Here is the latest anthology from Christopher Howse - a sequel to his hugely successful books Best Sermons Ever and Best Spiritual Reading Ever. The book contains over eighty extracts, in prose and verse, from spiritual writers of a Christian background in the English language tradition. By this is meant British and American authors or classical authors whose writing were adopted by that tradition. The extracts are varied with shorter prayers and poems, as in Christopher Howse's previous books.
Elizabeth Goudge published the most celebrated book of comfort to date, but since then thirty years have passed. It is an area in which women writers have been particularly strong, and in this new book women writers feature prominently. Emily Dickinson, Jane Austen, Teresa of Avila, and Catherine of Sienna to mention a few.
Comfort is a rich concept and should not be taken as a simple thing. It is not all baa-lambs and daffodils and is sometimes at its most stirring when the outlook is black.
Mr. Howse opens his inspiring new collection with a brilliant introduction in which he shows the origin of the word comfort and how its true meaning has been traduced in common usage. Here is a bracing book for a generation that thinks that Prozac is the panacea for most ills.