From Mr Tom McIntyre SIR – A pity that Robin Baird-Smith (Charterhouse, October 1) did not remind your readers that all Newman’s publications – including quite elusive things like the “Preface to Froude’s Remains” – are available to Newmanreader.org. True, the site can’t include the recent Letters and Diaries, and one good way to start Newman is by reading straight through a couple of the L&D volumes – not only to get the feel of his mind, concerns and range, but also of his language. The echo of his natural speaking voice makes it easier to follow the close reasoning of the major works.
Mr Baird-Smith also refers to one of the 15 (Oxford) University Sermons (what don could take one in at a hearing?) These hold in one volume the arguments in germ of the later masterpieces like The Idea of a University, the Grammar of Assent and, more indepth of thought, Louis Bouyer feels, than the work itself, the Development of Christian Doctrine. It might have been worth mentioning Newman’s Vision of Faith, Bouyer’s introduction to the Parochial and Plain Sermons. Bouyer had a natural affinity with Newman’s mind. Besides illuminating Newman’s theological preoccupations, he offers a reader’s key to the teaching, if not to the startling beauties, of the whole eight volumes.
Yours faithfully, TOM McINTYRE Frome, Somerset