Ditchling, Sussex: Printed and Published by Douglas Pepler, 1918. Second edition. 16mo (5 1/2 inches tall), sewn in original printed wrappers, uncut. Curling to long bottom edges, partially unopened, interiors clean, several leaves crudely opened with marginal creasing and chipping but not affecting plates or text. Overall a near-fine copy. Item #1285
"WE SIT WITH PILATE ON THE THRONE / AND, WITH THE CROWD, THY NAME DISOWN"
Scarce second edition of The Way of the Cross—illustrated with Eric Gill's splendid engravings of the Stations of the Cross after his newly-created sculptures for Westminster Cathedral. An excellent copy of an ephemeral Gill title in the original engraved khaki wrapper.
Eric Gill converted to Catholicism in 1913—the same year he was approached by the architect-in-charge about sculpting the Stations of the Cross for London's nascent Catholic cathedral. "For the next four years Gill was principally engaged in carving the fourteen panels called Stations of the Cross for Westminster Cathedral, the work which put him definitely in the front rank of contemporary English sculptors" (Donald Attwater). Begun in 1914, Gill's designs for the limestone panels in the Cathedral were completed just in time for the dedication on Good Friday in the spring of 1918.
Prefaced by the Stabat Mater Dolorosa, these 14 wood-engravings (marking the "Progress of Our Lord Jesus Christ from the Judgement Hall to Calvary as traditionally venerated by the Catholic Church") are each captioned with the Adoramus Te ("We Adore Thee"). Additionally illustrated with Gill's engraved vignettes on the title page ("S.D.P. & Cross") and front wrapper. Printed a year after the 1917 first (and equally uncommon) edition by Gill's fellow convert, Hilary Douglas Clark Pepler in the lay Catholic crafts community at Ditchling, Sussex. "Pepler's Press, his personality, his talents as publicist and publisher were all-important to Gill's development as an engraver during the years 1914 to 1924" (Skelton). The current Pepler catalogue of books and prints (printed in Westminster and in Ditchling) is appended on the last two leaves. Approbations. Skelton. Eric Gill: The Engravings, Taylor & Sewell A23a, Evan Gill 268, Attwater. Eric Gill: Workman.