London: Charles Dolman, 1850. First edition. Octavo (7 3/8 inches tall). Original purple cloth with gilt spine and blind-stamped papal arms, coated yellow endpapers, uncut. Ex-library with bookplate and shelf number to front pastedown, boards largely toned to brown, scattered foxing, corners bumped, edges of the text block darkened, expertly rebacked with original spine laid down. Housed in a custom clamshell box. A near-fine copy. Item #484
PIO NONO AND ULTRAMONTANISM. Rare first English translation of Count Joseph de Maistre's Ultramontanist landmark, a ringing assertion of papal prerogatives in the face of the changes sweeping mid-century Europe. First published in France in 1819, Du Pape was a "best seller in its day" arguing "in favor of an infallible authoritarian papacy as indispensable to a conservative European political order." (Thomas Bokenkotter, A Concise History of the Catholic Church). De Maistre’s lengthy (xi-xxvii) Preliminary Discourse appears before the Contents page. The text consists of four sections: Book First. Of the Pope in His Relations with the Catholic Church, Book Second. The Pope in His Relations with Temporal Sovereignties, Book Third. The Pope in His Relations with Civilization and the Happiness of Nations, Book Fourth. The Pope in His Relations with Churches called Schismatical. Translated by Rev. Aeneas McD. Dawson with his Translator’s Preface. De Maistre’s sweeping manifesto defending the universal traditions of Christendom was a portrait of the papacy beset from all sides after the Congress of Vienna. De Maistre's argument for Ultramontanism "was simple: there can be no order in society without religion, no religion without Catholicism, no Catholicism without the papacy, no effective papacy without its having sovereign and absolute authority. DeMaistre was riding the wave of the future" (John W. O'Malley, A History of the Popes).
This first edition English appeared in Great Britain in 1850, the year of Universalis Ecclesiae, the papal bull by which Pio Nono recreated the Roman Catholic diocesan hierarchy in England. This copy is bound in the original publisher's cloth binding and retains the steel-engraved portrait of "His Holiness Pope Pius IX," produced by the lithography firm of Day & Son. The Pope was published by Charles Dolman during his mid-century peak as the book and magazine publisher to England's Catholics. Dolman emerged as the leading Catholic publisher in England after the reestablishment of the Hierarchy of England and Wales, publishing Fr. Daniel Rock's Church of Our Fathers, Kenelm Digby's Broad Stone of Honour, and John Lingard's History of England.