About This Sub-Forum

Chez Charles Coulombe

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This sub-forum is a place to discuss the works of Sir Charles Coulombe -- not just with each other, but with Charles Coulombe himself.

If anyone out there isn't aware of who Mr. Coulombe is, let me fill you in. Ready? Take a deep breath; it gets wild! He was born in New York on November 8, 1960, making him a Scorpio and almost three years older than I am. In other words, he's ooooold.

He and his family moved to Hollywood when he was a kid, and there, he grew up in a house that belonged to the Amazing Criswell. If you're not hip to the amazing personage of the Amazing Criswell, think back to the immortal "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (if you haven't seen it, I don't even want to talk to you). Here's Criswell from that movie, just to jar your memory:

Sir Charles has done it all. Stand-up comedy. Attending college at New Mexico Military Institute and California State University, Northridge. Becoming a papal knight.  Providing commentary for ABC News during the funeral of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI.  Winning the Christian Law Institute's Christ King Journalism Award. Writing for such publications as The National Catholic Register (including doing movie reviews! Fun!), the New Oxford Review, Taki Magazine, and many, many others. Giving lectures at the University of Southern California on the history of Rock & Roll, and at Cleveland's John Carroll University on the history of medieval monarchy. He's capped all that off by writing a good number of books (see below). What's not to love?

A few links about Mr. Coulombe:

    Charles Coulombe Tumblar House Author Page

    Catholic Tradition Talks at Youtube

    Charles Coulombe's Articles at Taki's Magazine

Mr. Coulombe's Books

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History is the key to understanding men-whether as nations, families, or individuals. For Catholics, history has an even higher purpose beside. For them, history is the unfolding of God's Will in time, and the attempts of men either to conform themselves to or to resist that Will. But American Catholic historians have generally refrained from exploring their own national history with these principles, preferring instead to adopt the analysis of their non-Catholic colleagues, save when looking at purely Catholic topics (and sometimes not then). It is vital then, for Catholics, especially young Catholics, to have a good and proper understanding of their country's history. To exercise their patriotism, they must work for the conversion of the United States; to do this effectively, they must understand the forces and events which brought forth not only the religion of Americanism and the country itself, but also the sort of Catholicism which, in 300 years, failed so dismally to bring this conversion about. This book attempts to reinterpret the better known episodes of our history in accordance with the Faith, and to point up lesser-known details which will give factual proof of the truth of this reinterpretation.

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Written in 1987, this is Charles Coulombe's first book in which he yearns for a retracement back to Catholic principles. This book is comprised of three sections. The first and largest section outlines the history of world events which have shaped our world and have ultimately led to the current crisis in the Church. The second part discusses changes in the approach to the Mass, the Sacraments, and Christian life as a whole. Mr. Coulombe closes the book by explaining how a person can safeguard the integrity of his faith amidst all the challenges of today's world. Everyman Today Call Rome is a historical narrative that is loaded with wit and insights in typical Coulombe fashion that you will not want to miss.

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The Pope of Rome is the best known and most influential moral and religious leader in the world. Pick up the paper, turn on the T.V., and there he is. Every government in the world has to deal with him somehow. Love him or hate him, there is no denying his importance. It's this way today, and it's been this way since Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the 4th century.

In all that time, there have been wonder-working saints, lecherous murderers, and many, many mediocrities on the Papal throne - every kind of human being imaginable. Historically, the lives of Popes have been anything but dull and uneventful. Formosus was so hated by his successor, the corrupt Stephen VI, that his rotting corpse was disinterred and subjected to a court trial. St. Leo the Great frightened Attila the Hun into sparing Rome, while St. Gregory the Great banished the plague from the Eternal City by holding a procession. St. Leo III crowned Charlemagne Emperor by surprise on Christmas Day, but John XII (himself the son of a Pope) was killed by his mistress' lover, and died in her arms. John Paul II raised the popularity of the Papacy to incredible heights, played a huge role in bringing down Communism - and exorcised the Devil from a girl during a public audience.

Most books about the Popes have either tried to whitewash every sin any Pope has committed, or else have made them all out to be all out to be anti-Christs. On this emotional topic, writers seem to have left very little middle ground. But the truth is that there have obviously been good and obviously evil Popes, controversial Popes and forgotten Popes. In this book, they will all have their day in court. One by one, each Pope will be profiled, and their rich history, with all its pageantry, intrigue, holiness, and crime, will be unveiled.

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With Arthurian grandeur the Papal Zouaves marched into Italy in the mid-nineteenth century, summoned by the Pope under siege as the Wars of the Risorgimento raged. Motivated by wanderlust, a sense of duty and the call of faith, some 20,000 Catholic men from around the world rallied to Vatican City to defend her gates against Sardinian marauders. Volunteers came from France, Belgium, Spain, Ireland, Austria, and many other countries, including the United States. The battles that ensued lasted over 10 years, among a shifting array of allies and enemies and are among history's most fascinating yet largely overlooked episodes. Napoleon, Pius IX, and Bismarck all make appearances in the story, but at the center were the Zouaves--steeped in a knightly code of honor, and unflinching in battle as any modern warrior--as the Church they vowed to defend to the death teetered at the brink of destruction.

