Friday, June 22, 2012



                                                When Herod, for an impious bride,
                                                      His eager lust would fain fulfil,
                                                John in that hour a martyr died,
                                                     Unschooled to serve a tyrant’s will.

                                                Nor less resolved, when Norman rage
                                                     The rights of holy Church gainsaid,
                                                That wanton fury to assuage
                                                     Thomas his glorious blood must shed.

                                                So, when a tyrant fiercer yet
                                                     His wedlock and his faith forswore,
                                                A second John his sentence met,
                                                     A second Thomas witness bore.

                                                Time-serving priests their aid might lend,
                                                     Smooth courtiers tremble at his sway;
                                                Two loyal hearts no force could bend
                                                     Their God, their conscience to betray.

                                                O love that burned when love grew cold,
                                                     O faith that shone when faith was dim,
                                                The Cross your Master bore of old
                                                     You bore to Calvary with him.

                                                Twin beacon-lights, serenely set
                                                     At God’s right hand for all the earth,
                                                Look down on England, nor forget
                                                     The thankless home that gave you birth;

                                                To freedom and to wisdom friends,
                                                     Look on a world unwisely free;
                                                To bear the cross our Master sends
                                                     How slow, how frail, how faint are we!

                                                To God, who crowns his saints above,
                                                     Be praise henceforth as heretofore,
                                                Who throned in perfect truth and love
                                                     Liveth and reigneth evermore.

                                                                                                R. A. KNOX
Westminster Hymnal (1939)

Monday, June 18, 2012


From James Chappel: "I've just completed a PhD in History at Columbia and will be taking a job as assistant professor at the University of Chicago in the Fall. My dissertation was on European Catholic intellectuals, and part of my preparatory work was preparing this bibliography of Knox, which I'm happy to share with the world. Most of the work was done decades ago by a woman named Patricia Cowan, but her work only exists in a few copies; primarily what I've done is transcribe, organize, and update her work."

This new bibliography will be of great interest to Knox scholars. May I speak as a representative of the world and thank Mr. Chappel for his hard work and suggest that from now on we refer to this document as 'The Chappel Bibliography'?
Here it is in PDF.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


The Knox Brothers is a charming biography of Ronald Knox and his three remarkable brothers, written by his niece, Penelope Fitzgerald. It's a fascinating, humorous and insightful look at their characters, family life and the age into which they were born and lived.

Fitzgerald was also a rather remarkable author; she wrote short stories, novels, articles and essays, all after the age of 58. Julian Barnes wrote this short biography of Fitzgerald, whom he considered to be the "best English novelist of her time."

For those unfamiliar with her works here are some suggestions for summer reading: