New Haven: Yale University Press, 1931. First edition. Quarto, original green cloth. A crisp, sharp-cornered copy in near-fine condition. Item #404
First edition of this series of lectures on the Golden Age of Celtic Christianity by the great Harvard medievalist. Arthur Kingsley Porter was the William Dore Boardman Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard University. These five lectures, delivered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the winter of 1930, were: I. Saint Patrick and the Pagans, II. Columcille, III. The Great Missionaries, IV. The Fall of the Celtic Church, V. The Vikings in Ireland. The text of the lectures is supplemented with 276 captioned plates printed on glossy stock and bound together after the Index. Porter describes a "Golden Age" of the Celtic Church and the distinctive culture it created: "In the tenth century Ireland produced a sculpture which is not only immeasurably in advance of all the rest of Europe, but is among the remarkable manifestations of mediaeval art." The Crosses and Culture of Ireland would be the last book Porter published before he resigned from Harvard and left the United States for Ireland only to disappear in July, 1933. While at his Bofin Island retreat, Porter disappeared, and was presumed drowned, although his body was never found. With Porter's brief Preface, dated "A.K.P./Harvard University/Cambridge, Massachusetts/January, 1931." Without the rare dust jacket.