Cambridge: At The University Press, 1952. First edition. Octavo, original red cloth, original dust jacket. Bookseller's ticket, bookplate and early owner signature, a fine book in a clipped dust jacket with faint toning, spotting and tape-repairs to the verso. A handsome copy. Item #1032
"DON'T YOU WORRY ABOUT BOOKS AND KNOWLEDGE BUT ABOUT GODLY WORKS, FOR KNOWLEDGE PUFFS A MAN UP BUT CHARITY IS EDIFYING" (S. FRANCIS) First edition printing of J.R.H. Moorman's Birkbeck Lectures in Ecclesiastical History tracing the story of the Franciscans in medieval Cambridge. The Order of Friars Minor and the University of Cambridge are contemporaries. Both trace their origins to the year 1209—shortly before the beginning of the Franciscan mission to England. "S. Francis was still alive when, on September 10th, 1224, a party of nine of his disciples landed at Dover and set out to establish the Order in England. They appear to have been men after S. Francis' own heart, simple friars devoted to poverty, simplicity and humility." The author's brief Preface ("John R.H. Moorman / Chichester / 1950") views the lectures (and subsequent book) as a long-desired counterpart to Dr. A.G. Little's Grey Friars in Oxford (1892) and a correction to a glaring oversight. Moorman describes Francis' insistence on the ideal of absolute poverty as a source of tension within the Order during his lifetime. The persistence of Francis' anti-intellectualism continued to set the Order apart and led to often strained relations with the University over the role of learning and scholarship. Illustrated with four plates and five maps & plans, the contents include: I. The House of Benjamin the Jew: 1225-1267, II. The Friars and the University: 1225-1306, III. The New House, IV. Domestic Affairs, V. Some Activities of the Friars, VI. The Franciscan School at Cambridge in the Fourteenth Century, VII. The Latter Years, VIII. The Dissolution and After. The texts of the lectures are supplemented with an extensive series of helpful Appendices (lettered A - H) and an Index.