Ye who believe in affection that hopes and endures, and is patient,
Ye who believe in the beauty and strength of woman’s devotion,
List to the mournful tradition, still sung by the pines of the forest;
List to a Tale of Love in Acadie, home of the happy.
[Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, “Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie”]
Fidelity, in the context of Faith, is reliance over time. When our trust, confidence and reliance are rewarded consistently over time, we are unlikely to stray from the object of our Faith.
Technical and Analytical Readings
- George P. Fletcher, Loyalty: An Essay on the Morality of Relationships (Oxford University Press, 1995).
- Simon Keller, The Limits of Loyalty (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
- Anna Stilz, Liberty Loyalty: Freedom, Obligation, and the State (Princeton University Press, 2009).
- Edgar Denton, III, ed., Limits of Loyalty (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1980).
- Josiah Royce, The Philosophy of Loyalty (MacMillan, 1908).
- Thich Nhat Hanh, Fidelity: How to Create a Loving Relationship That Lasts (Parallax Press, 2011).
- Graham Stewart, Friendship & Betrayal: Ambition and the Limits of Loyalty (Orion Publishing, 2007).
- Laurence Cole and Daniel L. Unowsky, The Limits of Loyalty: Imperial Symbolism, Popular Allegiances, and State Patriotism in the Late Habsburg Monarchy (Berghahn Books, 2007).
- Catherine Clinton, Southern Families at War: Loyalty and Conflict in the Civil War South (Oxford University Press, 2000).
- Andrew Harker, Loyalty and Dissidence in Roman Egypt: The Case of the Acta Alexandrinorum (Cambridge University Press, 2008).
- Pat Conroy, The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2013): “. . . Conroy’s conviction pulls you fleetly through the book, as does the potency of his bond with his family, no matter their sins, their discord, their shortcomings.”
From the dark side:
- Saskia Hamilton, ed., The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979: Elizabeth Hardwick, Robert Lowell, and Their Circle (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2019): “In 1970, the poet Robert Lowell took a teaching appointment at Oxford, leaving behind his wife, the critic Elizabeth Hardwick, and the couple’s 13-year-old daughter, Harriet. At a party that spring, he encountered the heiress and Anglo-Irish writer Caroline Blackwood. He moved into her house that night.”
- Alexandre Dumas (père), The Three Musketeers (1844-45): D’Artagnan fellows refuse a commission, leaving it instead for their friend.
- Allegra Goodman, The Cookbook Collector: A Novel (Random House, 2010).
- L.K. Madigan, Flash Burnout (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2009).
- Sarah Dunant, In the Company of the Courtesan (Random House, 2006).
- Kenneth Grahame, The Reluctant Dragon (Candlewick, 2004).
- Tessa Hadley, Late in the Day: A Novel (Harper/HarperCollins Publishers, 2019): “ . . . it’s not just Zach who has held the four of them, and the two marriages, together; it’s the power structures they agreed to in their 20s, the vows they took when they were different people.”
From the dark side:
- Martin Michael Driessen, The Pelican: A Comedy (Amazon Crossing, 2019): “. . . the three characters at the center of Oyamada’s strangely chilling novella push their respective rocks up the hill at ‘the factory’ day in and day out . . .” This is a story of betrayal.
Film and Stage
- Toy Story 3: In the third of the Toy Story animated films series, the characters are loyal to each other even in parting.
- Hannah and Her Sisters, Woody Allen’s typically twisted exposition on fidelity and infidelity
- The Last Metro: “a gently comic, romantic meditation on love, loyalty, heroism and history”
- Goodfellas, on the ethical limits of loyalty
- Talk to Her (Hable con Ella), this film about a man and a comatose woman is “not about sympathy but about loyalty”; a “tragic comedy about need, its liberating and shackling powers”
- The Whales of August: about loyalty among sisters, though neither of them has entirely earned it
From the dark side:
- Missing, a story of betrayal by the U.S. government
- The Shop on Main Street, about a man on the edge of betrayal in Nazi Germany
- The Red Shoes: This adaptation of Anderson’s fairy tale, here repeated as real life, is a story about betrayal
- The Seven-Year Itch: exploring challenges to marital fidelity, with humor
- The Silence: indifference between sisters
- Le Trou (The Hole): five cellmates plan an escape , which fails when trust is betrayed.
- Wassily Kandinsky, Couple Riding (1906)
- Marc Chagall, Couple and Basket with Fruits
- William Hogarth, David Garrick and His Wife (1757)
- Anthony van Dyck, Portrait of a Married Couple (early 1600s)
- Francisco Goya, Loyalty (1616-23)
Music: songs and other short pieces
- Kenny G, Forever in Love
- Frank Sinatra, Always
- The Beatles, When I’m Sixty-Four
- Alan Jackson, Remember When
- Nawang Khechog, For as Long as Space Endures
Music: Composers, artists, and major works
Brahms’ three string quartets, Op. 51 and Op. 67, evidence a seriousness of purpose in the unwavering commitment of each voice to each other and to the whole.
- Quartet 1 in C minor, Op. 51, No. 1
- Quartet 2 in A minor, Op. 51, No. 2
- Quartet 3 in B flat major, Op. 67
Other major works:
- Gluck, Orfeo et Eurydice: Orfeo descends into hell to save his beloved and places her happiness above his own welfare, passing the test of fidelity. Here are links to performances conducted by Leppard, Jacobs and Kozena.
- Farrenc, Piano Quintet No. 1 in A Minor, Op. 30 (1839)
- Korngold, Die Kathrin (1936): in this opera, Kathrin and François fall in love but circumstances and other people with nefarious motives obstruct and impede them at every turn. After five years apart, in hardship, they are reunited, and have a five-year-old child. The opera ends with the lovers in each other’s arms – and alive! Here is a performance conducted by Brabbins.
- Alfred Noyes, “The Highwayman”