Archive for January, 2008

Macmillan’s Sunday Library, 1873

January 10, 2008

In crown 8vo. cloth extra, Illustrated, price 4s 6d. each Volume; also kept in morocco and calf bindings at moderate prices, and in Ornamental Boxes containing Four Vols., 21 s. each.


The projectors of the SUNDAY LIBRARY feel that there is a want of books of a kind that will be welcome in many Households for reading on Sundays, and will be in accordance with earnest convictions as to the nature of the “Sabbath Day.”

Sunday should contain the theory, the collective view, of our work-day lives; and these work-days should be the Sunday in action. Our Sunday Books, therefore, ought to do more than afford abstract subjects of meditation; they should exercise a living power, by bringing us into direct contact with all that is true and noble in human nature and human life, and by shewing us the life of Christ as the central truth of humanity.

For Sunday reading, therefore, we need not only history, but history in its relation to Christianity; not only biography, but the lives of me-rt who have consciously promoted the Christian religion—Christian heroes in art, in science, in divinity, and in social action. The history of Christianity, permanent and progressive, is also the history of civilization, and from the growth of the latter we may be strengthened in the faith that the former will ultimately prevail throughout the whole world.

The Publishers have secured the co-operation of very eminent writers, a list of whom, with the works they undertake, is herewith given.

The Pupils of St. John the Divine
by Charlotte Mary Yonge

The author first gives a full sketch of the life and work of the Apostle himself, drawing the material from all the most trustworthy authorities, sacred and profane; then follow the lives of his immediate disciples, Ignatius, Quadratus, Polycarp, and others ; which are succeeded by the lives of many of their pupils. The author then proceeds to sketch from their foundation the history of the many churches planted or superintended by St. John and his pupils, both in the East and West. In the last chapter is given an account of the present aspect of the Churches of St. John,—the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in Revelations ; also those of Athens, of Nimes, of Lyons, and others in the West. Throughout the volume, much of early Church History is necessarily introduced, and details are given of the many persecutions to which Christianity was subjected during its struggling infancy. ” Young and old will be equally refreshed and taught by these pages, in which nothing is dull, and nothing is far-fetched.”—Churchman.

The Hermits.

In the Introduction to this volume, Mr. Kingsley shews that early hermit-life was a natural outcome of the corrupt condition of Roman society, ” which was no place for honest men,”— “where but to think was to be full of sorrow and leaden-eyed despair.” The hermits “were a school of philosophers who altered the whole current of human thought; their influence is being felt around us in many a puzzle—educational, social, andpolitical;” these lives afford a “key to many a lock, which just nmo refuses to be tampered with or burst open.” The volume contains the lives of some of the most remarkable early Egyptian, Syrian, Persian, and Western hermits. The lives are mostly translations from the original biographies ; ” the reader will thus be able to see the men as wholes, to judge of their merits and defects.”


Seekers after God.
By the Rev. F. W. FARRAR, M.A., F.R.S., Head Master of Marlborough College.

In this volume the author seeks to record the lives, and gives copious samples of the almost Christ-like utterances of, with perhaps the exception of Socrates, ” the best and holiest characters presented to us in the records of antiquity.” They are Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius, most appropriately called “Seekers after God” seeing that “amid infinite difficulties and surrounded by a corrupt society, they devoted themselves to the earnest search after those truths which might best make their lives ‘ beautiful before God.'” The reader will learn from this volume in what kind of atmosphere the influences of Christianity were forced to work. Many details are also given which afford an insight into Roman life and manners, the kind of education bestowed on Roman youth, and the characteristics of the chief systems of ancient philosophy. The volume contains portraits of Aurelius, Seneca, and Antoninus Pius. ” We can heartily recommend it as healthy in tone, instructive, interesting, mentally and spiritually stimulating and nutritious.”—Nonconformist.

England’s Antiphon.

This volume deals chiefly with the lyric or song-form of English religious poetry, other kinds, however, being not infrequently introduced. The author has sought to trace the course of our religious poetry from the 13th to the 19th centuries, from before Chaucer to Tennyson. He endeavours to accomplish his object by selecting the men who have produced the finest religious poetry, setting forth the circumstances in which they were placed, characterizing the men themselves, critically estimating their productions, and giving ample specimens of their best religions lyrics, andquotations from larger poems, illustrating the religious feeling of the poets or their times. Thus the volume, besides providing a concert of the sweetest and purest music, will be found to exhibit the beliefs held and aspirations cherished’ by many of the noblest, purest, and most richly endowed minds during the last 600 years. —”Dr. Macdonald has very successfully endeavoured to bring together in his little book a whole series of the sweet singers of England, and makes them raise, one after the other, their voices in praise of God.”—Guardian.

