London: Macmillan, 1930. Later edition. 12 mo. (7 1/8 inches), contemporary full brown calf gilt, top edge gilt and gauffered, patterned endpapers, ribbon marker. Bookplate and owner signature. A nearly fine copy. Item #767
"THE KING—DEVOUT AND STATELY—ALONE BEFORE THE ALTAR, THE EXQUISITE MUSIC AND THE SINGING OF THE KING'S CHOIR, WHICH WAS NOT SURPASSED IN ROME ITSELF" Handsomely-bound Caravan Library edition of John Henry Shorthouse's popular first novel, an historical "romance" depicting the intrigues among the Anglican and Catholic "parties" during the reign of King Charles I. John Inglesant was first published by Macmillan in 1881. A contemporary review concluded, "The peculiar religious tone and temper which belonged to the finer and more poetical minds in the Tractarian movement, and which is still noticeable among us both within and without our Universities, finds here delicate and beautiful interpretation" (Saturday Review, July 9, 1881). Shorthouse's evocative portraits—of the community gathered around the Ferrar family at Little Gidding, of the court of King Charles the Martyr, of a Papal conclave in Rome—animated the Ritualists of the era, and influenced a subsequent generation of Anglo-Catholic converts, from Robert Hugh Benson and Ronald Knox to Christopher Dawson and T.S. Eliot. "Shortly after he came to London, he was present at the Chapel Royal, at Whitehall when the King took the sacrament...The sight impressed Johnny very much. The beautiful Chapel, the high altar on which candles were burning, the Bishops and the Dean of the Chapel in their copes, the brilliant crowd of courtiers, the King—devout and stately—alone before the altar, the exquisite music and the signing of the King's choir, which was not surpassed in Rome itself." The new edition included an exquisite frontispiece by Arthur Gaskin—signed and dated in the plate, "Arthur J. Gaskin, 1893"—and captioned: "Take this sword, Reverend Father, and let it lie upon the altar beneath the Christ himself, and I will make an offering for daily masses for my brother's soul." This copy, bound for Helen Kitchen D'Olier of Florence, is stamped in gilt at the base of the rear board ("E. Battagli - Firenze/Made in Italy").