Subjects Freshman Year Reading African American Studies African Studies American Studies Anthropology Art, Film, Music and Architecture Asian Studies Business and Economics Criminology Education Environmental Studies Foreign Language Instructional Materials Gender Studies History Irish Studies Jewish Studies Latin American & Caribbean Studies Law and Legal Studies Literature and Drama Literature in Spanish Media Issues, Journalism and Communication Middle East Studies Native American Studies Philosophy Political Science Psychology Reference Religion Russian and Eastern European Studies Science and Mathematics Sociology Study Aids

E-Newsletters: Click here to be notified of new titles in your field
Click here to request Desk/Exam copies
Freshman Year Reading
View Our Award Winners
Click here to view our Catalogs
Mortal Beauty, God's Grace

Mortal Beauty, God's Grace

Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!

Order Exam Copy
E-Mail this Page Print this Page
Add This - Mortal Beauty, God's Grace

Written by Gerard Manley HopkinsAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Gerard Manley Hopkins

  • Format: Trade Paperback, 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • On Sale: December 2, 2003
  • Price: $13.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-375-72566-1 (0-375-72566-0)
about this book

A Vintage Spiritual Classic

Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of English poetry’s most brilliant stylistic innovators, and one of the most distinguished poets of any age. However, during his lifetime he was known not as a poet but as a Jesuit priest, and his faith was essential to his work. His writings combine an intense feeling for nature with an ecstatic awareness of its divine origins, most remarkably expressed in his magnificent and highly original ‘sprung rhythm.’

This collection contains not only all of Hopkins’ significant poetry, but also selections from his journals, sermons, and letters, all chosen for their spiritual guidance and insight. Hopkins didn't allow the publication of most of his poems during his lifetime, so his genius was not appreciated until after his death. Now, more than a hundred years later, his words are still a source of inspiration and sheer infectious joy in the radiance of God’s creation.

“All things therefore are charged with God and, if we know how to touch them, give off sparks and take fire, yield drops and flow, ring and tell of him.” —Gerard Manley Hopkins

In the annals of spirituality, certain books stand out both for their historical importance and for their continued relevance. The Vintage Spiritual Classics series offers the greatest of these works in authoritative new editions, with specially commissioned essays by noted contemporary commentators. Filled with eloquence and fresh insight, encouragement and solace, Vintage Spiritual Classics are incomparable resources for all readers who seek a more substantive understanding of mankind’s relation to the divine.


About the Vintage Spiritual Classics by John F. Thornton and Susan B. Varenne, General Editors
Preface to the Vintage Spiritual Classics Edition by Brad Leithauser
Chronology of the life of Gerard Manley Hopkins


Heaven-Haven (a nun takes the veil)
The Habit of Perfection
Nondum “Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself.”
(Isaiah 45:15)
Oratio Patris Condren: O Jesu vivens in Maria
S. Thomae Aquinatis: Rhythmus ad SS. Sacramentum
The Wreck of the Deutschland (Dec. 6, 7, 1875)
God’s Grandeur
The Starlight Night
The Sea and the Skylark
“As kingfishers catch fire”
The Windhover: to Christ our Lord
Pied Beauty
The Caged Skylark
Hurrahing in Harvest
The Lantern out of Doors
The Loss of the Eurydice (foundered March 24, 1878)
Duns Scotus’s Oxford
Henry Purcell
The Bugler’s First Communion
Binsey Poplars (felled 1879)
Felix Randal
Spring and Fall: to a Young Child
The Leaden Echo and the Golden Echo (Maiden’s song from St. Winefred’s Well)
The Blessed Virgin compared to the Air we Breathe
“I wake and feel”
“No worst”
To what serves Mortal Beauty?
(Carrion Comfort)
(The Soldier)
“Thee, God, I come from”
“My own heart”
Spelt from Sibyl’s Leaves
Harry Ploughman
That Nature is a Heraclitean Fire and of the comfort of the Resurrection
In honour of St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
Justus quidem tu es, Domine


[Oxford, 1863]
Flick, fillip, flip, fleck, flake.

January 23, 1866
For Lent. No pudding on Sundays.

July 17, 1866
“. . . the impossibility of staying in the Church of England”

August 22, 1867
“Bright.–Walked to Finchley and turned down a lane
to a field where I sketched an appletree”

July 11, 1868
Holiday in Switzerland

March 12, 1870
“A fine sunset: the higher sky dead clear blue”

May 12, 1870
“One day when the bluebells were in bloom”

“The spring weather began with March”

February 23, 1872
“A lunar halo: I looked at it from the upstairs library

February 24, 1873
“In the snow flat-topped hillocks and shoulders outlined
with wavy edges”

October 15, 1866
To the Rev. Dr. John H. Newman (on his conversion)

October 16, 1866
To his father (on his conversion)

August 21, 1877
To Robert Bridges (on sprung rhythm)

May 30, 1878
To Robert Bridges (on how to read “The Loss of the

October 25, 1879
To Robert Bridges (on different kinds of beauty)

October 12, 1881
To R. W. Dixon (on the sonnet and on the stages of
becoming a Jesuit)

October 29, 1881
To R. W. Dixon (on his vocation and on obedience)

December 1, 1881
To R. W. Dixon (on the relationship between
dedication to God’s service and literary matters)

February 3, 1883
To Robert Bridges (on Christ’s “chastity of mind”)

March 7, 1884
To Robert Bridges (on being in Dublin)

June 4, 1886
To Coventry Patmore (on the values of English civilization)

May 8, 1889
To his mother (“My fever is a sort of typhoid”)

Poetic Diction (an essay written for the Master of Balliol)

February 9, 1868
“All Words Mean Either Things or Relations of Things”

c. 1883
Author’s Preface (written for the manuscript book of his poems kept by Robert Bridges)

Sunday, August 17, 1879
Cure of the Deaf and Dumb Man (Mark 7:31—37)

Sunday, November 9, 1879
On the Healing of Jairus’ Daughter and the Woman with the Issue of Blood (Matt. 9:18—26; Mark 5:22; Luke 8:41)

Sunday, November 23, 1879
On Jesus Christ as Our Hero (Luke 2:33)

Sunday, December 14, 1879
“Rejoice in the Lord always” (Phil 4:4, 5)

Sunday, April 25, 1880
The Paraclete (John 16:5—14)

Monday, October 25, 1880
On Divine Providence and the Guardian Angels

First Principle and Foundation, from the Spiritual Exercises (“Man was created to praise, reverence and serve God Our Lord, and by so doing save his soul. . . .”)

On Principium sive Fundamentum (On Creation)