London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1889. Ninth edition. Original maroon cloth (7 5/8 inches tall), black coated endpapers. Clergyman's ex-libris pasted above half-title, gentle toning to spine, gutter cracked at page ?? touch of wear to spine ends and corners. Very good indeed. Item #1101
"SURELY THE MOST SERENE AND BEAUTIFUL VINDICATION THAT WE HAVE OF THE OLD IDEAL OF THE SCHOLARLY LIFE" (ROGER SCRUTON)
Early "New Edition" of the Idea of a University, collecting the discourses and lectures given by John Henry Newman during his ill-fated mission to establish a Catholic college for young men of Ireland. Invited by Archbishop Cullen of Ireland to open a university for Catholic students, Newman was conflicted about the idea, feeling that his first responsibility was to the Birmingham Oratory. He was further concerned about the possible complications of being a convert as well as an Englishman in Ireland. "Newman's own time at Oxford, both as student and teacher, had formed his ideas on what a university should be. His new university in Dublin should be an institution to make good Catholics ready for the world; it was not intended, as many of his episcopal superiors would have preferred, to exclude all that was thought dangerous in modern thought" (Brian Martin). A University, Newman declared, "is not a convent; it is not a seminary; it is a place to fit men of the world for the world. We cannot possibly keep them from plunging into the world with all its ways and principles and maxims, when their time comes; but we can prepare them against what is inevitable; and it is not the way to learn to swim in troubled waters never to have gone into them."
The Idea of a University combines and refines two previously published sections: I. In Nine Discourses Delivered to the Catholics of Dublin, and II. In Occasional Lectures and Essays Addressed to the Catholic Members of the University. First published in 1852 as Discourses on University Education, Addressed to the Catholics of Dublin. It was not until 1873, with the addition of ten essays, that this collection acquired its more familiar title, The Idea of a University. "What is remarkable is that most of what Newman proposed and expounded was contrary to the views of the Catholic clerical establishment, but his ideas were promoted on behalf of the laity; as we have seen Newman was the champion of the laity, and nowhere more so than in his Idea of a University." (Martin). Newman's lengthy Dedication, "Hospes eram, et collegistis Me," (dated, "In Fest. Praesent. / B.M.V. / Nove 21, 1852") concludes: "These Discourses, offered to Our Lady and St. Philip on its rise, composed under its pressure, finished on the eve of its termination, are respectfully and affectionately inscribed By The Author." Newman's time at the University was not especially happy as he was drawn into political and ecclesiastical bickering and he left Dublin for good in 1859. "His immediate endeavors here—attempt to establish a Catholic University in Dublin—came to nothing; their ultimate influence, to more than most educationists realize" (Russell Kirk). All early editions have become scarce: this 1889 Longmans printing was the ninth edition overall. Blehl. John Henry Newman: A Bibliographical Catalogue of His Writings, A17a, A33h. Martin, John Henry Newman: His Life and Work. Kirk. The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot.