Item #1277 The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede. Venerable Bede, Bede Jarrett.
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede
The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede

The Ecclesiastical History of the English People; By the Venerable Bede

London: Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1935. Octavo, original black cloth, gilt spine, red top edge, original dust jacket. Slight offsetting to endpapers, gentle foxing and toning single tape repair to verso of price-clipped jacket. An excellent copy. Item #1277

"AS WE READ THESE PAGES OF ST. BEDE, WE HAVE SET BEFORE US AS IN A PAGEANT OF HISTORY ONE OF THE CARDINAL STAGES IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE WEST" (BEDE JARRETT, O.P.)

Burns and Oates edition of the Venerable Bede's chronicle of England's conversion to Christianity—printed by the Shakespeare Head Press. Illustrated with a full-page map of "Bede's Britain" and three original woodcuts (re-engraved for this edition by John Farleigh).

Composed in Latin at the Benedictine monastery of Wearmouth and Jarrow and completed in 731, the Anglo-Saxon monk’s history "will probably continue to stand in the first rank of literary works because of its simple unaffected style, and its sure handling of the picturesque and the dramatic" (Frank N. Magill). Though Bede mentions the Irish monk Columba's founding of Iona in western Scotland (in 565), his sympathies are clearly more Roman than Celtic, and so it is Augustine of Canterbury who emerges as the central figure in the advent of the English Church. Gregory the Great was inspired to send Augustine to England, as Bede's famous anecdote relates, by the sight of captured Anglo-Saxons in a Roman slave market. Told that the fair-haired slaves were from the island of Britain, Gregory replied that the blond youths were "not Angles...but Angels."

Augustine's mission to England in 596 led to the conversion of King Elbert of Kent and spread across the island, largely overtaking the contemporary Celtic Church. The text for this edition is taken from the English translation by Thomas Stapleton as first printed in Louvain in 1565. After a "brilliant career at Oxford," Stapleton was ordained and became "one of the foremost scholars and theologians of his day." Stapleton left England after Elizabeth’s accession to the throne and spent time with Cardinal William Allen and the English Catholic college at Douai. Stapleton's status as a Catholic exile is reflected in his lengthy dedicatory letter to Queen Elizabeth (printed here with an engraved headpiece), imploring her to commit to the "restoring of the one catholic and Apostolical faith of Christendom, to the extirping of schism and heresy."

The text is preceded with a brief Preface by the editor ("Philip Hereford / March 17, 1935") and a longer Introduction by Bede Jarrett, O.P. "This new edition of Stapleton's translation will be welcomed by those who have hitherto missed in the English version the strength and rhythm of the Latin original." Jarrett concludes: "May the English people find in this noble testimony to their heroic ancestry an inspiration to fashion their land again by hard labour, deep culture, and a living faith 'into a home, well-tilled and wise.'"
Supplemented with an Index of Proper Names (and Glossary of Obsolete Words) and an Editor's Note, thanking the Jesuits of Farm Street for their copy of the original Stapleton edition and Bernard Newdigate of the Shakespeare Head Press. Printing and the Mind of Man (PMM 16), Magill. Masterpieces of Christian Literature. Approbations.

Price: $150.00

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