London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1925. Early printing. Large octavo (9 inches tall), original dark red cloth, original dust wrapper. Small Christmas inscription (dated "Xmas 1925") to upper blank flyleaf, spotting to edges and preliminary leaves, mild spine toning, short tears and creasing along top margins of rare original wrapper. Very good indeed. Item #987
"THE CHURCH IS JUSTIFIED, NOT BECAUSE HER CHILDREN DO NOT SIN, BUT BECAUSE THEY DO"
Early edition of this influential Chesterton— printed for Christmas in the same year as the first edition. Complete as issued, this is the earliest printing we've handled in the original dust wrapper.
Published shortly after Chesterton's long-anticipated conversion to Catholicism in 1923, the Everlasting Man goes beyond the autobiography of Orthodoxy to describe the larger spiritual journey of Western civilization. Chesterton illustrates the theological man of medieval Christendom, "the Whole Man" created in the image of God. The book was a formative influence on many writers in the Catholic Literary Revival including Ronald Knox, Graham Greene, C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Evelyn Waugh. "In that book all his random thoughts are concentrated and refined; all his aberrations made straight. It is a great, popular book, one of the really great books of the century...It met a temporary need and survives as a permanent monument" (Evelyn Waugh).
The book opens with a lengthy Introduction (The Plan of this Book): "the point of this book is, in other words, is that the next best thing to being really inside Christendom is to be really outside it." The text is divided in two sections: Part I. On the Creature Called Man, and II. On the Man Called Christ. A Conclusion: The Summary of this Book. Appendix I.: On Prehistoric Man, Appendix II.: On Authority and Accuracy. Third edition, with same price as first edition (12/6 net) printed on the dust wrapper spine. The Everlasting Man was popular enough to warrant three printings in 1925. First edition published on September 30 (3000 copies), second edition (October), third edition (December). Sullivan. G.K. Chesterton: A Bibliography, 61.