Great Christians of France: ST. Louis and CALVIN.

From among French Catholics, M. Guiwt has, in this volume, selected Louis, King of France in the ljfh century, and among Protestants,Calvin the Reformer in the 16th century, “as two earnest and illustrious representatives of the Christian faith and life, as well as of the loftiest thought and purest morality of their country and generation.” In setting forth with considerable fullness the lives of these prominent and representative Christian men, M. Guiwt necessarily introduces much of the political and religious history of the periods during which they lived. “A very interesting book” says the Guardian.

Christian Singers of Germany.

In this volume the authoress gives an account of the principal hymn-writers of Germany from the 9th to the 19th century, introducing ample (altogether about 120 translations) specimens from their best productions. In the translations, while the English is perfectly idiomatic and harmonious, the characteristic differences of the poems have been carefully imitated, and the general style and metre retained. The book is divided into chapters, the writers noticed and the hymns quoted in each chapter, being representative of an epoch in the religious life of Germany. In thus tracing the course of German hymnology the authoress is necessarily brought into contact with those great movements which have stirred the life of the people.”—”Miss Winkworth’s volume of this series is, according to our view, the choicest production of her pen.” —British Quarterly Review.

Apostles of Mediaeval Europe.
By the Rev. G. F. MACLEAR, D.D., Head Master of King’s College School, London.

In fact Introductory Chapters the author notices some of the chief characteristics of the mediaeval period itself; gives a graphic sketch of the devastated state of Europe at the beginning of that period, and an interesting account of the religions of the three great groups of vigorous barbarians—the Celts, the Teutons, and the Sclaves—who had, wave after wave, overflowed its surface. He then proceeds to sketch the lives and work of the chief of the courageous men who devoted themselves to the stupendous task of their conversion and civilization, during a period extending from the 5th to the l3th century; such as St. Patrick, St. Columba, St. Columbanus, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Boniface, St. Olaf, St. Cyril, Raymond Sull, and others. In narrating the lives of these men, many glimpses are given into the political, social, and religious life of Europe during the Middle Ages, and many interesting and instructive incidents are introduced. “Mr. Maclear will have done a great work if his admirable little volume shall help to break up the dense ignorance which is still prevailing among people at large.”—Literary Churchman.

Alfred the Great.
By THOMAS HUGHES, M.P., Author of “Tom Brown’s School Days.”

The time is come when we English can no longer stand by as interested spectators only, but in which every one of our institutions will be sifted with rigour, and will have to shew cause for its existence. … As a help in this search, this life of the typical English King is here offered.” After two Introductory Chapters, one on Kings and Kingship, and another depicting the condition of Wessex when Alfred became its ruler, the author proceeds to set forth the life and work of this great prince, shewing how he conducted himself in all the relations of life. In the last chapter the author shews the bearing which Christianity has on the kingship and government of the nations and people of the world in which we live. Besides other illustrations in the volume, a Map of England is prefixed, shewing its divisions about looo A.D., as well as at the present time. “Mr. Hughes has indeed written a good book, bright and readable we need hardly say, and of a very considerable historical value.”—Spectator.

Nations Around.
By Miss A. KEARY.

This volume contains many details concerning the social and political life, the religion, the superstitions, the literature, the architecture, the commerce, the industry, of the Nations around Palestine, an acquaintance with which is necessary in order to a clear and full understanding of the history of the Hebrew people. The authoress has brought to her aid all the most recent investigations into the early history of these nations, referring frequently to the fruitful excavations which have brought to light the ruins and hieroglyphic writings of many of their buried cities.  Miss Keary has skillfully availed herself of the opportunity to write a pleasing and instructive book.”—Guardian.

St. Anselm
By the Very Rev. R. W. CHURCH, M.A., Dean of St. Paul’s.

