Publisher description for Holmes-Sheehan correspondence : letters of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and Canon Patrick Augustine Sheehan / edited by David H. Burton.


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Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., distinguished American jurist, and Patrick Augustine Sheehan, an Irish clerical-savant, enjoyed a warm and notable friendship based largely on their exchange of letters from 1903, when they first met in Ireland, until 1913, the year of Sheehan's death. This correspondence illuminates what is otherwise a largely hidden and little appreciated side of the mind and faith of Justince Holmes. Sheehan was able to draw from his friend an awareness and s ympathy for human frailty and its counterpoint, faith in a divine plan of earthly things, thoughts and feelings that surfaced in letters to other of his friends. The importance of this edition of the Holmes-Sheehan letters rests in the first instance on this discovery. But Canon Sheehan wsa no mere foil for Holmes as they discussed with equal insight issues as varied as the economic man and the age of faith, of classical works, including Dante's Divine Comedy and Pascal's Pensees. Holmes discovered in the Canon a man of the most profound faith who remained open and tolerant of the beliefs and non-beliefs of others. He is better understood because of his affection for Sheehan, and, no less telling, because of the Canon's admiration for him. Gary J. Aichele in Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.: Soldier, Scholar, Judge finds this set of letters "perhaps the most unusual" of any collection of Holmes correspondence published to date.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, -- 1841-1935 -- Correspondence.
Sheehan, Patrick Augustine, -- 1852-1913 -- Correspondence.
Judges -- United States -- Correspondence.
Catholic Church -- Ireland -- Clergy -- Correspondence.