Friday, November 22, 2013

So Much Generosity

An Appreciation of the Fiction of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman, John Henry Cardinal Newman, and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson

Michael D. Greaney

ISBN 978-1602100022    268 pp.    $20.00 (U.S.)    £18.00 (U.K.)    $24.00 (AU)

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There is a 20% discount on bulk/wholesale orders (10 or more copies of the same title).  Shipping is extra.  Please send an e-mail to "publications [at] cesj [dot] org" for details.

The late Dr. Ralph McInerny, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame du Lac, once commented that some Catholic novels are so good, they’re bad.  He meant that the heroes are so virtuous that you simply can’t believe them.  Worse, the novels try so hard to be “Catholic” that they fail to be catholic, that is, universal, or even any sort of realistic commentary on the human condition.

Worst of all are probably the novels that try to imitate the authors profiled in this appreciation of the fiction of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman (1802-1865), John Henry Cardinal Newman (1801-1890), and Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914).  Part of this is due to the fact that many people misunderstand not only why these writers wrote, but what they wrote.  Benson’s wonderfully barbed satire, for example, endeared him to Evelyn Waugh, yet it is often characterized as “prophecy”!

This collection of biographical sketches and essays by Mr. Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research at the interfaith, all-volunteer think tank, the Center for Economic and Social Justice (CESJ) in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., does much to dispel the misimpressions and misunderstandings many people might have of the novels of Wiseman, Newman, and Benson.  More than that, this compendium introduces these works to a new generation of readers, and makes it clear that the authors wrote for everyone, not just for Catholics, or even Christians.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Loss and Gain: The Story of a Convert

"Loss and Gain" is the first of Newman's two novels. It is a fictionalized account of Newman's own faith journey, and account of the "Oxford Movement" that shook the English establishment of the day to the core. Potentially rivaling the work of such masters as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens, the deceptively simple plot presents a profound understanding of the human condition and English society of the early nineteenth century. It can be read with enjoyment and profit by people of every faith. This edition features a foreword by Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research for the Center for Economic and Social Justice in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

ISBN: 978-1602100039
328 pages
$20.00 (U.S.)

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Callista: A Sketch of the Third Century

Callista is a "Catholic" version of the "Early Christian Romance" genre that was popular in the nineteenth century. Most such productions rarely rose above the quality of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's The Last Days of Pompeii or Charles Kingsley's Hypatia. Some authorities credit Kingley's jealousy over the success of Callista and the obvious quality of Newman's novel in contrast to his own as the source of Kingsley's later violent attacks on Newman, to which Newman responded with his monumental Apologia Pro Vita Sua, one of the greatest "spiritual autobiographies" ever written. Callista not only exhibits a high degree of literary accomplishment and historical accuracy, but is entertaining. This edition features a foreword by Michael D. Greaney, Director of Research for the Center for Economic and Social Justice in Arlington, Virginia, USA.

ISBN 978-1602100046
280 pages
$20.00 (U.S.)

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Endorsements of These Editions

"This captivating tale of young adulthood and discovery helps illustrate what Newman later championed in his Idea of a University — the intellectual journey that leads to a "just estimate of all things," and the bearing of theology on "every other fact conceivable."  The protagonist's spiritual awakening amid the prejudices of 19th-century England, which mirrors Newman's own path, is wonderfully presented and helpfully interpreted for the modern reader in this new annotated edition."

Patrick J. Reilly, President
The Cardinal Newman Society


"More than a tale of early Christian heroism and romantic love, this helpfully annotated edition of Callista brings forth Newman's dedication to historical accuracy, the influence of his own experience of intolerance toward Roman Catholics in 19th-century England, and his pastoral sense of the virtues and passions which compete for dominion over the human mind and soul."

Patrict J. Reilly, President
The Cardinal Newman Society 


How to Order Wholesale Quantities

Individual copies of John Henry Newman's novels should be ordered from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from your local bookstore, if the store has an account with Ingram.  If you wish to order wholesale quantities (10 or more copies per individual title) at a 20% discount off the retail cover price (plus shipping) for resale or fundraising by your organization, please send us an e-mail at:

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