In this biography of St. Anselm, while the story of his life as a man, a Christian, a clergyman, and a politician, is told impartially and fully, much light is shed on the ecclesiastical and political history of the time during which he lived, and on the internal economy of the monastic establishments of the period. Of the worthiness of St. Anselm to have his life recorded, Mr. Church says, “It would not be easy to find one who so joined the largeness and daring of a powerful and inquiring intellect, with the graces and sweetness and unselfishness of the most loveable of friends, and with the fortitude, clear-sightedness, and dauntless firmness of a hero, forced into a hero’s career in spite of himself..” The author has drawn his materials from contemporary biographers and chroniclers, while at the same time he has consulted the best recent authors who have treated of the man and his time. ” It is a sketch by the hand of a master, with every line marked by taste, learning, and real apprehension of the subject.” — Pall Mall Gazette.


Francis of Assisi.

The life of this saint, the founder of the Franciscan order, and one of the most remarkable men of his time, illustrates some of the chief characteristics of the religious life of the Middle Ages. Mrs. Oliphant, in an Introduction, gives a slight sketch of the political and religious condition of Europe in the l3th century, in order to shew that the kind of life adopted by St. Francis was a natural result of the influences by which he was surrounded. In the subsequent biography much information is given concerning the missionary labours of the saint and his companions, as well as concerning the religious and monastic life of the time. Many graphic details are introduced from the saint’s contemporary biographers, which show forth the prevalent beliefs of the period ; and abundant samples are given of St. Francis’s mun sayings, as well as a few specimens of his simple tender hymns. ” We are grateful to Mrs. Oliphant for a book of much interest and pathetic beauty, a book which none can read without being the better for it.”—John Bull.


good day at the library

January 8, 2008

Checked out:

Boethius, Tractates and Consolation, Loeb Edition
A. W. Plumstead, The Wall and the Garden, selected Massachusetts Election Sermons, 1670-1775
Melville. Billy Budd, and other tales.
More American typology. Nighttime reading.

Julius R. Weinberg, Short History of Medieval Philosophy, 1964
A search for “Hume AND scholastics” turned up Weinberg’s The Novelty of Hume’s Philosophy
Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association > Vol. 38 (1964), pp. 17-35

…and this survey book looks like a gem of mid-20th century intellectual history. A few searches around and discovered

John W. Yolton’s Locke and the Way of Ideas, a Thoemmes Press’ Key Texts reprint from 1996. Originally from 1956. Yolton is also the author of a ‘Locke: Reference Guide’ and Way of Ideas book looks perfect for my new, and yet to burst, John Locke inquiries.

John Neville Figgis, The Divine Right of Kings, 1896. This is a very cute Harper Torchbook edition. From the cartoon-cover era of Harper Torchbooks which look like orange and pink 1965s skirts. Very Shea Stadium. This is from 1965. Might like to buy it as I would enjoy compiling a complete works of Figgis for the homestead. From the back cover “This is the method of ideas rather than men.”

Google Books is offering up other titles including Brotherhood of the Mystery which although having slightly noxious musty smell, has a weighty feel, a bar-bell like feel, quotes should be taken, and it should be lifted.

R. W. B. The American Adam, Innocence, Tragedy and Tradition in the Nineteenth Century, 1955.

Is there anything better than academics in the 1950s? Everything is so clear and every idea so intelligible that these guys (only guys) had spare time to work on style! Myth and symbol, nah, just classy gents doing what they do best, & giving us a dose of John Donne through Jame Joyces all in a single idea. Not sure how I missed this one. Pretty sure that it was an apex of Empire.


David Hackett Fisher, The Revolution of American Conservatism, 1965
Will probably regret returning this as I am sure it will be removed the from the library as soon I need to consult it again.

Janice Knight, Orthodoxies in Massachussetts, 1994
Never really got into this. The Introduction and first chapters were good, but the other sections a bit flowery. This is one of those books, not to its discredit, I read simply because I saw it referenced and wanted to figure out how it fits in as an updated version of the story of the Puritans as told by its Corporation.

Franz Brentano, On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle, 1975 translated by Rolf George

Another book I should probably buy. Virtually made a commentary of it, especially the chapters on the 4 senses of being in the Metaphysics. If I could I would just read this book, but unfortunately am neither Catholic nor German so I would eventually feel estranged myself. Good for before beer drinking. Should have checked the index of the book for Brentano’s usage of Aquinas in his explanation of Aristotle. But again, unfortunately, no latin and not Catholic. 😦