New York: P. J. Kenedy and Sons, 1955. First American edition. Octavo, original brown cloth, original dust jacket. Early owner signature to free front endpaper, modest edge-wear to dust jacket. A nearly-fine copy. Item #31
"THE GOLDEN STRING IS CHRIST; HE IS THE CLUE TO THE CENTRE" First American edition of Bede Griffiths' memoirs of his spiritual awakening, published a year after the first British edition. Born Alan Richard Griffiths in 1906, Griffiths studied under C.S. Lewis at Oxford and was the dedicatee of Lewis's Surprised by Joy. He converted to Catholicism in 1931 and entered the Benedictines Prinknash Abbey the following year. The title of the book is taken from William Blake: "I give you the end of a golden string / Only wind it into a ball / It will lead you in at heaven's gate / Built in Jerusalem's wall." This American edition features the preferred dust jacket, illustrated with a beautiful portrait of Griffiths in the white habit of the Prinknash Benedictines (accompanied by a quote from John of the Cross: "I will lead thee by a way thou knowest not to the secret chamber of love"). The Golden String covers the period before his departure for India in 1955. Bede Griffiths devoted the rest of his life to exploring the mystical traditions of the East and attempting to reconcile them with Christianity. Approbations. Menendez, The Road to Rome, 62.