New York: Sheed and Ward, 1955. First edition. Octavo, original pale green cloth, original dust jacket. Bookplate, faint tanning to blank flyleaves, gentle edge-wear, toning to spine, closed tear to price-clipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #1151
"IRELAND HAS MANY SAINTS — INDEED ALMOST A COUNTLESS NUMBER — AND THREE GREAT ONES. THE GREAT ONES ARE PATRICK, BRIGID AND COLUMCILLE"
First edition of Alice Curtayne's first children's book—the Lives of the Irish Saints, complete with charming illustrations by Johannes Troyer. In The Catholic Literary Revival, Calvert Alexander noted, "Among the lay writers of saints' lives Miss Curtayne holds a place of pre-eminence." Curtayne's "large and genuine talents would seem to destine her for a career as a literary critic or a novelist—a fine feeling for prose, firm but unobtrusive scholarship, a nature delicately attuned to the poetry, the drama, the humor of life and facility in its representation. The saints with her are first, the rest merely incidental...in this resides her claim to pre-eminence among other English authors who write only occasionally of the saints." With Curtayne's brief prefatory note: "even though those people really lived, the stories about them are just legends and you need not believe them in the same way that you believe the Gospel. Whether such things really happened or not, I am sure you will agree with me that the stories in this book are lovely, interesting and worth knowing." The text is decorated with simple black-and-white vignettes by Troyer. Alexander, The Catholic Literary Revival. Approbations.