Item #1485 Absolute and Abitofhell; Being a Satire in the Manner of Mr. John Dryden on a newly-issued Work entitled Foundations. Ronald Knox, R A. K.
Absolute and Abitofhell; Being a Satire in the Manner of Mr. John Dryden on a newly-issued Work entitled Foundations

Absolute and Abitofhell; Being a Satire in the Manner of Mr. John Dryden on a newly-issued Work entitled Foundations

London: The Society of SS. Peter and Paul, 1915. Original paper wrappers (5 3/4 inches tall), staple-bound and printed in red and black. About Fine. Item #1485

"SEVEN MEN, IN VIEWS AND LEARNING NEAR ALLY'D / WHOM FORMS ALONE AND DOGMAS DID DIVIDE / THEIR DIFFERENCES SUNK, IN CONCLAVE MET / AND EACH HIS SEAL (WITH RESERVATIONS) SET"

First separate printing of Absolute and Abitofhell, Ronald Knox's playful poem satirizing a group of Oxford churchmen: "When suave Politeness, temp'ring bigot Zeal / Corrected, 'I believe,' to 'One does feel.'" Printed in red-and-black with an ornamental tailpiece in red, and published by the Society of SS. Peter and Paul as Fulham Books: 4.

Emulating the classical style of John Dryden's Absalom and Achitophel, Knox was responding to a book called Foundations: A statement of Christian belief in terms of modern thought (by seven Oxford men). Originally printed in Oxford Magazine, Knox's allegory "appeared in Michaelmas term 1912 when Ronald was newly ordained priest. It was an immediate success." The Oxford Magazine sold out two printings and, soon after, "a very elegant 'edition de luxe,' now a rarity, was issued by the Society of SS. Peter and Paul; it is still in print, delighting by its literary brilliance a generation of readers who have never opened Foundations" (Evelyn Waugh).

The footnotes reveal the identities of "Magdala" (Rev. J.M. Thompson), "Neapolis" (Rev. Hastings Rashdall), "Og" (Rev. William Temple), "Eliphaz" (Rev. R.G. Parsons), "Strato" (Rev. B.H. Streeter), "Abdiel" (Rev. N.E. Talbot), "Arcturus" (Rev. A.E.J. Rawlinson), "Jabbok" (Rev. Richard Brook), "Epigonus" (W.H. Moberly). "The victims took the poem in good part. Dr. William Temple, the future Archbishop, who appeared under the name of 'Og,' sent a post-card: 'Ta for puff. Og'" (Evelyn Waugh). Knox soon developed Absolute and Abitofhell into Some Loose Stones, "a serious refutation" of Certain Tendencies in Modern Theology Illustrated by Reference to the Book Called "Foundations." Evelyn Waugh. The Life of the Right Reverend Ronald Knox.

Price: $100.00

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