JOHN HENRY NEWMAN, whose life spanned most of the nineteenth century—1801-90—was and remains a fascinating character. Much of his charm is found in his remarkable talent for friendship, and his great influence on both Protestants and Catholics arose from his ability to collect around him talented men who influenced his thinking, and vice versa. It’s a power he still wields through his writings, which bring his person to life in the mind of the reader. Muriel Spark, an eminent poet and novelist of a generation ago, said that he was more alive to her than many of her contemporaries and,

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