London: Longmans, Green and Co. 1935. First edition. Octavo, original red cloth, red top edge, original dust jacket. Near-fine book with mild soiling and edge-wear to price-clipped dust jacket. Item #294
"MARTYRDOM WAS IN THE AIR OF DOUAI" First edition of Waugh's novelistic biography of the Elizabethan Jesuit, doomed from the moment he landed at Dover in 1580. The book is divided into four sections: The Scholar; The Priest; The Hero; The Martyr. With the appendix reprinting "Campion's Brag," the priest's declaration of purpose: "The expense is reckoned, the enterprise is begun; it is of God, it cannot be withstood. So the faith was planted: so it must be restored."
"On December 1, 1581, Campion was executed at the gallows at Tyburn. Among the witnesses was one Henry Walpole, a student from Cambridge. As Campion was being drawn and quartered--part of the ghoulish ritual of execution--some of his blood apparently splashed on Walpole's coat. This had such a grave impact on the young man that his life was forever changed. He too crossed the Channel, became a Jesuit, and returned to England to face the identical fate as the martyr Edmund Campion." (Robert Ellsberg, All Saints). Edmund Campion was one of the Forty Martyrs of England and Wales, canonized by Pope Paul VI in October, 1970.
Dedicated by Waugh "To Martin D'Arcy, S.J/Master of Campion Hall, Oxford." It was Father D'Arcy who had received Waugh into the Church in 1930. Waugh donated all the royalties from the book to Campion Hall, the Jesuit private hall at Oxford University. Winner of the 1936 Hawthornden Prize, given annually for the best work of literature by a British author under the age of forty-one. Ahearn 012b. An excellent first edition copy of a tricky book.