John Inglesant: A Romance

Front Cover
Macmillan, 1884 - 445 pages
"Shorthouse (1834-1903) was born and died in Birmingham, the eldest son of Joseph Shorthouse and his wife, Mary Ann, both of whom belonged to the Society of Friends. Joseph had inherited a chemical works and at sixteen, his son went into this family business. He had, however, been much attracted to literary work, reading widely, and writing for the Friends' Essay Society. An epileptic attack in 1862 left him invalided, and with time and resources from his family business, he started to write a Philosophical Romance, in 1866, much influenced by Ruskin, the Pre-Raphaelites and his conception of seventeenth-century Anglicanism. He worked at this novel for ten years, finishing in 1876 but failing to generate any commercial enthusiasm. It lay dormant until 1880 and was published privately in Birmingham in that year. A copy was shown to Mrs. Humphry Ward who, considerably impressed, passed it to the publisher Alexander Macmillan. He was immediately keen to publish and it came out in a trade 2-decker in 1881, to a clamorous reception. It struck all the right notes for the times - romantic, sermonising, philosophical and devoid of humour, it delighted a wide audience including Thomas Henry Huxley and Philip Gosse, Cardinal Manning and Gladstone and Charlotte Yonge. The book acquired a cult status, the first novel of a mystic drawn from the Birmingham business-industrial class."--Abebooks website.

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Page 86 - Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it.
Page 165 - Did clap their bloody hands. He nothing common did or mean Upon that memorable scene, But with his keener eye The axe's edge did try; Nor called the gods, with vulgar spite, To vindicate his helpless right, But bowed his comely head Down, as upon a bed.
Page 82 - Lord for counsel and guidance in this, in itself, and to me so important affair, I felt a word sweetly arise in me, as if I had heard a voice, which said,
Page 442 - Aristotle, as interpreted by the schoolmen, is more to their mind. According to their reading of Aristotle, all his Ethics are subordinated to an end, and in such a system they see a weapon which they can turn to their own purpose of maintaining dogma, no matter at what sacrifice of the individual conscience or reason. This is what the Church of Rome has ever done. She has traded upon the highest instincts of humanity, upon its faith and love, its passionate remorse, its self-abnegation and denial,...
Page 103 - ... a saint. He was a sincere believer in a holy life, and strongly desirous of pursuing it : he endeavoured conscientiously to listen for the utterances of the Divine Voice ; and provided that Voice pointed out the path which his tastes and training had prepared him to expect, he would follow it even at a sacrifice to himself ; but he was not capable of a sacrifice of his tastes or of his training.
Page 275 - ... lay before me, and I chose the broad and easy path ; the cross was offered to me, and I drew back my hand ; the winnowing fan passed over the floor, and I was swept away with the chaff.
Page 232 - that I think we have much to learn from the ancients; for if we are to judge their instruments by the appearance they make in marble, there is not one that is comparable to our violins ; for they seem, as far as I can make out, all to have been played on either by the bare fingers or the plectrum, so that they could not add length to their notes, nor could they vary them by that insensible swelling and dying away of sound upon the same string which gives so wonderful a sweetness to our modern music....
Page 189 - ... congruity of their natures. All which is agreeable to that opinion of Plato, that some descend hither to declare the being and nature of the gods, and for the greater health, purity, and perfection of this lower world. I would fain believe, Mr. Inglesant," he continued, to the other's great surprise, "that you are one of those.

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