Item #1513 The Seven Storey Mountain. Thomas Merton.

The Seven Storey Mountain

New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., [1966]. Octavo, original black cloth, gilt spine, original dust jacket. Slight wear to price-clipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #1513


Handsome edition of The Seven Storey Mountain—Thomas Merton's spiritual autobiography, which "became a best-seller because it was a religious book, not in spite of the fact" (Paul Elie).

"The Seven Storey Mountain was published on October 4, 1948. The occasion passed without acknowledgement in Merton's journal, as it did in the outside world. Three book clubs had opted to offer the book to their members; celebrity Catholics had sent words of praise—Fulton J. Sheen calling it a modern Confessions, Graham Green 'a book one reads with a pencil so as to make it one's own'—but the book did not begin to sell until Christmas-time. Then it began to sell strongly: 31,000 copies in December, 60,000 in January, with 10,000 sold on one singularly lively day. The Seven Storey Mointain was a best-seller, but the New York Times refused to list it as one, on the grounds that it was a religious book, like the Bible" (Paul Elie).

The text, divided into three parts, ends with the death of Merton's brother John Paul—eulogized with the poem ("For My Brother: Reported Missing in Action, 1943"). The Seven Storey Mountain "was in some respects a classic tale of conversion. And yet for many readers, encountering Merton's book in the postwar years, his story struck a very contemporary note. It fed a widespread hunger for spiritual values in a world poised between war and the empty promise of 'happy days'" (Robert Ellsberg). The book concludes with an epilogue ("Meditatio Pauperis in Solitudine"), also in three parts, and an Index. This edition was printed in 1966 by Harcourt, Brace & World, which only existed between 1960 and 1970. Approbations. Dell'Isola. Thomas Merton: A Bibliography, A7; Paul Elie. The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage; Robert Ellsberg. All Saints.

Price: $250.00

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