Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Publishes Faith and History

Reinhold Niebuhr Timeline: Publishes Faith and History

Correspondence from W.H. Auden

Via Santa Lucia 22
Forio d'Ischia
Prov. di Napoli

August 17th [1949]

Dear Reinhold,

I ought to have written long ago to thank you for Faith and History which I have read with the greatest interest and pleasure. I hope you are now really getting a bit of a rest, and have not been frustrated by the heat. Our drought broke three days ago with a violent windstorm which by popular [unintelligible] always occurs when the Cardinal visits the island.

Just before that we had a big local Festa for San Vito (an adolescent wine-god). For once the Madonna stayed at home and only the male saints went visiting. The fireworks were at 9 p.m. so San Vito could see them before he was put to bed. Perhaps all these goings on are the reason why none of the children here play with toys. (What are the poor little protestant children to find in church?) Geoffrey Gorer (who enraged you so much about the [unintelligible]) has just been staying with us for a fortnight with the proofs of his new book about the Russians. The clue to their character and conduct seems to be the way the children are swaddled. He may come back and do a two year study of Fascism as a culture, about which we have started gleaning some points, e.g. only the girl children are given any responsibility and [unintelligible] is confined to [unintelligible]

I get a plane from Rome on Sept. 22nd and shall look forward to seeing you as soon as I get back I hope.

Lots of love to you lots as family

P.S. have had a lot of worry over a married couple who rented my [unintelligible] Island cottage and have gone mad together.

Reinhold Niebuhr Papers: Library of Congress, Manuscript Reading Room

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Paul Elie

is senior editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux and author of The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage.

Jean Bethke Elshtain

is an author and Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School.

Robin Lovin

is Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at the Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University, and the author of Reinhold Niebuhr and Christian Realism.