Ditchling, Sussex: S. Dominic's Press, 1923. Limited editon. Octavo (7 1/4 inches tall), marbled paper boards over black cloth spine, printed paper label, uncut. Fine. Item #1042
"THE CHURCH ALONE HAS SUCCEDED IN MOULDING THE PEOPLE UNTO BEAUTY" First English translation of Jacques Maritain's meditations on the nature of Art and Poetry—with an Introduction and two illustrations by Eric Gill. Maritain's description of a "Scholastic system of aesthetics" (Robert Royal) was translated from the original French by Fr. John O'Connor, here with an Introduction by Eric Gill, praising "the great merit of this book. Its aesthetic is based four-square upon the Rock of a philosophy wholly philosophic, wholly Christian, and therefore wholly Catholic." Gill's illustrations—S. Michael and the Dragon and Animals All—appear on the title page and colophon, captioned: "Who Were the First to Cry Nowell Animals All as it Befell." One of only 400 copies printed and published at S. Dominic's Press with a series of 12 lettered appendices (A. Artist and Craftsman—M. Conflicts between Art and Prudence). The final appendix concludes: "It were devoutly to be wished that the Catholics of our day should bear in mind that the Church alone has succeeded in molding the people unto beauty, at the same time protecting them from the 'deprivation' which Plato and Jean Jacques Rousseau lay at the doors of Art and Poetry." The contents leaf is bound in at the rear in front of the colophon. An excellent copy of perhaps the most important book from S. Dominic's Press. Evan Gill: Bibliography of Eric Gill, 85; Royal. A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.