It is ironic to reflect that Newman explicitly said that he did not wish his life to be written and that during the last few years something like a dozen biographies of him have appeared, some of which indeed tell us nothing new. At last we have—at any rate as far as material is concerned—as full a biography as we can hope to get. This is Miss Meriol Trevor's two-volume work based on the unpublished material at the Birmingham Oratory. As one would expect, Miss Trevor tells her story very well, but her portrait of Newman is marred by a too sentimental approach to her subject, and this may lend credence to the view, which has been widely canvassed, that Newman is an enigmatic figure. This is extremely strange in view of James Anthony Froude's description of him as ‘the most transparent of men, and Newman's own assertion that it was most repugnant to his nature to conceal things. Father Dessain rightly repudiates the suspicion that there was anything in Newman himself to hide and has decided not to help perpetuate this notion of the mystery of Newman by publishing a selection of the letters rather than the voluminous correspondence in its completeness. Seldom indeed has a man been at more pains both to understand himself and to reveal the workings of his mind, and seldom has anyone had greater mastery of lucid expression to enable him to say what he meant.