[Lewis and Tolkien] met at a faculty meeting on 11 May 1926. Lewis’s first impression of Tolkien was not favorable. In his diary he describes Tolkien as “a smooth, pale, fluent little chap.” Lewis adds, “No harm in him: he only needs a smack or so” (All My Road 393). […]

Tuesday meetings at the Eagle and Child developed a reputation for being quite boisterous, partly as a result of Lewis’s exuberance, partly the equally dynamic presence of men like Dyson, Coghill, and Williams. James Dundas-Grant, one of the lesser-known members of the Inklings, emphasizes the drama and the energy: “We sat in a small back room with a fine coal fire in winter. Back and forth the conversation would flow. Latin tags flying around. Homer quoted in the original to make a point.” Even Professor Tolkien, often pictured as reserved and reflective, joined in the fray by “jumping up and down, declaiming in Anglo-Saxon” (371). Lewis wondered what other people made of it all, suggesting, “The fun is often so fast and furious that the company probably thinks we’re talking bawdy when in fact we’re v. likely talking Theology” (They Stand 501).

Diana Pavlac Gyler, The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community (2008)

For by the summer of 1929, red-haired Peg Looney was not at all well. The teeth extractions that never healed had only been the start of it; she’d developed anemia and then this pain had settled in her hip so that now she could barely walk…Peg was wasting away, and her family watched in horror as she pulled teeth and parts of her jaw from her mouth. […]

Radium Dial – warned by Kjaer that Peg’s was a special case in which the government was particularly interested – watched her very closely. They knew she had tested positive for radioactivity in 1925 and 1928; they knew from their own medical tests exactly what was wrong with her. And so, when Peg collapsed at work on August 6, 1929, Mr. Reed made arrangements for her to be admitted to the company doctor’s hospital. […]

At 2:10 a.m. on August 14, 1929, Margaret Looney died…It seems the firm was concerned that Peg’s death would be attributed to radium poisoning, which would scare all the girls at the studio and possibly lead to innumerable lawsuits. The executives needed to take control of the situation. What did the family think, they asked, of having Peg autopsied?…They readily agreed, on condition that their own family doctor could be present, because they wanted to find out the truth. Their proviso was all-important: after the firm’s midnight machinations [to steal Peg’s body], they did not trust them. The company doctor agreed easily. Yes, yes, they said, no problem. What time?

When the family doctor arrived at the appointed hour, bag in hand, he found the autopsy had been performed an hour before he got there. He wasn’t there to see the multiple fracture lines on Peg’s ribs, nor the way “the flat bones of [her] skull showed numerous ‘thin’ areas as ‘holes.’” He didn’t examine the radium necrosis that was found “very strongly” in the skull vault, pelvis, and at least sixteen other bones. He did not witness the widespread skeletal changes that were evident throughout Peg’s battered body. He was not there to see as the company doctor “removed by post-mortem resection” the remains of Peg Looney’s jaw.

He took her bones. He took the most compelling evidence.

The family was not sent a copy of the report, but Radium Dial received one…”The teeth are in excellent condition,” read the official autopsy report. “There is no evidence of any destructive bone changes in the upper or lower jaw.” her death certificate was duly signed: diphtheria was the cause of death. […]

In 1978, researchers exhumed Peg’s body from St. Columba Cemetary, where she had been resting alongside her parents. They discovered she had 19,500 microcuries of radium in her bones – one of the highest quantities found. It was more than 1,000 times the amount scientists then considered safe.

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (2017)

[T]he firm had in its possession the results of the radioactivity tests of all the women at Radium Dial, taken back in 1928. The results that showed that, of the sixty-seven girls tested that day, thirty-four were suspiciously or positively radioactive. Thirty-four women: more than half the workforce.

The company had said in its press statement at the time; “Nothing even approaching symptoms ]of radium poisoning] has ever been found.” That declaration was not some miscalculation, caused by a misunderstanding of the data. The data was clear: most of the employees were radioactive – a telltale sign of radium poisoning. But though the women’s breath betrayed the truth, the company had deliberately and unashamedly lied.

The company still had the women’s names on its secret list of results, each numbered according to how radioactive she was.

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (2017)

[O]n April 22, three days before the trial was to resume, they were summoned to a compulsory examination by the [radium] company doctors…Grace flinched as they pricked her with a needle to take her blood. She was constantly afraid of anything that might result in cuts or bruises, for her skin no longer healed. Some dial-painters had “paper-thin skin that literally would split open if simply brushed by a fingernail.” A week later, Grace realized she had been right to worry: in the place where the doctors had pricked her, the flesh surrounding the puncture mark was black.

During the examination, radioactivity tests were conducted, the equipment deliberately positioned “so that the table itself was between large portions of the patient’s body and the instrument.” Flinn also “held the instrument two to three feet from the subject, allowing the radiation to dissipate before reaching the device.” Unsurprisingly, the company’s verdict was that none of the women was radioactive.

