Basil Hume: The Monk Cardinal Paperback – 5 Jun 2006
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'an excellent biography...it is a mark of Howard's achievement that, as a self-confessed "wistful agnostic", he is able to describe the intricacies of Hume's monastic, spiritual and episcopal life so well' (Sunday Times)
'An eminent biographer ... Howard provides delightful details of Hume's human side' (Independent)
The official biography of the most inspiring spiritual leader of the twentieth centurySee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very interesting. I did not realise how stressful his life was. Wonderful how he managed to keep his faith.Published 10 months ago by Sylvia Noble
Lovely life story of the Cardinal. He truly was an inspiration to Christians and a kind and thoughtful man to all.Published on 6 Mar. 2014 by Rosamunda