Edinburgh and London: T.N. Foulis, circa 1914. Original paper boards (6 1/2 inches tall) over cloth spine, gilt spine and front board, ribbon marker, illustrated endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. A nearly-fine copy. Item #1422
"SOFTLY AND GENTLY, DEAREST SWEET SOUL, / IN MY MOST LOVING ARMS I NOW ENFOLD THEE"
Lovely Foulis edition of the Dream of Gerontius—illustrated with eight miniature color plates by R.T. Rose and splendidly bound in bright, gilt-stamped paper boards.
First published in 1862, the Dream of Gerontius appeared long before John Henry Newman was made "Cardinal Newman" but the enduring popularity of the poem with the Catholic Literary Revival kept the book in print well into the twentieth century. Newman's "most ambitious poem, and arguably his finest, is the Dream of Gerontius, which presents the vision of a soul at the moment of death, and its conveyance by its guardian angel to the cleansing grace of purgatory. Although it is steeped in Catholic doctrine, itself something of a novelty in Victorian verse" (Joseph Pearce). The Dream of Gerontius has been compared with Paradise Lost but Newman's vision of the afterlife has more in common with Dante than Milton. The enduring popularity of the poem with the Catholic Literary Revival kept the book in print well into the twentieth century.
The color frontispiece, title page, and six additional illustrations (each with a captioned tissue-guard) were printed separately and tipped to thick charcoal paper. Bound with a concluding publisher's advertisement listing the Dream of Gerontius as no. IV. in The Foulis Books series (1910-1917) one of the numerous series printed by T.N. Foulis. "The physical characteristics of a typical Foulis book would include coloured buckram bindings, rose watermarked paper with rough cut edges, text printed in the elegant Auriol font, and illustrations in the form of tipped-in colour plates. Most titles were bound in "paper boards, which was actually wallpaper, dyed to Foulis' own specifications" and the more expensive titles were bound in a "a special jute buckram from Dundee or with fine quality vellum" (Ian Elfick and Paul Harris). Joseph Pearce. Catholic Literary Giants: A Field Guide to the Catholic Literary Revival; Ian Elfick & Paul Harris, T.N. Foulis: The History and Bibliography of an Edinburgh Publishing House.