New York: Sheed & Ward, 1954. First edition. Octavo, original sewn gray cloth, illustrated endpapers, uncut, original dust jacket. Faint tanning to endpapers, gentle toning and edge-wear to clean, unclipped dust jacket. A near-fine copy. Item #728
THE LIGHTER SIDE OF CLOISTERED LIFE
First edition of Brother Choleric's first collection of illustrations satirizing religious life in community. Brother Choleric was the nom-de-plume of the noted Benedictine writer and artist, Dom Hubert van Zeller, monk of Downside Abbey. Dom van Zeller's Brother Choleric peeks inside the cloister to capture glimpses of nuns and monks in unguarded moments. These are men and women observing vows under the Holy Rule but still having to contend with the modern world—and with each other. Illustrated throughout with captioned caricatures, the book is divided into two sections. Part I: Nuts in the Nunnery, and Part II: Muffins with the Monks. Cracks in the Cloister was popular and Dom van Zeller responded with several other Brother Choleric collections: Further Cracks in Fabulous Cloisters (1957), Last Cracks in Legendary Cloisters (1960), Posthumous Cracks in the Cloisters (1962), and Cracks in the Curia: Brother Choleric Rides Again (1972).