"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
I recently finished listening to The Reverse of the Medal, and, oh, the pillory scene:
Jack was led out of the dark room into the strong light, and as they guided him up the steps he could see nothing for the glare. “Your head here, sir, if you please,” said the sheriff’s man in a low, nervous, conciliating voice, “and your hands just here.” The man was slowly fumbling with the bolt, hinge, and staple, and as Jack stood there with his hands in the lower half-rounds, his sight cleared: he saw that the broad street was filled with silent, attentive men, some in long toughs, some in shore-going rig, some in plain frocks, but all perfectly recognizable as seamen. And officers, by the dozen, by the score: midshipmen and officers. Babbington was there, immediately in front of the pillory, facing him with his hat off, and Pullings, Stephen of course, Mowett, Dundas … he nodded to them, with almost no change in his iron expression, and his eye moved on: Parker, Rowan, Williamson, Hervey … and men from long, long ago, men he could scarcely name, lieutenants and commanders putting their promotion at risk, midshipmen and master’s mates their commissions, warrant-officers their advancement.
“The head a trifle forward, if you please, sir,” murmured the sheriff’s man, and the upper half of the wooden frame came down, imprisoning his defenceless face. He heard the click of the bolt and then in the dead silence a strong voice cry “Off hats.” With one movement hundreds of broad-brimmed tarpaulin covered hats flew off and the cheering began, the fierce full-throated cheering he had so often heard in battle.
The scene is a cross between Atticus Finch leaving the courtroom ("Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passing") and Sidney Carton at the Place de la Concorde.
It's hard to drive when your sunglasses are fogged.