Seeing the light

Patricia Beer

  • Part of a Journey: An Autobiographical Journal 1977-1979 by Philip Toynbee
    Collins, 398 pp, £9.95, April 1981, ISBN 0 00 211696 0

‘I like the revivalist coup de foudre for its recognition that true revelation can instantly change a man, so that his sins simply fall away from him, to be replaced by present joy and future hope.’ Philip Toynbee introduces Part of a Journey with a Which-type survey of the various concepts, and consequent terminology, of religious conversion, at one point making it sound like the best china (‘ “Rebirth” should be kept for very special occasions’) and the next like an unpretentious hock (‘I’ve always liked “Amendment” for its modesty and dryness’).

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