Longmans, Green and Co., 1955. First edition. Octavo, original orange cloth, original dust jacket. Gentle spotting to the text, slight lean to the spine, two short closed tears and mild toning to the spine of the original dust jacket. Item #394
"CATHOLICS NOW SAW THEIR OWN COUNTRY, THE COUNTRY OF THEIR BIRTH, TURNED INTO A RUTHLESS AND UNLOVING LAND" First edition in English of William Weston: The Autobiography of an Elizabethan. The Jesuit missionary William Weston landed secretly on the Suffolk coast in 1584. He was soon captured and endured seventeen years of imprisonment, including four years' confinement in the Tower of London. He was exiled in 1603 and eventually settled in Spain. William Weston was Longmans follow-up to the success of an earlier translation: John Gerard: The Autobiography of an Elizabethan (1951). Both accounts were translated from the Latin by Philip Caraman, the distinguished English Jesuit, and paired with introductory remarks by Graham Greene (Gerard) and Evelyn Waugh (Weston).
Waugh's short Foreword refers to the Gerard translation and complements Caraman's editorial skills in handling the stories of two different Jesuits. "Father Caraman who has already served John Gerard so well, now gives us a very different character in William Weston. Here the work of editing is of even greater importance for the gentle, self-effacing little narrative that forms the core of this book, tells us little of the hero."
Caraman adds a lengthy Introduction along with a brief Note to the Reader where he speaks of the organization of the book and his decision to place the notes at the end of each chapter rather than at the foot of each page. The Introduction mentions the advances in our understanding of psychology since the Victorian era and that "these stories illustrate in an intimate manner the mental agony endured by men and women who accepted the change of religion against their conscience or the damage done by persecution to the normal workings of men's minds."
The text is followed by six lettered appendices including: D. The Conduct of Fr. Weston at Wisbech, E. The Letters of Fr. Weston, F. Chronology of Fr. Weston's Career. William Weston features a lovely dust jacket and the text is illustrated with a portrait of Weston (from the English College at Valladolid) and 7 other illustrated plates. Printed at The Whitefriars Press and dedicated by Caraman "To Sir John and Lady McEwen of Marchmont." The American edition was published in the same year as An Autobiography from the Jesuit Underground.