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (2017)

The doctors started with [Amelia Maggia’s] upper jawbones, which were removed in several pieces; they had no need to do the same with her lower jaw, for it was no longer present, having been lifted out in life. They sawed through her spine, her head, her ribs. They scraped her bones with a knife to prepare them for the next steps…When they checked the x-ray film, days, later, there was Mollie’s message from beyond the grave. She had been trying to speak for so long – now, at last there was someone listening. Her bones had made white pictures on the ebony film. Her vertebrae glowed in vertical white lights, like a regiment of matches slowly burning into black. They looked like rows of shining dial-painters, walking home from work. The pictures of her skull, meanwhile, with her jawbone missing, made her mouth stretch unnaturally wide, as though she was screaming – screaming for justice through all these years….”Each and every portion of tissue tested,” the doctors concluded, “gave evidence of radioactivity”.

Kate Moore, The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women (2017)

When Father Junipero Serra and his followers came as Franciscan missionaries and established the chain of missions at San Diego, Los Angeles, San Gabriel, Monterey, Santa Clara, San Buenaventura, San Juan Caspistrano and San Francisco (Dolores), and San Louis Obispo, between 1767 and 1783, they estimated that there were over eighty thousand Indians in Alta California. At the mission of San Gabriel there were about seven thousand. The priests wrote that they had never found anywhere such tractable and energetic savages as those in California.

After a few years the missionaries were never afraid to trust their lives and property among the Indians. The Fathers taught the Indians at the several missions to sow wheat, grind corn, till the soil, to raise herds of cattle, to dress hides, and to make their clothing. The priests brought grape-vines, olives, fruits and nuts from their old homes in Spain and Castile, and taught the Indians how to cultivate them in California soil. In time the missionaries had induced all the Indian families to come and dwell in pueblo communities about the missions, where the Spanish padres were monitors, socially, industrially and religiously. When the missions were legally disestablished by order of the Mexican government, and the lands were partitioned to Mexican families, the herds and flocks sold, and the missionaries told to seek other walks of life, the Indian pueblos soon went to ruin. The Indians themselves wandered aimlessly away, settling in one place until driven to another by the white man. No one attempted to preserve their moral condition, and to the natural savage inclination for licentiousness was added the bad example of the low whites of the frontier of those days.

Henry M. Goodell, “The Influence of the Monks in Agriculture and Christian Civilization” (Sacred Heart Review, 3 December 1910)

There were certain abbeys, especially in England, that took the greatest care not to clear the country of all trees. It is related of Alexander, the first abbot of Kirkstall, that, forseeing the necessities of the future, he forbade the cutting down of the vast forest he had acquired by divine protection, and preferred to purchase elsewhere the timber he required in erecting his large buildings. The monks of Pipwel in Northampton did not cease to plant trees in their forests and were said to watch over them as a mother over an only child. For their own private necessities they made use of dead, dry wood and reeds.

As a rule, the monks took great care in the cultivation of their land to conform to the laws of climate, soil and locality. In the north they devoted themselves especially to the raising of cattle, and in these countries the greatest privileges that could be given them were woods and the right to allow the swine to wander in them. In other countries they occupied themselves in the cultivation of fruit trees, the improvement of which was their work. It was the celebrated nursery of Chartreuse of Paris that up to the epoch of the Revolution furnished fruit trees to almost the whole of France, and the remembrance of their labors still lives in the name of certain delicious fruits, such as the doyenne and bon chretien pears. The finest orchards and vineyards belonged to the monasteries. All the chronicles speak of the cultivation of Mt. Menzing in the canton of Zug, which produced abundantly wheat and fruits and particularly nuts. The friendly relations existing between the monasteries, the interchange of visits between the monks of the different monasteries, were of great advantage, for foreign plants and fruits were exchanged and cultivated.

The monks were the first to devise tools for gardening. They had calendars in which were set down all that experience had taught them respecting the breeding of cattle, the sowing of land, the harvesting of crops and every kind of plantation. William of Malmesbury boasts of the fertility of the valley of Gloucester in wheat, in fruits and in vineyards.

Henry M. Goodell, “The Influence of the Monks in Agriculture and Christian Civilization” (Sacred Heart Review, 3 December 1910)

In the twelfth century impenetrable forests still covered the valley of the Jura. A monastery of the order of Premontre cut down the first trees in their forests and attracted there the first colonists. A monastery of the order of Citeaux had but a short time previously restricted within its banks the river Saone, which covered with its overflow the foot of Rodmont. It cleared the soil of the virgin forest where now is situated the little city of Rougemont with its two thousand inhabitants. At great expense and by almost superhuman effort dykes were opposed to the waves of the ocean, and they snatched from the element a soil which the work of man changed afterward into fertile fields. Marshes became arable land and the home of man. The monks loved to acquire these marshes in order to render them amenable to cultivation, and frequently even their monasteries rose out of the bosom of the waters. When it was impossible to drain them or when economy demanded it, they brought straw and laid it down in bundles and upon these bundles earth was placed. They dug out ponds into which they collected the superfluous waters by tiles used to drain the land.

