London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1953. First edition. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Near-fine book, bright dust jacket with mild edge-wear, faint toning and soiling, and two ink stamps to lower corner of the back panel, not affecting text. Very good indeed. Item #442
"ON THE MAJOR DOGMAS SUCH AS THE VIRGIN BIRTH AND THE INCARNATION, APART FROM HELL AND DAMNATION AND THE MIRACLES, THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND IS NOW OFFICIALLY FLEXIBLE, IF NOT VAGUE"
First edition of Nott's "attack" on the "pseudo-religious revival" in British arts and letters. "When William Empson returned from his Asian travels in 1952 to take up a professorship in English literature at Sheffield, he was shocked by the resurgent Christianity among the British intelligentsia, a calamity he attributed to the influence of T.S. Eliot's conversion and Lewis's BBC talks and apologetic books. Kathleen Nott, a prominent poet and critic, registered her dismay at this state of affairs in her 1953 book, The Emperor's Clothes." (Zaleski and Zaleski, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings). The copy on the back panel of the dust jacket describes the book: "Kathleen Nott is first a poet, next a novelist. But she was trained as a philosopher and, unlike Oliver Edwards, found that 'philosophy would keep breaking in.' Philosophy broke in especially when, in mounting indignation, she found the pundits, pulpiteers and 'wide boys' of the literary and Third Programme worlds encouraging a 'new philistinism' towards science and analytical logic and thereby inviting a return to the ignorance and cruelty of the medieval church." Dust jacket caricatures of (from upper left) Dorothy Sayers, T.S. Eliot, Graham Greene, and C.S. Lewis by Nicolas Bentley (the author is caricatured on the back panel of the jacket).