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The Catholic Church is THE great fact of our entire civilization. Art, architecture, music, literature, theatre, law - even cuisine and sports - at their best, all bear her mark. However much she and her teachings may be despised by media and government, however many of her children may abandon her, this is a reality that cannot be shaken. For over two millennia, it has been so. Yet at the same time, the Church has perhaps never faced so great a combination of challenges as she does today. Most secular governments oppose her to greater or lesser degrees; the Mass, her most solemn rite, has in many places been turned into a collection of strange ceremonies where irreverence views with sheer banality to conceal the awe-filled reality of what is actually happening - the descent of Jesus Christ Himself into the bread and wine on the altar. Nevertheless, there is a new wind blowing through the Church as Catholics - following the lead of their current Pope - attempt to regain ground lost in the past five decades. Benedict XVI has launched efforts - in the liturgical, evangelistic, and social spheres - which, while still in their infancy, appear well on their way to restoring something of the confidence and certainty Catholics once had in their Faith. Even so, there remains an enormous question which few are anxious to tackle: why bother with the Church at all? Why is she here? In Desire and Deception, Charles A. Coulombe makes the case that the role Christ first envisaged for her - that of the sole means of Salvation for mankind - has been completely obscured in the minds of the vast majority of Catholics today. He gives the history of how this came about, explains that this obscurity is at the root of the Church's current internal dilemmas, and shows that Catholics must regain their sense of mission if they are to fulfill Christ's mandate.

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A concise account of one of the most epic developments in the modern Catholic church from prominent American Catholic historian, Charles A. Coulombe.

Pope Benedict XVI’s precedent-shattering announcement that he would renounce the Papacy—the first Pope to do so in 600 years—touched off a firestorm of speculation and commentary throughout the world’s media and the blogosphere. But much of this ocean of opinion is just plain wrong, because of the complex nature of the Papacy and the Church. THE LEGACY OF POPE BENEDICT XVI gives you solid, inside information to make up your own mind on one of the most epic developments ever to shake the modern world— the radical change in course of the planet’s largest religion.

A renowned historian, journalist, and lecturer, Coulombe also sits on the board of the Queen of Angels Foundation and serves as a delegate for the International Monarchist League. 

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Dark spooky castles haunted by phantoms - what could be a more intriguing image? The ghost of Hamlet's father stalking the walls of Elsinore is burned into the mind of every literature student. Yet haunted castles do exist, and not just on lonely Scottish moors or German hillsides! On every continent - from the gothic keeps of Europe, to the exotic battlements of old Japan, to the lonely Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town - such places can be found.

In Haunted Castles of the World, Charles A. Coulombe takes us on a global tour of the homes of the rich and ghoulish, examining the legends and the phenomena that have gained them the reputation for being haunted. Here you will meet the ghostly cast of characters who haunt these places, and where and why these hauntings occur. All of the castles and palaces featured are accessible for public visits, and some are even open for overnight stays - if you dare! Whether you are planning an overseas vacation, or hunkering down in your favorite chair on a dark and stormy night, you are sure to find something in these pages to chill you.

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In this sweeping volume, Charles Coulombe explores the fascinating origins and far-reaching legacies of the drink that 'kept the British Navy afloat for 300 years' while establishing a colourful reputation as a mainstay of buccaneers, revolutionaries and trendsetters. From rum's role in the Boston Tea Party to its dubious distinction as the centre of the soul-crushing colonial Triangle Trade, here is the uncorked truth about the beverage that altered world history. Spiked with tantalising recipes, Rum is intriguing, informative and utterly intoxicating.

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There are many wonderful books in the world that address and teach how a good Catholic should think. However, it is important that a person not only think like a Catholic, but feel like a Catholic. Mr. Coulombe’s poems convey the feelings that millennial Catholics regularly have: feelings of angst regarding the future, but also that of hope; feelings of righteousness and feelings of awe over the majesty and wonders of Catholic tradition. The White Cockade is filled with bite-sized poems that will inspire you and touch you on an emotional level.

That's quite a résumé.
(07-11-2016, 04:26 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: If you're not hip to the amazing personage of the Amazing Criswell, think back to the immortal "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (if you haven't seen it, I don't even want to talk to you).
:blush: I've never seen it but after reading the synopsis, I must. A flying saucer made out of a paper plate and a hub cap?  I'm there before I can get my shoes on and run out the door.
(07-11-2016, 06:17 AM)Zubr Wrote:
(07-11-2016, 04:26 AM)Vox Clamantis Wrote: If you're not hip to the amazing personage of the Amazing Criswell, think back to the immortal "Plan 9 From Outer Space" (if you haven't seen it, I don't even want to talk to you).
:blush: I've never seen it but after reading the synopsis, I must. A flying saucer made out of a paper plate and a hub cap?  I'm there before I can get my shoes on and run out the door.

