Zenit today has an interview with the current editor of the Letters and Diaries of John Henry Newman, a monumental achievement begun in 1961 and only now completed with the publication of the last two of thirty-two volumes. The first ten volumes, the last to be published, cover Newmans Anglican years; it took twenty-one to cover his Catholic years, and the last volume publishes some 500 letters found since the earlier volumes appeared. The interview has some interesting background on the whole project.Newman always thought that the best biography of a man was to be found in his letters, and whether true in every case, it certainly is near to being true in his case. The letters are accompanied by diary-notations, where available. Everything is edited with great care; footnotes identify and explain persons and events.I made use of these volumes in my doctoral dissertation and for various investigations since. I also enjoy simply making my way through a volume.
Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.