THE recent programme by A N Wilson on John Henry Newman to which Ben Plowden refers (October 6) mars the series and does a disservice to the founder of the English Oratory.
Newman was a controversial figure that one could not easily ignore. Those who came up against him were inevitably affected and this produced equal doses of loyal appreciation and snide vituperation. However, balanced research disposes of the canard of Newman's sensitivity and ill temper as readers of Meriol Trevor and Stephen Dessain can discover. Bremond must take much of the blame, which Baudin and Cross perpetuated. It can be traced to Prevost and partly stems from the problem posed by Newman's departure which seems to have preoccupied A N Wilson. The matter is discussed in my The Church .. A Communion (Fowler Wright, 1988), based upon Newman's sermons.
Revd James Tolhurst DD St Mary Cray Kent