London: Adam & Charles Black, 1905. Limited edition. Quarto (10 3/4 inches tall), contemporary green morocco, elaborately gilt flat spine, gilt boards, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut, black ribbon marker. Light toning to spine, very faint wear to front joint, occasional light foxing, mainly to tissue guards, otherwise clean and bright. A near-fine copy. Item #1329
"WE HAVE ATTEMPTED TO PRESENT SOME ASPECTS OF ROME AS WE HAVE OURSELVES SEEN IT"
Limited edition—deluxe issue—of this illustrated history of Classical and Christian Rome. Finely bound by Sotheran's for the Gurney family of Norwich with their gilt armorial stamp and the bookplate of Samuel Gurney.
This illustrated work on Rome, its monuments, landscapes, its people and their customs, was authored by Mildred Anna Rosalie Tuker and Hope Malleson. Cambridge graduates and women's rights activists, Tuker and Malleson were the authors of the Handbook to Christian and Ecclesiastical Rome. Tuker travelled extensively to Italy and lived for many years in the capital. In a note to the reader, the authors state, "So much has been written about Rome and Roman subjects, good, bad and indifferent, that the task of avoiding as far as possible hackneyed ground is not an easy one." The book consists of 10 chapters: I. Rome, II. Roman Building and Decoration, III. The Roman Catacombs, IV. Roman Religion and Guilds, V. The Roman Campagna, VI. The Roman Menage, VII. The Roman People, VIII. Roman Princely Families. IX. Roman Religion, X. The Roman Question. With 70 color plates depicting Rome and its monuments—all reproductions of watercolors by Italian painter Alberto Pisa—with captioned tissue guards.
This is number 83 of 250 copies, signed by the publishers, and bound with an intricate gilt-tooled design of laurel branches, Roman aquila and "SPQR" motto, and with the armorial stamp of the Gurney family of Keswick Hall (Norwich), dated 1906. An influential family of English bankers and philanthropists, the Gurney's bank merged with Barclays in 1896. Samuel Gurney was a prominent Anglo-Catholic and the founder of the Society of SS. Peter and Paul, the publishing company founded to further the cause of Anglo-Papalism.
The Society of SS. Peter and Paul provocatively embraced all things Baroque in order "to revolutionize Anglican taste...only the baroque at its most luxuriant could express the assertion that the Church of England was not a survival of the second year of Edward VI but a living part of the Catholic Church of Italy, Spain, and Latin America." (Evelyn Waugh). A friend and neighbor of John Betjeman, Gurney received a mention in Betjeman's poem "Anglo-Catholic Congresses" ("has Sam Gurney poped?"). Gurney paid for the renovation of the medieval church at Compton Beauchamp along Baroque lines—the preferred style of this generation of Ritualists, which finds some of its most famous examples in Rome.