London and New York: Sheed & Ward, 1960. Later edition. Octavo, original black cloth, original dust jacket. Book fine, price-stickers to inner flap, smudging, small chip to spine of the dust jacket. Item #772
"LATE HAVE I LOVED THEE, O BEAUTY SO ANCIENT AND SO NEW; LATE HAVE I LOVED THEE!" Later edition of the Confessions of St. Augustine, translated by Frank Sheed, the president of Sheed & Ward. Augustine's spiritual autobiography is the ideal introduction to his life and thought: "The reader who has never met Augustine before ought to go first of all to the Confessions" (Thomas Merton). Augustine's love song to God established a venerable literary form which has continued to animate Western thought in both the Catholic and Protestant traditions down through the centuries. Augustine was the critical link in the development of Christian philosophy: "St. Augustine's Confessions not only summarizes the Christian thought of the ancient or patristic period, but also points ahead to the medieval period, and indeed to the whole subsequent development of Christian thought" (Frank Magill). This Sheed translation was first published in 1944. This edition includes the last three books (which depart from the autobiography of the first ten books to comment on the Creation) which were omitted from the 1942 first edition. Monica, Augustine's devoted mother, bore long witness to his spiritual journey and she is a constant presence until her death in Book IX. The relationship between Monica and Augustine was "deeply significant for Augustine's personality and life. The relations constitute a recurrent theme of the Confessions. It was she who persistently sought his conversion to Christianity...it was she who wept on the African shore as his ship departed for Europe, and who subsequently followed him there....it was she who...led him to break with his faithful mistress" (Magill). Sheed readily admitted to the challenge of translating The Confessions: "You will meet with examples on every page of the Confessions; and remember that you are reading only what a wretched translator could make of them in English: the Latin is immeasurably more striking. No philosopher ever made such phrases, and great words carry." The text is prefaced with a brief Foreword and the explanatory A Note on the Manichees. Magill, Masterpieces of Christian Literature. The dust jacket is graced with the stag emblem of Sheed and Ward's Hart Library (with "S &W" under the stag).