This Week in History

Duke William Conquers England: October 14, 1066

This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations I: The History of Christian Civilization. To peruse sample chapters of our books, go hereFor ordering information on Light to the Nations I and our other texts, please click here.

King Harold, from the Bayeux Tapestry

Early in 1066, the childless old Saxon king of England, Edward the Confessor, died without settling the question of who should inherit his throne. Two men claimed the crown of England. One was Edward’s nephew, Harold. The other was William, the duke of Normandy in northern France.

Fearing Duke William, the Saxon nobles of England elected the Saxon prince Harold as king. Refusing to give up his claim to the English throne, William set out with all his forces, sailed across the channel separating England from France, and landed near the town of Hastings. The new Saxon king, Harold, and his major nobles and warriors were in the north near York, putting down a rebellion and repelling an invading force of Danes. After defeating the invaders and putting down the rebellion, Harold and his men turned south to meet William. Fifteen days later, they reached the channel coast and Hastings. Continue reading

This Week in History

The Crowning of an Unpopular Pope: October 5, 1824

This text comes from our book, Light to the Nations II: The Making of the Modern World. See sample chapters, here. For ordering information on Light to the Nations II and our other texts, please click here.

Fernando I

Following the end of the Carbonari rebellion in the Two Sicilies in 1821, governments throughout Italy took severe measures against Liberals and members of revolutionary societies. Such measures were very severe in Habsburg-controlled regions, especially Milan, for Metternich thought governments should show no mercy to the forces of revolution and anarchy. Yet, no ruler was more brutal than Fernando I, the Bourbon king of the Two Sicilies. He had one rather savage military commander, Colonel Guglielmo del Carretto. Once, after putting down a rebellion, Carretto not only ordered many executions but also paraded the heads of rebels through the villages where their kindred, wives, and children lived. For his victory over the rebels, Fernando made Carretto a marquis and granted him a pension.

Yet, repression only seemed to increase the numbers of those who longed for the “liberation” of Italy. Cruelty merely hardened their hearts to further resistance. Their numbers, however, were not overwhelmingly great. Mostly drawn from the middle class, Liberals and revolutionaries did not include the vast majority of the peasantry. And though they agreed on some things (all Liberals wanted an end to Austrian rule in Italy, for instance) they differed on other matters. Some fought for a united Italian government, while others wanted to form a federation of Italian states. The more radical wanted to overthrow all monarchies and establish republics, while the more moderate favored constitutional monarchy. Then there was the problem that a rebellion in one part of Italy would find no support in any other part of the peninsula, and so was easily crushed. Continue reading

An Interview with Our Founder –

A candid and insightful interview with Catholic Textbook Project founder Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., was recently featured in a national Catholic business journal.  We think you’d enjoy reading it….

CATHOLIC BUSINESS PROFILE: Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., Founder and President of Catholic Textbook Project


Michael Van Hecke

Michael Van Hecke

It’s a commonplace in education that “a textbook is only as good as the teacher who teaches it.” But according to Michael Van Hecke (pictured left), a seasoned headmaster of a Top 50 school and the founder of the Catholic Textbook Project, sometimes an exceptional textbook can transform a good teacher into … READ MORE>>

1-Essay-PromoCatholic Textbook Project’s president, Michael Van Hecke, M.Ed., today announced the official launch of the company’s annual History Essay Contest for Catholic students in Grades 5 through 12. Submission deadline is Friday, November 17, 2017.  Winners will be announced during Catholic Schools Week in early 2018.  Interested teachers may obtain contest rules and classroom posters at here:

Pamela Rains

Pamela Rains

Catholic Textbook Project recently welcomed Pamela Rains of Issaquah, WA, to its expanding sales team. Rain’s territory covers Catholic schools and dioceses within the states of Oregon and Washington, and all of Canada. Rains’ expertise includes eight years of teaching in a Catholic elementary school and in a private school.  In the private school she taught social studies and language arts to behavior-challenged high school students.  Her sales experience spans more than 17 years, all focused on selling books to Catholic schools and parishes.  Clearly terrific serving others and addressing their needs, the high note of her Continue reading