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This is a book on John Henry Newman's influence on some of the most fascinating characters of the 19th century - and their influence on him. No one in nineteenth-century England had a more varied circle of friends and contacts than John Henry Newman (1801-1890), the priest, theologian, educator, philosopher, poet and writer, who began his career as an Anglican, converted to Catholicism and ended his days a Cardinal. That he was also a leading member of the Oxford Movement, brought the Oratory to England, founded the Catholic University in Dublin and corresponded with men and women from all backgrounds from around the world made him a figure of enormous interest to his contemporaries. In this study of Newman's personal influence, Edward Short looks closely at some of Newman's relations with his contemporaries to show how this prophetic thinker drew on his personal relationships to develop his many insights into faith and life. Some of the contemporaries covered include Keble, Pusey, Gladstone, Matthew Arnold, Richard Holt Hutton, Lady Georgiana Fullerton, and Thackeray. Based on a careful reading of Newman's correspondence, the book offers a fresh look at an extraordinary figure whose work continues to influence our own contemporaries.
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About the Author:
"Edward Short's Newman and His Contemporaries is that most intellectually satisfying phenomenon; a deeply-researched, beautifully-written and important book that answers all the questions it sets itself, and all that any reader may also ask. The Oxford Movement might not engage many people today, but in Victorian England it was an absolutely revolutionary concept and the author blows pure oxygen onto its almost-dead embers in recreating its crises and controversies. Moreover, the reader doesn't need to know anything about Tractarianism to enjoy the perceptive and witty essays covering the Cardinal's relations with such figures as Gladstone, Thackeray, Arnold, Clough and the Froudes."
Andrew Roberts, BBC History Magazine Books of the Year 2011
" Newman and His Contemporaries is like a Victorian Dance to the Music of Time, except the characters are all real historical figures. Social historians, Spectator readers, literate people in general, young BXVI generation Catholics and those old enough to finish the sentence Introibo ad Altare Dei....will love it. This is a book to be taken on a summer holiday and read under a palm tree with a gin and tonic. Social histories can be boring and sag in the middle, but this one isn't. It's a soufflé that doesn't flop."
Tracey Rowland, Ratzinger's Faith: The Theology of Pope Benedict XVI
"In this well-researched book, Edward Short shows how Newman, far from being the self-absorbed introvert as some have claimed, had a wide circle of friends who benefited from his extraordinary powers of empathy. Newman and his Contemporaries is a useful introduction to this essential quality of the man and will send readers back not only to Newman's published works but to his wonderful letters."
Ian Ker, John Henry Newman: A Biography (1988)
" Newman and his Contemporaries is a charming blend of erudition, lively commentary and judicious selection of sources. Eavesdropping on heart-to-heart conversations with novelists and social critics, politicians and journalists, scientists and clergymen, Edward Short has succeeded in bringing alive some of Newman's most engaging correspondence and setting it within its proper historical framework. The Newman that emerges from this study confronts the modern reader on the burning issues of the times - both his times and ours - and captivates us by his subtlety of mind, his exquisite prose style and his genius for friendship."
Paul Shrimpton, A Catholic Eton? Newman's Oratory School (2005)
" Newman and his Contemporaries sets out to place Newman in context and in dialogue with a range of his contemporaries. Newman famously said that 'a man's life is in his letters.' The 30 or so volumes of Newman's Letters and Diaries provide a significant quarry for Short's exploration... In its rich citations from Newman's correspondence Newman and his Contemporaries reminds us of Newman's skill as a pastoral theologian and theological apologist... Newman saw that there were hard questions for Anglicans to answer, with which we need to continue to wrestle-about authority, about the right discernment of development, and, fundamentally, about the nature of the Church. If this book provokes us to do this, then it will have achieved one of its purposes."
