Thomas Banks

About Thomas Banks

Thomas Banks lives in North Carolina and teaches online at the House of Humane Letters. His writings and translations have appeared in First Things, the New English Review, Quadrant, the St. Austin Review, and Crisis Magazine.

Soldier’s End, Priest’s Beginning


The study of the Italian Wars in the 16th century requires a certain patience for dismal reading. As with many wars of the period, these began with one monarch’s claim to a territory whose title deeds were disputed by adventurous rivals to the point of blood. In this instance, the Kingdom of Naples was at first [...]

Soldier’s End, Priest’s Beginning2023-07-26T19:32:46-05:00

Chesterton and Saint Francis: Seeing the Real and Imaginary Saint


Centenaries may have no real chronological significance, but they still provide the useful service of teaching us something about ourselves by how we respond to their arrival. The year 1923 brought forth a wealthy crop of literature, both experimental and traditionalist. Virginia Woolf in Bloomsbury introduced the highbrows to Mrs. Dalloway, while on the other side [...]

Chesterton and Saint Francis: Seeing the Real and Imaginary Saint2023-05-25T16:04:50-05:00

A Milton Fantasy


I used to own a copy of an old book entitled If It Had Happened Otherwise. As has happened to me more than a few times when a rare and out of print volume of particular interest has come into my possession, I lost this one. I have never been able to find another. If It [...]

A Milton Fantasy2021-06-25T04:25:27-05:00

Shakespeare, Hazlitt, and Henry V


William Hazlitt’s Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays is one of a precious few works of Shakespearean criticism that still bear reading long after their first appearance. So much nonsense in every generation has been written about the Bard that we may well be tempted, after an excruciating reading of Solipsists and Stratagems: A Poststructuralist Dissection of Hamlet, [...]

Shakespeare, Hazlitt, and Henry V2021-06-16T22:42:49-05:00

A Vandalized Cathedral


In my newsfeed yesterday I read that the Cathedral of St. Helena in the Montana state capital was defaced by vandals who remain as yet unidentified. This was by no means the first story of this kind I had read in recent memory. I lived in Montana for a decade, was received into the Catholic Church [...]

A Vandalized Cathedral2021-05-20T03:48:25-05:00

Christmas and Dostoevsky


Comparisons have been drawn between Dickens and Dostoevsky frequently enough to make them seem at times like spiritual brothers who chanced to be born in different countries. The similarities between the two of them can be plentifully enumerated: the superabundant moralistic fervor, their mutual concern for the downcast, the odd asymmetries of temper, the horror of [...]

Christmas and Dostoevsky2020-12-23T01:12:29-06:00

St. Martin of Tours and His Times


The life of St. Martin of Tours, patron saint of France, soldiers, and beggars, reaches over the greater part of the 4th century, that period during which the Church, no longer a proscribed society, found herself for the first time free to pursue the evangelization of the Roman Empire. This was the work of more than [...]

St. Martin of Tours and His Times2020-11-09T23:08:17-06:00

The Martyrs and Saint Augustine


Not long ago I spent an hour reading a handful of St. Augustine’s festal homilies in praise of the early martyrs. The three dedicated to Ss. Felicity and Perpetua especially stand out as worthy of their subjects, and several passages from these have remained with me over the past few days. I suspect this may mean [...]

The Martyrs and Saint Augustine2020-10-30T07:58:13-05:00
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