In this way the monastic orders extended the cultivation of the soil from the south of Europe even to the most distant north. They facilitated communication between different points and were the organizers of different kinds of industry. Sweden owes to them the perfection of its race of horses and the beginning of commerce in wheat. On the island of Tuteron, where was formerly located a monastery of the order of Citeaux, plants still grow spontaneously which in the neighborhood one is compelled to cultivate with care. The Abbot William brought the first salad from France into Denmark. If in the eleventh century England could boast of an agriculture more advanced than many other countries, if it presented less forest and heath and more cultivated lands and fat pasturage, it owes it to the zeal of the monks who had found there in early times a hospitable welcome. It was the monks who in Flanders cleared the forests, drained the marshes, rendered fertile the sandy lands, snatched from the sea its most ancient possessions and changed a desert into a blooming garden.

Henry M. Goodell, “The Influence of the Monks in Agriculture and Christian Civilization” (Sacred Heart Review, 3 December 1910)

In a word, then, the monks were the scientific farmers of the day. They had access to all the knowledge of the ancients, and the constant intercourse with their brethren in other countries kept them acquainted with methods of agriculture and products other than their own, and when their great religious houses were suppressed, agriculture, of which they had been the pioneers, came for a time to a standstill.

Summing up then the influence of the monks, we can outline it thus: The rule of St. Benedict presented agriculture as an occupation useful and worthy of a truly religious person whose life was to be spent between manual labor and spiritual contemplation. He taught that the brothers ought not to feel themselves humiliated if poverty compelled them to gather with their own hands the products of the soil. First, then, they themselves cultivated the ground, and this has been continued even until our own time in certain orders. When a new monastery was founded there was ordinarily betowed upon it land not yet broken or land which, having been devastated by the incursions of the enemy, had become useless to its owner. Sometimes it was covered with forests or with water, or it was a sterile valley surrounded by lofty mountains, or a country in which there was no arable land and it was necessary for the monastery to purchase earth in the neighborhood and bring it in. The monks cleared with their own hands the forests and erected peaceful habitations for man in the spots where formerly had lurked the wolf and the bear. They turned aside devastating torrents, they restrained by means of dykes rivers accustomed to overflow their banks, and soon the deserts where before was heard only the cry of the owl and the hiss of the serpent were changed into smiling fields and fat pasturage.

The love of solitude, the desire of placing by every means possible a check to human passion, inspired them to seek out sites the most unhealthy and to render them by cultivation not only sanitary but even profitable. Modern writers recognize that Italy, devastated by the repeated incursions of barbarians, owed its restoration, its tranquillity and the preservation of the last remains of art to the monasteries. Wherever we see them rise we see agriculture reappear,—the people relieved from their burdens, and kindly relations established between the master and the slave.

Henry M. Goodell, “The Influence of the Monks in Agriculture and Christian Civilization” (Sacred Heart Review, 3 December 1910)

In the earlier days the monks had always taken the lead in farming, and if improvements were introduced it was sure to be the monks who were the pioneers. How useful the monasteries had been and what an important factor they were is perhaps best seen from the effect their dissolution had upon the laboring classes.

Henry VIII suppressed six hundred and forty-four monasteries, ninety colleges, two thousand three hundred and seventy-four free chapels and one hundred and ten hospitals. These held one-fifth of all the land in the kingdom and one-third the national wealth. At the same time nearly one hundred thousand male persons were thrown out of employment. The land taken up by the king was bestowed upon his nobles and favorites, and these, desirous of securing immediate and larger profits, enclosed immense areas and turned to the breeding and pasturing of sheep. It was the substitution of pasture for tillage, of sheep for corn, of commercialism for a simple, self-sufficing industry, of individual gain for the old agrarian partnership in which the lords or abbots, the parsons, yeomen, farmers, copy-holders and laborers were associated for the supply of the wants of the villagers. A perfect frenzy for raising sheep took possession of the agricultural community. No pains were spared to increase the extent of pasturage. Small tenants were evicted, laborers’ cottages were pulled down, the lord’s demesnes turned into pasturage, and wastes and commons which had before been open to all were now enclosed for the same purpose. Every one was now convinced that “the foot of the sheep would turn sand into gold,” and hastened to substitute grazing for tillage.

But while there was this sudden and wholesale transference of the arable land to pasturage, as sudden and violent a change in the character of labor was required. The dog and the shepherd took the place of the plowmen and their teams, and thus diminished the demand for labor at the very moment when the supply was increased. Very serious results followed. The poorer tenants were ruined and an immense number of persons were thrown out of employment, to become beggars and thieves. It was, says Gibbins in the “Industrial History of England,” the beginning of English pauperism.

Henry M. Goodell, “The Influence of the Monks in Agriculture and Christian Civilization” (Sacred Heart Review, 3 December 1910)