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Loss and Gain
London: James Burns, 17 Portman Street, Portman Square, 1848. First edition. 12mo. 386 pp. Bound without terminal leaf of publisher's ads. Modern half cloth and green marbled boards, retaining an earlier morocco spine label; marbled edges. Name cut from top margin of title page, another removed from title with ink eradicator. Very good copy of a rare book. Sadleir 1825; Wolff 5096 "a very rare book"; Wolff, Gains and Losses, pp. 43-60 . The first work of prose fiction by the noted theologian, John Henry Newman (1801-1890), whose conversion to Catholicism in 1845 shook the Anglican church. A thinly disguised account of his conversion, Loss and Gain is the most important English religious novel of the nineteenth century and a key document in the history of the Oxford movement. It was widely reprinted and a subtitle was added in the later editions. Newman was made a Cardinal by Pope Leo XIII in 1879 "Newman himself was in the process of publishing (anonymously) his first novel, Loss and Gain: the Story of a Convert. The book is partly autobiographical ... The inconsistencies of the comprehensiveness of the Church of England and of Anglo-Catholicism are amusingly satirized in what are probably the most memorable parts of a novel of which the chief claim to originality lies in the introduction of a new kind of introspective self-questioning into English fiction (see K. Tillotson, Novels of the Eighteen-Forties, 1954). ... the most significant Roman Catholic theologian of the nineteenth century, [Newman] has also come to be seen as the most seminal of modern Catholic thinkers" (ONDB). Wolff writes, "it remains extraordinarily significant ... Newman's novels ... delighted his peers. But unquestionably they were too subtle, too intellectual, too profound, then as now." "By common consent, and in the considered opinion of Gerard Manley Hopkins and James Joyce, Newman was the greatest Victorian master of English prose," writes Anthony Kenny in this week's TLS (30 July 2010), where he reviews a recent biography, Newman's Unquiet Grave by John Cornwell, and considers the projected visit to England by Pope Benedict XVI for "the beatification (a last staging post on the path to sainthood) of John Henry Newman in September". The issues includes a second extensive article by Bernard Manzo, "The test of literature, John Henry Newman's holy imaginings", discussing Cardinal Newman's poems, two novels and essays. Rare
      [Bookseller: James Cummins Bookseller]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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