Version of the Bible. We welcomed his expertise on the subject which was based on the book, "God's Secretaries." King James, assigned a committee of 47 Anglicans who were given the task of developing an authorized version. It took about 7 years to gather the many versions of the Bible at the time and compile them all into what was the third English translation that we revere as the official King James Version. It was a fascinating account of the evolution of a version of the book that is still used to this day. This was a perfect topic for the English-Speaking Union.