Geoffrey Rowell, Church Times
Newman and His Contemporaries "is the best study of Newman since Ian Ker's magisterial biography. It complements the latter work by showing Newman through the eyes of his contemporaries, from the perspective of his relations with them... The text of every chapter is chock full of engaging anecdotes and witty commentary. We are introduced to a panorama of life among an educated class of English-speaking people for whom religion was a matter of passionate concern. Best of all, this book introduces us to a type of holiness that manifests itself uniquely in the form of friendship."
Carleton P. Jones, OP, First Things
"Edward Short puts us in contact with Newman's opinions and decisions, but does so via a well-chosen selection of his contemporaries. The result is a fresh reading of, and insight into, the dramatic character of Blessed John Henry Newman's eventful, even iconic, life.... Newman and His Contemporaries can be highly recommended to both Newman specialists and Newman beginners."
Thomas Norris, Irish Theological Quarterly
"This formidably researched and carefully organized book provides a valuable approach to a much-covered subject from a novel angle... The author skilfully moves... from John Keble, Edward Pusey, the family of Hurrell Froude (who died in his thirties)... [to] Wellington, Peel, Melbourne, Palmerston, Disraeli, and Gladstone, almost 60 years of prime ministers... It is interesting to read of the Duke of Wellington, not someone I ever thought was much exercised about theological fineries... accusing the 'shopkeepers' whom he considered the beneficiaries of the First Reform Act, of being "Socinians and atheists." Then, again, here Charlotte Bronte describes... the rather bonhomous... Cardinal Wiseman [as] 'swimming into the room, smiling, simpering, and bowing like a fat old lady... the picture of a sleek hypocrite.' When the Iron Duke is roaring about Socinians and a Bronte is raving like this, the glories of the Victorian era were not as august and tranquil as is generally thought... This is a very rigorous and readable account of the personal impact of one of modern England's greatest intellectuals on a fascinating range of his contemporaries, and... a valuable addition to the Newman literature."
Conrad Black, The Catholic Herald
"This book... with its rich cast-list and broad sweep, will be a valued addition to the libraries not only of the Newmaniacs but of anyone who takes the 19th century seriously and who wishes to explore its often alien ideas and characters."
A. N. Wilson, The Spectator
"Edward Short's fine book is closely argued, well researched, and very readable."
Lawrence S. Cunningham, Commonweal
"Edward Short has both an in-depth knowledge of Newman's life and thought, as well as an enviable familiarity with the writings of many of Newman's contemporaries... The wide-ranging discussions in this book are both fascinating and thought-provoking. Readers can look forward to Short's promised sequel on Newman and his family."
The Catholic Historical Review
"Short has limited his field of reference to the Victorian intellectual world... but within that world he moves with great facility and aplomb, drawing out the remarkable--and remarkably complicated--strands of friendship that made the fabric of John Henry Newman's long nineteenth-century life... Thus, Newman and his Contemporaries successfully returns one of the great ninetenth-century public intellectuals to his natural habitat... Thank goodness, then, for Edward Short's work. Victorianists and scholars of late-modern religion and culture will enjoy every page of Newman and his Contemporaries."
Dwight A. Lindley, III, Christianity and Literature
"...interesting and massive.... Admirers of Ian Ker's John Henry Newman: A Biography should find Short's book a useful complement to that study. Despite its 403 pages of dense small print, the main text reads easily and is full of rich material from Newman's Letters and Diaries and many other sources. It illuminates well-known contemporaries of Newman and helpfully introduces others who are less well-known... an excellent book which belongs in every serious library."
Walter E. Conn, Villanova University, Horizons
Newman and his Contemporaries "includes an excellent 'Select Bibliographical Index,' which briefly identifies hundreds of historical figures with whom Newman interacted. Over a hundred pages of notes complete this very well written work. The book is delightfully readable... Short's book deserves a place in all academic libraries as well as personal and parish collections."
Arnold Rzepecki, Catholic Library World
Edward Short writes frequently for a number of magazines and journals on history, literature, religion and the arts. He is married and lives in New York.
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Book Description T&T Clark, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Brand New!. Seller Inventory # VIB0567026884
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