Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire: The Faith Press, 1973. First edition. Quarto (10 inches tall), original brown cloth, tan endpapers, original illustrated dust jacket. Neat early owner signature to front pastedown, gentle bumping to lower corners, excellent dust jacket with only lightest creasing and spotting. A near-fine copy. Item #592
"THE WAY OF CHRISTIAN LIVING LED BY THOSE ANGLO-CATHOLIC MONKS HAS GONE TO THE WIND" First edition of one of Peter F. Anson last books, chronicling the sweeping romanticism of the Anglican Benedictine restoration in the English Church. The revival begins in the 1850s (conveyed in Anson's engaging portraits of men like Father Ignatius of Jesus, Abbot Aelred Carlyle, and Father Michael Hopkins) unfolding against a backdrop of the Gothic Revival and the Oxford Movement, which led countless English Catholics in Communion with Canterbury and York to "go over" to Rome. The sun set in 1914, when twenty monks of the Benedictine brotherhood of Caldey Island (Anson among them) left the Church of England and converted to Rome. Anson eventually left the order in 1924 and began a new life as an author before coming full circle and returning to Caldey Island to retire.
Lovingly illustrated by Anson with 29 black-and-white quarto drawings and a splendid pictorial dust jacket. The title of these tales of a new golden age of Anglo-Catholic monasticism is derived from Isaiah, 58:12 (which is printed on the title page). The text is prefaced with Anson's dedication: "To Abbot James Wickstead and the Reformed Cistercian Monks on Caldey Island, New South Wales" and a brief Introduction (dated "Caldey Island, off Tenby, Pembrokeshire, South Wales, March 5, 1973"): "But the way of Christian living led by those Anglo-Catholic monks has gone with the wind, and none of those whom I met sixty-three years ago are now alive. Were they able to return to Caldey Island I fear they would be shocked by the religion the Reformed Cistercians, and dismiss it as Papist Protestantism!"