First Things is pleased to welcome our newest blog: Dr. Boli’s Celebrated Magazine. The blog, a light but frequently learned literary exercise, casts a wry eye on contemporary events in the language of a 19th century broadsheet man. Its editor, the fictional character H. Albertus Boli, LL.D., gives his biography on the blog’s about page:
HENRICUS ALBERTUS BOLI was born in 1783 in York, Penna., the son of a local physician and typefounder. He showed an early aptitude for literary studies, and at the age of eight astonished his Latin master by successfully declining three nouns previously regarded as indeclinable. About a year later, he published his first volume of verse, an epic poem in twenty-four books describing a journey from York to Hanover, Penna.
Having established his reputation, Dr. Boli continued his literary pursuits. Shortly after graduating from the Central Pennsylvania School for Unusual Boys, he invented the letter M, the income from which was enough to relieve him from the necessity of remunerative labor. He therefore turned his attention to works of charity. Saddened by the plight of Portuguese refugees, he organized and supervised the construction of Portugal, where at last they might have a home of their own. Meanwhile he diverted himself by writing a number of popular novels under the pen name “Anthony Trollope.” At about the same time he founded his celebrated Magazine, whose flattering success continues to the present.
Today, at the age of 228, Dr. Boli still edits the magazine personally, at a time of life when other men might be considering an honorable retirement. As a concession, however, to his advancing years, he no longer writes every word of the magazine himself. At present he writes every other word, the intervening words being supplied by a well-known agency.
The man who stands behind Dr. Boli is Christopher Bailey, a writer whose work has appeared in Touchstone and who is the author, with Mike Aquilina, of The Grail Code. We’ve been reveling in Dr. Boli’s dry wit for years and hope you’ll gain similar satisfaction from having him as part of our web offerings. You can begin by reading his introductory post: “DR. BOLI ACQUIRES FIRST THINGS.”