London: John Philp, 1861. First edition. Small thin quarto (8 3/8 inches tall), original blindstamped purple cloth, pale yellow endpapers, all edges gilt. Blindstamp, Bindery ticket. Slight toning and spotting to boards, very gentle wear to spine ends and corners, occasional foxing to interiors. A nearly-fine copy. Item #788
"HE WHO HEARS NOT THE FOOTSTEPS OF GREAT SPIRITS, EVER ACCOMPANYING HIM IN ROME, IS DEAF INDEED"
First edition of the Italian musings of Nicholas Cardinal Wiseman—in a lovely decorative binding with the embossed arms of the Cardinal stamped inside the front board. Printed at the Chiswick Press.
Dr. Nicholas Wiseman was the Rector of the English College in Rome and the last Apostolic Vicar of the London District. After the return of the Hierarchy of England and Wales in 1850, Wiseman was made the first Archbishop of Westminster and created a Cardinal. Composed during the spring and summer of 1860 (while he was invalided in Italy by an extended illness) these poems and meditations speak to the Cardinal's flamboyant Ultramontanism, which had often been at odds with the old English Catholics. "If Pugin imagined Catholicism resurgent in the hallowed associations of Gothic ornamental ritual, Wiseman conceived it resurgent in a great prelate" (Owen Chadwick, The Victorian Church). Contents: Preface. I. Tusculum. Written in "Fabiola," at Monteporzio. To the English Students. Monteporzio, March 27, 1860, II. Antium. Lines left written in a Dictionary. Anzio, Ascension Week, 1860. III. Alba. On Paying Rent for the Villa at Castel Gandalfo "in Verses." To its Owner. Castel Gandalfo, July 28th, 1860. Lines on the Views of the Campagna and of the Lake of Albano, from Miss Plummer's Villa at Castel Gandalfo. Castel Gandalfo, July 30th, 1860. IV. Sallust's Gardens. I. All' Italia, II. Paraphrasis. V.B Diotallevi. III. Sonnet / To Italy. Cardinal Wiseman died in the winter of 1865 and was buried in the Catholic cemetery at Kensal Green. In 1907, the Cardinal's body was reinterred in Westminster Cathedral beneath a magnificent Gothic altar tomb. The text is red-ruled and decorated throughout with historiated initials and decorative head-and-tailpieces. Printed by Wittingham and Wilkins at the Chiswick Press and bound by Leighton Son and Hodge. A lovely volume.