About Daniel J. Heisey

Daniel J. Heisey, O. S. B, is a Benedictine monk of Saint Vincent Archabbey, Latrobe, Pennsylvania, where he is known as Brother Bruno. He teaches Church History at Saint Vincent Seminary.

Detective Work in a Monastery Archives


Our monastery in western Pennsylvania dates to 1846, founded by Benedictine monks from Bavaria. We run a liberal arts college and theological seminary, and our abbey church is also a parish church. Consequently, it is a busy place, and almost every year sees a new building project or repair or renovation of an older building. Since [...]

Detective Work in a Monastery Archives2024-04-12T23:20:05-05:00

Jesus Entering Our Jerusalem


One of the Gospels to be read for Palm Sunday is Mark 11:1-10. It is a well-known passage, perhaps too well known, recounting Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Usually it serves as a warning about how fickle crowds can be, joyously hailing Jesus as a king foretold by the prophets but within a week angrily calling [...]

Jesus Entering Our Jerusalem2024-03-28T02:44:33-05:00

Shakespeare’s Maps


With William Shakespeare’s theatre called the Globe, what did he know about maps? More than a century after Shakespeare’s death, Samuel Johnson in his Dictionary defined a map as, “A geographical picture on which lands and seas are delineated according to the longitude and latitude.” For Shakespeare, a map was a basic pattern, but it was [...]

Shakespeare’s Maps2024-02-28T18:01:19-06:00

Shakespeare’s Ancient Gower


A good game for historians to play is “Notice what you’re not noticing.” It can be easy to take for granted what survives from the past. Mosaics or monuments, textiles or texts, all represent great expenditure of thought, energy, time, and money. None of them sprang forth fully formed, and they tell us something about commerce [...]

Shakespeare’s Ancient Gower2024-02-16T05:56:25-06:00

Hamlet’s Book and Volume


Since the eighteenth century, students of William Shakespeare’s plays and poems have noticed his astute use of legal terminology. In 1780, Edmond Malone, himself a barrister, suggested in his biography of Shakespeare that the Bard had technical legal training. Whether that legal knowledge derived from studying, if not practicing, law, or from his business dealings, especially [...]

Hamlet’s Book and Volume2024-01-21T18:16:58-06:00

Meriwether Lewis Studies the Liberal Arts


Legend has it that Meriwether Lewis stayed at the Lochry Blockhouse on his way to Pittsburgh. From Pittsburgh he traveled to St. Louis, where he and William Clark, leading the Corps of Discovery, embarked upon their epic exploration of the newly purchased Louisiana Territory. Evidence from Lewis’ letters argues against this oral tradition, but just as [...]

Meriwether Lewis Studies the Liberal Arts2023-12-07T01:23:59-06:00

Shakespeare in Stone


“I enclose the ‘Sculptured Scenes from Shakespeare’,” wrote Beverly Hard, “which I hope you will enjoy.” It was 3 May, 1960, and she was writing by hand a thank you note to a friend for inviting her to a luncheon. Her husband, Frederick Hard, was a Shakespearean scholar and president of Scripps College, and she used [...]

Shakespeare in Stone2023-11-14T20:07:14-06:00

Shakespeare’s Walking Shadow


In his novel of 1949, The Little Sister, Raymond Chandler has his fictional private detective, Philip Marlowe say of another character, “nobody ever looked less like Lady Macbeth.” Next to Lady Macbeth and her spouse, few couples in Western literature represent such towering but doomed partners in crime. Even the nasty couple in James M. Cain’s [...]

Shakespeare’s Walking Shadow2023-10-26T01:56:37-05:00

Maurice Evans and Hamlet


In her autobiography, My Life in Three Acts (1990), Helen Hayes contrasted her acting career with that of her friend, Maurice Evans. “Maurice had an advantage that I lacked,” she explained, “a strong drive to get ahead.” Of herself, she shrugged, “I just floated along, and things somehow fell into my lap.” Unimpressed by Evans’ drive, [...]

Maurice Evans and Hamlet2023-09-17T23:03:12-05:00

W. H. Lewis’ Criticism of Shakespeare


In 1982, Clyde S. Kilby and Marjorie Lamp Mead published Brothers and Friends, an edition of the diaries of Warren Hamilton Lewis. Lewis (1895-1973) signed his name W. H. Lewis, and to family and friends he was known as Warnie. He was the elder brother to C. S. Lewis, and his diaries provide invaluable information and [...]

W. H. Lewis’ Criticism of Shakespeare2023-08-21T06:13:30-05:00
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