It's wonderfully, preciously, insanely bad! You'll laugh, you'll cry (from laughing so hard)! Have some popcorn, some liquid social lubrication, and a good pal on hand to watch it with you. I highly recommend it!

Then you have to watch "Ed Wood," about the director of Plan 9 from Outer Space, played by Johnny Depp. Mr. Wood was full of passion and wide-eyed optimism -- but without a whole lot of talent to go with it all. You'll love it. It's actually kinda inspiring and endearing.
Just to say I'm only belatedly catching up with this new subforum in the last 48 hours - after some copious offline time (necessary to my sanity).

I am however thrilled by it - and for two reasons.

First, because I never fail to find Charles' thought arresting and instructive. As I've indicated many times online, he has been a real teacher for me over the years. And I'm gratified for the new burst of activity I see from him in all these online videos, articles, this forum etc.

Second, I'm thrilled because I hope it will help with what Vox is attempting here. Despite my absence here lately, I am convinced more than ever of the importance of Fisheaters for its work in evangelising and networking the global Catholic Traditionalist community during these dark times.

Needless to say, this is a community which, alas, suffers so much internecine strife. (Such as has manifested here in various 'scandals'/ 'gates over the years.)

But I take Charles's presence here as not only a (well-merited) sign of respect for Vox, but also a message that I hope will go out to Trads - that what Vox does here is _important_.

Perhaps it will even serve to bring some folk back, after these various 'gates.

There is a great danger, I think, of getting caught up in relatively minor issues and divisions and missing the bigger picture.

In what Charles has said here, already I see his pointing us back to this bigger picture.

I'll be aiming to say more soon. For now, just one last word; HURRAH!

Awww, thanks for the kinds words, once again, Roger. I, too, am thrilled that Mr. Coulombe posts here and has a place to interact with his fellow trads and his fans. I do consider it an honor that he chose FE for that. As you know, I'm a fan o' his as well (isn't that a great picture of him in that first post in this thread? Looking pretty handsome there!).

I wish, though, that more would get involved with this little sub-forum! It's strange to me how slow it is given the large fan base Mr. Coulombe has. I so hope that when you're all caught up with your work (and I know you're buried in it lately!), you'll come around  and add some life to this place! But at least the posts are being read. That's what matters most, even if there aren't a lot of responses.

I do want for this place to be a forum where all sorts of trads can come together. I have to draw the line, as you know, with "the toxic trads" because they defeat the very purpose of the place (and they annoy me LOL). But questions as to where one worships, which priestly society one prefers, how one interprets EENS or "Baptism of Desire," the differing takes on evolution and geocentrism -- I don't want for those sorts of things to divide us. So keep praying for the place, R.!
I cannot help but wonder what is happening with this subforum.

I fear it may not have got the expected response to justify the (very considerable) effort it would take Charles to do it effectively.

Very understandable, if true ...

Still, I hope I'm wrong. I was greatly looking forward to this.

Partly, that's because of living Catholic traditionalist writers,  there is nobody who moves me like Charles (who, I should say, has also encouraged and supported me with some personal contact over the years).

Now, let me add to this that these days I'm ever more intensely involved with a writer of the past: Hilaire Belloc.

Belloc, it seems to me, still does not get enough credit for the vast, original movement of Catholic thought he initiated in his staggering 150 plus books. But he stands at the very fount of the English-speaking traditional Catholic milieu - initiating a line of people including Chesterton and Waugh in England and  Wilhemsen, Bozell and Potter of Triumph in America etc.

I cannot help but see Charles as an heir of sorts to the rich Anglophone tradition Belloc began ... a worthy heir, doing great things.

Perhaps it may stimulate things a bit here, if I point to more I have tried to say about his work online.

Specifically, I'm giving links to book reviews for four of Charles books that Vox has above ...

The Legacy of Pope Benedict XVI

Maybe the best place for beginners to start with Charles' work, as it is very short, wonderful and alas only on Kindle. My review is here:


Puritan's Empire

Also wonderful - but massive and in-depth ... Deserves to be read by every American who cares about both Catholic tradition and his country ...

The Pope's Legion

The last crusade to defend the Papal States ...


The White Cockade

Early, youthful poetry that touches me ...


Very, very rich reading for me. Thank you, Charles! And please say more!

Roger Buck,

I certainly would like also to be able to engage Mr. Coulombe in this venue. He need not feel compelled to give lengthy answers. Perhaps he would be game for a more casual back and forth. Or not, but there is certainly no pressure. We are all just men feeling our way, awaiting judgment...

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