London: Burns Oates, 1958. Octavo, original burgundy cloth, burgundy top edge, original dust jacket. About-fine. Item #578
"TO AND FRO AMID MY STRIVINGS AND RESIGNATIONS MOVE, IN MEMORY, THE BLACK-ROBED BENEDICTINE FATHERS WITH THEIR GRACIOUS SILENCES AND BUSY LIFE OF PRAYER" "New Edition" of A Spiritual Aeneid, the best edition of Ronald Knox's contemporary account of his celebrated entrance into the Roman Catholic Church. First published in 1918, A Spiritual Aeneid was written in the aftermath of Knox's conversion in September 1917. As a son of an Archbishop of Canterbury (and a sibling of three well-known brothers) Ronald Knox was the most famous convert since John Henry Newman to leave the Church of England and "go over to Rome" and his testament captivated the British establishment. Published shortly after his death in August 1957, the jacket for this edition features a photograph of a biretta-clad Monsignor Knox peering at the camera. Knox was famously ambivalent towards his testament in later years but he resisted the temptation to revise the text, preferring instead to update readers with "After 33 Years" (his preface for the previous edition of 1950). Knox stresses the contemporary nature of the book: "Its value is that of an authentic document, like the pad at your bed-side, villainously scribbled over in pencil, upon which you recorded, at the very moment waking, last night's dream." Evelyn Waugh, Knox's literary executor and biographer, provided an Introduction (styled as a "Foreword" on the jacket): "A Spiritual Aeneid is his account, ingeniously constructed on the Virgilian frame, of his transition from Anglo-Catholicism to Roman Catholicism. It was written immediately after his conversion and before his ordination as a priest and is, by contrast with many similar confessions, remarkably unemotional and full of charity and justice towards the Church of his upbringing." Knox never visited the United States and Waugh's introduction seems partly intended to present the Monsignor to a less-familiar American audience. Approbations. Menendez, The Road to Rome, 89. A bright, fresh copy of a comprehensive edition of Knox's classic testament.