Autumn 1944 • Vol. VI No. 4 The Hopkins Centennial (Concluded) |

Monument Not Quite Needed

It is difficult to be fair to Miss Ruggles' centennial life of Hopkins.1 By conventional literary and commercial standards, it is not only "needed" but adequate and creditable. It supplies a book-length, "decidedly readable" biography of a poet by now famous enough to deserve all the rights and emoluments. Neither Fr. Lahey, the official Jesuit memoirist, nor John Pick, author of a recent sensible Hopkins handbook, is a real competitor. Certainly, too, Miss Ruggles has, according to her lights, labored conscientiously. The basis of her biography is to be found in the three volumes of Hopkins' letters and the Notebooks, which includes the extant sermons and the commentary on the Ignatian Exercises. Her central routine is the chronological quotation and annotation of passages from the letters. But she has also looked up the books written by Hopkins' rather special father and reconstructed Hopkins' novitiate at Roehampton from the accounts of two contemporaries of his. Then she has wor

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Austin Warren (1899-1986) was a literary critic and professor of English. He is well known for his collaboration with René Wellek on the Theory of Literature (1949) as well as his collection of essays Rage for Order (1948). He was also an influential literary scholar, writing books on Pope, Hawthorne, the elder Henry James, and Crashaw.

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