London: The Society of SS. Peter & Paul, 1916. First edition. Small octavo, disbound, conjugate frontispiece and title-page, retaining deckle-edges, each leaf measuring 7 3/8 inches tall. Original tissue-guard professionally removed, housed in a custom black double-window mat, measuring 9 1/2 by 12 1/2 inches. Fine. Item #634
"THEY SAILED FORTH IN GOD'S NAME THAT ON THE MORROW THEY WERE OUT OF SIGHT OF ANY LAND" Gorgeous frontispiece and title-page by depicting the embarking of Saint Brendan and his companions at the outset of their legendary voyage across the North Atlantic. Part of an uncommon suite of illustrations prepared by Martin Travers to accompany "S. Brendan The Voyager and His Mythic Quest," James Wilke's 1916 re-telling of the legends of Brendan's peregrination in search the Isle of the Blessed. Brendan was one of the early Irish monastic saints and one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Brendan is venerated in the Catholic, Anglican, and Orthodox traditions as the patron saint of mariners and sailors. The Feast of Saint Brendan is celebrated on May 16. The color-printed frontispiece, initialed by Travers in the lower right corner of the plate, is captioned: "AND THEN S. BRANDON BADE THE SHIPMAN TO WIND UP THE SAIL AND THEY SAILED FORTH IN GOD’S NAME THAT ON THE MORROW THEY WERE OUT OF SIGHT OF ANY LAND." S. Brendan the Voyager was published by The Society of SS. Peter and Paul, the Anglo-Catholic publishing house established in 1910 (on the premises of the Medici Society) for the original purpose of preparing liturgical works for the English Church. The SSPP provocatively embraced all things Baroque in order "to revolutionize Anglican taste...only the baroque at its most luxuriant could express the assertion that the Church of England was not a survival of the second year of Edward VI but a living part of the Catholic Church of Italy, Spain, and Latin America." (Evelyn Waugh). Martin Travers (along with W.M.R. Quick) was responsible for developing the SSPP's distinctive Anglo-papal aesthetic sense, exemplified here by the attached title page bearing the SSPP's lovely yellow-and-white colophon flanked by cherubs.