Meet Our Speakers

Timilyn Downey’s educational credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from Northeastern State University, a National Board Teaching Certification, and Teacher of the Year. She has taught Sunday school, public school, adult Bible study, or her own children for the past twenty-plus years. She is currently a Fellow at the House of Humane Letters, studying the literary theory of CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and Northrop Frye.
Her Shakespearean claims to fame include travels to Stratford-upon-Avon and Shakespeare's birthplace, seeing Twelfth Night and Antony and Cleopatra performed in London, and she even has a son named after a Shakespeare character.
While in the classroom, Mrs. Downey enjoyed introducing her students to Shakespeare, and her contagious sprit led the whole school to celebrate a Shakespeare Festival every April. As department chair, she brought together the drama and English departments in the middle school and high school for student-directed performances of Shakespeare. Moving from the public schoolroom to the home school hasn’t dampened Timilyn’s enthusiasm for Shakespeare. She reads Shakespeare during morning time, hosts backyard birthday parties for the Bard and reads plays with the parent-child book club she and her sons attend.
In addition to reading The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Timilyn aspires to read CS Lewis’ complete works, which she realizes may take a lifetime. When not reading, Timilyn is active on the Patreon sites for the Literary Life Podcast and Morning Time for Moms. She also enjoys drinking tea, spending time in nature and talking with her sisters.
Cindy Rollins homeschooled her nine children for over 30 years. She is the co-host with Angelina Stanford of the popular Literary Life Podcast and she curates the Over the Back Fence Newsletter at She has an active Patreon account where she offers weekly encouragement and discipleship to moms. She is the author of Mere Motherhood: Morning Time, Nursery Rhymes, and My Journey Toward Sanctification; A Handbook for Morning Time, and Hallelujah—A Journey Through Advent with Handel’s Messiah, and the Mere Motherhood Newsletters.
Her heart’s desire is to encourage and disciple moms using Charlotte Mason’s timeless principles. She is especially proud of her 12 grandchildren who bring all joy and no stress. She lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee with her husband Tim and dog Max.
You can find her at her  website  where she publishes her newsletter Over the Back Fence
Angelina Stanford headshot
Angelina Stanford has an Honors Baccalaureate Degree and a Master’s Degree in English Literature from the University of Louisiana, graduating Phi Kappa Phi. For over twenty-five years, she has shared her passion and enthusiasm for literature with students in a variety of settings—everywhere from university classrooms to homeschool co-ops to homeschooling her own three children.  In 2012, she entered the world of online teaching, creating a unique online community and mentor relationship with her students. And in 2020 she founded with her husband, Thomas Banks, the House of Humane Letters, providing online classes, conference, and other resources for a more humane education. Angelina maintains a high commitment to teaching teachers and students the skill and art of reading well--and in recapturing the tradition of literary scholarship needed to fully engage with the Great Books.
Known for her ability to make academic scholarship both accessible and entertaining, Angelina has presented papers at the College English Association Conference, the Conference on Christianity and Literature and is a respected speaker at numerous conferences around the world.  She has also written for numerous publications--including The Old Schoolhouse magazine and a column for Home Educating Family magazine. 
A popular guest on a variety of podcasts, Angelina launched her own podcast, The Literary Life Podcast, with her husband Thomas Banks, long-time friend Cindy Rollins in 2019.  Flagged by Itunes as a New and Noteworthy Podcast, each episode explores some aspect of cultivating a literary life--from slow, thoughtful readings of novels and short stories to literary topics like the importance of the detective novel or getting over a reading slump. She is a great believer that Stories Will Save the World!
Thomas Banks has taught great books with an emphasis on Greek and Roman literature, Latin grammar and ancient history for more than ten years both as a private tutor and as a junior high and high school teacher in his native Idaho and Montana. He holds a dual bachelor's degree in English Literature and Classical Studies from the University of Idaho, from which he graduated in 2008. In the summer of 2019, he moved to North Carolina to marry the illustrious Ms. Angelina Stanford, who said yes for some reason. And in 2020 he founded with his wife, Angelina Stanford, the House of Humane Letters, providing online classes, conference, and other resources for a more humane education.
Poetry is a particular love of his, and he has published original verse and translations in First Things, the St. Austin Review and various other periodicals. His personal list of favorite writers never really stops growing, but will always include Homer, Euripides, Virgil, Ovid, St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Byron, Keats, Walter Scott and Thomas Hardy. Of these and so many others one cannot have enough.
Mr. Banks is also the host of the popular podcast The Well Read Poem, as well as a co-host of The Literary Life Podcast.

Close Menu
Cart Item Removed. Undo
  • No products in the cart.