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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A work of great stature,
This review is from: Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (Hardcover)Rarely have I read a biography that has that 'do not want to put it down'factor. This book is just that.
Beautifully written and brilliantly researched about a man who changed the image of Catholicism in England and Wales by simple humility and total devotion. Anthony Howard writes with great skill and tracks Basil Humes'life with a great respect and handles the difficult times with commendable grace.
The book covers the difficult periods such as the ordination of women into the C of E, homosexuality and Basil's firm handling on all matters with the Vatican.
The descriptions of Basil Hume as a rugby coach,squash player and school master contrasts with his gentleness and compassion over Princess Diana's death and the acceptance of his own, are remarkable in the eloquence of Howard's mastery of English.
Basil Humes' bulldog tenacity in helping to obtain justice for the alleged perpetrators of the Guildford and Birmingham atrocitcies are explained in a no nonsence style where Howard has drawn on his journalistic experiences.
Yet this biography has none of the usual snipping that others from his proffession would bring to the subject of Christianity.
It is a book to be cherished and referred to when the chips are down as it should uplift anybody irrelevant of their faith.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cardinal Virtues,
This review is from: Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (Paperback)When picturing the late Cardinal Hume, an image of a tall, elegant, somewhat unworldly man would be a common image. This book gives a well-written substance to this based on the subject's private papers. It explores Hume's intellectual journey on how a teaching monk from Ampleforth became leader of England and Wales' Catholic congregation. The author deals with the daily tasks that cardinal performed to support his community.
This pastoral care extended to the mixed ethnic community that composed the Catholic congregation, which during the trouble 70s extended to championing the cause of imprisoned Irish prisoners such as the Maguire seven to achieve a measure justice.
The author does mention on occasion when the Cardinal was wrong-footed by events and made mis-judgements. These were at times compounded by his innate tetchiness. However, in each case Cardinal Hume attempted to ground his response in Christian charity and whilst he had foes, at least they were not embittered enemies.
The final section of book, on the Cardinal's passing, is one the engaged reader would mark with sadness and perhaps a measure of wryness at the mix of humility & pomp at the funeral that summed up the public image of Cardinal Hume.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Prophet,
This review is from: Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (Paperback)Although living in Canada throughout the time Basil Hume was Archbishop of Westminster, I had heard enough about this extraordinary man to want to know more about his life and work.
Anthony Howard's lucid style has captured, in a few hundred pages, a vivid picture of a great Englishman and a prelate who significantly influenced religious attitudes in Britain for more than two decades.
Howard's explanation of lesser-known ecclesiastical terminology was helpful as was having footnotes where footnotes should be - at the foot of the page!
An excellent biography.
Pickering, Ontario, Canada
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful read,
This review is from: Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (Paperback)A wonderful book by a "wistful atheist" which is s real page turner.Anthony Howard successfully weaves the personal,political and religious into a terrific narrative.
5.0 out of 5 stars Basil Hume ; The Monk Cardinal,
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This review is from: Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal (Paperback)Very good read on the life of Cardinal Basil Hume, warts and all. Some surprising warts, but not too many
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Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal by Anthony Howard (Paperback - 5 Jun 2006)