Cambridge, Massachusetts: Society of Sant John the Evangelist, 1947. First edition. Tall thin octavo (9 3/8 inches tall), original gilt red cloth. Faint offsetting to endpapers, minor speckling to fore-edges of bright, sharp boards. A near-fine copy. Item #930
"UNTO MANY THIS SEEMETH AN HARD SPEECH, 'DENY THYSELF, TAKE UP THY CROSS, AND FOLLOW JESUS'" (THE IMITATION OF CHRIST) First edition of these studies of the fruits of sixteenth-century Spanish Mysticism by a sister of the Order of St. Augustine. Preceded by the author's dedication: "Soli Deo Honor, et Gloria" and "The Royal Way of the Cross" (a passage from the Imitation of Christ). The book is composed of seven sections: Saint Ignatius of Loyola (1491-1556), Blessed John of Avila (1500-1569), Saint Peter of Alcantara (1499-1562), Luis de Granada (1504-1588), Saint John of the Cross (1542-1591), Saint Teresa of Jesus 1515-1582), Luis de León (1527-1591). The biographies conclude with Sister Felicia's explanatory Author's Note and a Note on the Illustrations. Sister Felicia originally planned a larger and more ambitious work on the golden age of Spanish mysticism with these biographical sketches at the center. This work was intended to introduce Fray Luis de León, the lesser-known Augustinian poet and theologian, and "set Luis de León alongside some of his distinguished contemporaries, in the very great century, the sixteenth, during which he lived." The text is beautifully illustrated with a frontispiece and nine additional captioned plates tracing the Life of St. John of the Cross. The engravings, after Arteaga y Alfaro, were discovered by Sister Felicia when "a question was asked of the librarian in charge of the Department of Fine Arts of the Boston Athenaeum: 'Have you a portrait of Saint John of the Cross, or pictures connected with his life?' This was the beginning of the quest." Printed in Cambridge, Massachusetts for the Society of Sant John the Evangelist.