Mount Vernon: Peter Pauper Press, circa 1950. Octavo (10 inches tall), contemporary three-quarter crushed red morocco, colored endpapers, top edge gilt. Early owner signature, very modest toning to upper edges of boards, plates fine. An excellent copy. Item #996
"TURN US, O GOD OF HOSTS, SHOW US THY COUNTENANCE, AND WE SHALL BE WHOLE" Lovely Peter Pauper Press edition of Augustine's Confessions—illustrated by Valenti Angelo and bound in three-quarter morocco by Maurin. This spiritual autobiography is the ideal introduction to the life and thought of Augustine of Hippo: "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 edition was illustrated by Valenti Angelo (one of the many spiritual classics the artist illustrated for the Press) with a title page vignette, chapter opening headpieces, and 13 full-page plates. Prefaced by a brief biographical Note crediting E.B. Pusey's translation (itself based on an earlier English translation), first published in 1838 as part of the Tractarian Library of Fathers of the Catholic Church. This edition includes the last three books, a theological appendix supplementing the autobiographical chapters centered on the relationship between Augustine and St. 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, Masterpieces of Christian Literature).