Summa minutiae

A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought. — Lord Peter Wimsey

On the prose style of St John Fisher

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Here’s J. S. Phillimore on the prose style of St John Fisher’s sermons:

As a book of devotion it certainly escapes the commonest fault in that kind, the sin of sweetishness or false unction. The reason why this so often defaces books of devotion is that they are taken from foreign originals with too little respect for idiom. Much sentiment is good and pleasant to the native palate in French or Italian, which, done into English, will estrange, offend and even scandalize an English reader. The literary charm, the raciness, the solidity and sincerity of Fisher’s English give a most engaging address to these printed missionaries. Reading and rereading these proofs I find him, in my own experience, extraordinarily satisfying and uncloying. Such sweetness without sentimentality, such mastery in tempering hope and fear together, rebuke and consolation; in a word, such a man, and such a Saint.