08 August 2019, The Tablet

A Passion for Truth

Word from the Cloisters

A Passion for Truth

IN THE SIXTIES a select group of journalists wanted to make a mark in Catholic media. Robert Nowell was one of them. While at Oxford he converted to Catholicism and met his future wife, Anne-Marie, another Catholic convert. After working as a subeditor at the Catholic Herald – he had an eagle eye for textual accuracy, and in his old age falling standards of spelling and grammar in the media brought out his cantankerous side – he moved to The Tablet as assistant editor to the formidable Douglas Woodruff from 1962 to 1967.

It was a remarkable collaboration because the two could not have been more different in their views. The Second Vatican Council was meeting in Rome, and while Woodruff had deep reservations about the reforms, Nowell welcomed them with enthusiasm.

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