Cambridge: At the University Press, 1934. Original black cloth (6 3/4 inches tall), gilt and blind-stamped spine and front board, original dust wrapper. Book fine, early owner signature, scarce original wrapper with loss of lower spine but unclipped and complete. An excellent copy. Item #1131
"MOST ENGLISHMEN ARE OUTSIDE THE PAPAL FOLD AND PRIDE THEMSELVES ON THEIR INSULARITY"
First edition of Frederick Brittain's study of the use of Latin in the English Church—complete in the scarce original dust wrapper and inscribed by the author for presentation in the year of publication: "Frederick Brittain / 17-8-1934."
This "episodic" essay on the Latin spoken in England is divided into 14 short sections and concludes with a brief Index. With a title page epigraph by Roger Ascham—the Elizabethan champion of the English vernacular: "Not for any public malice that I bear to Italy, which country I have always honored." Brittain, a longtime lecturer and librarian at Jesus College, Cambridge, counters the persistent belief that medieval Christendom boasted a "uniform pronunciation of Church Latin throughout the Middle Ages, until the Reformation—so often credited with destroying the marvelous unity of medieval Europe—came and swept it away." Brittain makes a distinction between the varied Italian and English pronunciations in the development of a localized, decidedly non-Roman, usage of Church Latin. The Italian influence of the "Roman" Catholic Church was scorned as the "Italian Mission" in England. The author describes the plainness and insularity of the old British "Garden of the Soul Catholics," in sharp contrast to the "romanising" Anglican clergy who had "seceded" to Rome during the Oxford Movement: "Conspicuous among the converts was F.W. Faber, who taught people to address the Virgin as 'dear mamma,' and criticised Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints for not giving enough prominence to miracles. Butler, he said, wrote like a Protestant." Brittain even goes so far as to describe a reverse Anglican influence on Roman Catholicism in several areas, including clerical dress, church furnishings, and sacred music in the cathedrals. Printed by W. Lewis, M.A. at the University Press. This copy is complete with the scarce original dust wrapper with the Cambridge University Press emblem on the front panel and a short list of other titles from Cambridge on the rear panel.