In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

NEWMAN STUDIES JOURNAL 90 parochial capacity. He devoted his life to scholarship,and to sharing that scholarship with the general public through sermons, conferences and books.” I am grateful to Father Walsh for re-introducing me to this friend of my boyhood,who prayed that his life and work would lead“some few”souls at least to“learn to understand you [Lord] a little, and to love you much.” Peter M. J. Stravinskas Editor,The Catholic Response Palmers Pilgrimage: the Life of William Palmer of Magdalene. By Robin Wheeler. New York: Peter Lang, 2006. Pages: 427. Paper, $74.95, ISBN 3–03910–302–4. Robin Wheeler’s Palmer’s Pilgrimage is an affectionate biography of William Palmer (1811–1879) of Magdalene College, Oxford. Palmer was and remains an obscure figure in theVictorian church,and Pilgrimage relies heavily on Palmers many letters to various persons, rather than on his published pamphlets and books. In his fairly long life, Palmer was an Anglo-Catholic, but one who demanded communion in the Russian Orthodox Church, and eventually a Catholic. As an Anglican he undertook a long visit to Russia to examine the operations of what he regarded as “brother” church to his own portion of the universal Church. Authorities in the Orthodox Church did not respond favorably to Palmer’s claims on behalf of theAnglo-Catholic communion,and indeed Palmer was much inclined to act upon his own instincts and without authority from the bishops in the Church of England. Wheeler begins his book with a series of quotations about the general perception of Palmer as a Victorian eccentric,and“enthusiast,”or an ecclesiastical“Don Quixote” and if these characteristics have been more fully developed the book might have been more interesting to read. As the Pilgrimage stands, there is a fair amount of trivia,which does not help us understand either the author’s interest in his subject or his idea on the critical subject matter of Palmer's thoughts on the church. Cardinal Newman, in spite of his heavy work schedule, edited Palmer’s Notes of a Russian Visit (1882) and was deeply involved in making sure that the packets of Palmer’s correspondence should be safely stored in the appropriate place. Palmer was never a member of the Tractarian party, though he must have been well aware of the storm it was creating at Oxford while he was in residence there. His activities were somewhat parallel to those of Newman during Newman's final years as an Anglican. Palmer wrote against the Jerusalem project,which was to place an Anglican bishop in Jerusalem to tend a very small number of Anglicans there as well as other Protestants. Palmer also defended Newman against the ongoing slanders of another Anglican clergyman,Golightly,who maintained that Newman was doing the work of Rome, while a member of the Anglican Church. It is hard to determine the relevance of this book for those interested in Newman. Palmer had been a friend of many years to Newman and visited him on an annual basis, but the two seldom exchanged letters, and Newman had no interest in 91 the Greek Church,which he regarded as a hot bed of one or another heresy,including erastianism. The question posed by Palmer and Newman was on the identity of the Church of England:Was the English Church Protestant or Catholic? Palmer maintained that the church was both;above all the national church represented what Newman called the via media. Palmer does not seem to have been affected by any great attraction for Rome as the Mother of English Christianity nor does he seem to have been repulsed by its“new”doctrines,as articulated at the Council ofTrent. Palmer was his own man, in matters of religion. The book ends with a scriptural quotation on this on the necessity of the search for truth, even at the cost of one’s life. John R. Griffin Colorado State Univesrity–Pueblo, CO BOOK REVIEW WE are not children of a guilty sire, Since Noe stepp’d from out his wave-toss’d home, And a stern baptism flush’d earth’s faded bloom. Not that the heavens then clear’d, or...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 90-91
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.