New York: Meridian Books, 1961. Second printing. 12mo., original blue cloth, original dust jacket. Book fine, gentle scuffing to the bright dust jacket, else fine. Item #476
"ANDREWES IS THE FIRST GREAT PREACHER OF THE ENGLISH CATHOLIC CHURCH" (T.S. ELIOT) Second printing—published a month after the first printing—of Lancelot Andrewes's devotional manual of prayer, a handsome modern edition of an enduring expression of Anglo-Catholic spirituality. Lancelot Andrews was an Anglican bishop and a noted Caroline Divine. Preces Privatae was composed as a polyglot of Latin, Greek and Hebrew, translated into English after Andrewes died in 1626 and first published in 1648. "Preces Privatae, sometimes anglicized to Private Devotions, is remarkable in that, although nearly sentence is drawn from some other author—either from the Scriptures or from some earlier devotional work—Andrewes has built the materials into an edifice of his own, like a chapel constructed of stones brought together from many places." (Frank N. Magill, Masterpieces of Christian Literature).
The advent of the Oxford Movement in 1833 sparked renewed interest in Andrewes and his writings. Andrewes was featured prominently in the voluminous Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology, published serially in the 1840s. Alexander Whyte's Lancelot Andrewes and His Private Devotions (1896) was followed by the definitive translation and critical edition of Private Devotions by F.E. Brightman, a liturgist and librarian at Pusey House (1903). This edition opens with Brightman's Preface and a lengthy Introduction in seven parts (and a brief Addenda). Brightman sees in Andrewes's guide to private prayer the English equivalent of Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual Exercises and Francis De Sales's Introduction to the Devout Life.
This edition balances Brightman's biographical and theological analysis with T.S. Eliot’s literary essay, "Lancelot Andrewes" (originally published in 1926), included in its entirety. Eliot introduces the reader to the age of Hooker and Andrewes, placing Andrewes above even John Donne (and second only to John Henry Newman) as an architect of the "via media" of the English Church: “The intellectual achievement and the prose style of Hooker and Andrews came to complete the structure of the English Church as the philosophy of the thirteenth century crowns the Catholic Church.” This edition is "A Living Age Book," published by Meridian Books and clad in an excellent example of the splendid mid-century dust jacket designed by Ernest Reich. Magill, Masterpieces of Christian Literature, 473.