London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1911. Original illustrated paper boards (7 3/8 inches tall), white gilt cloth spine. Usual toning to spine, faint tanning to endpapers. A near-fine copy. Item #997
"MY VOICES! MY VOICES!...THEY HAVE NOT DECEIVED ME!" First illustrated edition of The Maid of Orleans—one of Robert Hugh Benson's finest collaborations with illustrator Gabriel Pippet. Robert Hugh Benson purchased a refuge in Hertfordshire called Hare House. Shane Leslie, in 'Cambridge Apostolate,' describes Benson's creation (with the assistance of Pippet) of a collaborative life at Hare House. Benson "designed a kind of religious Hostel for cranks of every religious and artistic tendency, for nothing less than the great Order of the Misunderstood. His associates in this enterprise were to live a semi-Carthusian existence, each writing or painting in his proper cell, and only meeting in the chapel or the central hall" (Shane Leslie, Memorials of Robert Hugh Benson). The drama consists of five scenes: I. The Courtyard of Joan's House at Domremy, II. A Court in Orleans, III. A Chapel in Rheims Cathedral, IV. A Room in Prison at Rouen, V. Market-Place at Rouen. Pippet illustrated the frontispiece (which also appears on the front board) and four full-page plates in addition to captioned black-and-white illustrations in the text. Long celebrated in literary and artistic circles, Joan of Arc was finally canonized in 1929, nearly twenty years after this book was published. "Among canonized saints she enjoys what is probably the unique distinction of having been previously condemned by the church and executed as a heretic. She thus may be legitimately claimed by not only as a patron of France, but of all those holy men and women who have been vilified in their own time in the hope of eventual vindication" (Robert Ellsberg).The initial leaf lists other Benson titles, including an "Acting Edition" of the Maid of Orleans (published in December 1910).