New York: Macmillan, 1937. First edition. Octavo, original black cloth lettered in white, original dust jacket. Bookplate removed from front endpaper of fine book, moderate wear to spine and rear panel of price-clipped dust jacket. An excellent copy. Item #1088
"DOES IT MATTER? GRACE IS EVERYWHERE" First American printing of the first English translation of George Bernanos's most famous novel, a literary and spiritual classic—complete in the now rare original dust jacket illustrated by Pierre Martinot. First published in France only a year earlier, the novel was awarded the Grand prix du roman de l'Académie française. An American study of Catholic Literary France (published in the same year as this edition) notes that Georges Bernanos "has again come into the limelight with his Journal d'un Curé de Campagne," and commends his work as worthy of "special mention" (Sr. Jerome Keeler). As a student Georges Bernanos had become involved with the Action Francaise, a movement militantly devoted to defending the orthodoxy of the Church and the royalist heritage of France. Bernanos developed "an intensity and spiritual focus almost without equal in all of French literature" (Robert Royal, A Deeper Vision). Written in the form of a diary, The Diary of a Country Priest tells the story of a young, sickly priest, who has just arrived in his first parish, a village in northern France, to struggle for the souls of his parishioners. The novel was "quickly recognized as both a literary and spiritual classic, the one novel by which Bernanos would always be remembered. It was also his most deeply personal work, forged out of his own faith and his constant concern for the intermingling of sanctity and mediocrity in the church" (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). Translated from the French by Pamela Morris. Royal, A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century. Ellsberg. All Saints: Daily Reflections on Saints, Prophets, and Witnesses for Our Time.