New York: Sheed & Ward, 1939. First edition. Octavo, original oatmeal cloth, original dust jacket. Light toning to spine and edges of book, staining to gutters of pastedowns, spine of bright dust jacket toned, spine ends and corners chipped and creased. Very good indeed. Item #177
"ENGLAND LOOKE UP, THY SOYLE IS STAIND WITH BLOOD / THOU HAST MADE MARTIRS MANY OF THINE OWN" First edition of Louise Imogen Guiney's anthology, over 25 years in the making, collecting two hundred years of English Catholic verse. Recusant Poets was originally projected as multi-volume edition (hence the roman numeral on the title page) before the American-born poet Guiney died at Oxford in 1920. The project, with valuable assistance by Edward O'Brien, was then guided to completion by Geoffrey Bliss, S.J. The term "Recusants"—derived from the Latin 'recusare' (to refuse or object)—was used to describe the Catholic families of Elizabethan and Jacobin Britain who dissented from the newly-established Church of England. These families, many of them rooted in the northern counties, clung to their Roman faith in the face of harsh restrictions and penalties, exile and death. The poems collected here range from devotional verse to lamentations over the rupture of the unity of Christendom. With Dedication in Latin: "PATRIBUS / FIDE ARTE SANGUINE / NOSTRIS / LABOR ET COR" and Grace Guiney's Preface, dated "Oxford, November 2nd, 1938." With an unsigned Introduction by Father Bliss: "Campion is sung by one who will follow him to Tyburn. Southwell and Walpole utter in English verse the devout beliefs they are soon to write more imperishably in their own blood." The back matter after the text includes: The Index of First Lines, The Glossary, and The Index of Names. A lovely copy, the first we have encountered complete with the scarce mottled pink dust jacket.