New York: Sheed & Ward, 1950. Three volumes. Octavo, original gilt black cloth, original dust jackets. A nearly-fine set. Item #825
"IN OMNIBUS GLORIFICETUR DEUS"
Complete three-volume set of Ronald Knox's collected translation of the Vulgate, in matching illustrated dust jackets—rarely encountered in such pristine condition.
Monsignor Knox's singular translation of the Douay-Rheims Bible was undertaken during the Second World War at the request of the Catholic Hierarchy of England and Wales. "For a hundred years or more the Douay version of the Bible, as amended by Challoner the official text of the Catholic Church in England, had been generally recognized as unsatisfactory" (Evelyn Waugh). Knox's translation was essentially a revision of the venerable Challoner translation of the Douay-Rheims from the eighteenth century. A "desire to cultivate culture through literary translation animated Knox's herculean efforts to translate the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into 'timeless English'…a labor of love which consumed the last years of his life" (Joseph Pearce, Literary Converts). These volumes were issued separately in 1944 (New Testament), 1948 and 1950 (Old Testament) in standard dust jackets. With the completion of the translation, the three volumes were re-issued (as a set) with new title pages, clad in matching dust jackets (with a uniform price). This set is a mixed edition: Volume I is a third printing, Volume II is a first printing, and Volume III is an eleventh printing. The first one-volume edition was published in 1955. The Knox Bible was later supplanted but enjoyed a sustained period of favor and influence in Catholic publishing, indicating the high regard for Knox among literary figures of the era as well as the hierarchy and laity.