1755 The Following of Christ (The Imitation of Christ), Thomas a Kempis, translator Richard Challoner. Original Boards, pages not trimmed.


An early English translation of The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis, still in its original boards with untrimmed pages (never bound), and with provenance (see note below). This translation was executed by the Roman Catholic Bishop Richard Challoner, and due to an English prohibition on Catholic printing, only his initials are given on the title page.

About The Imitation of Christ

"The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis is a 15th century Christian devotional book first composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life. The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read Christian devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Its popularity was immediate. Apart from the Bible, no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ. The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: 'Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life', 'Directives for the Interior Life', 'On Interior Consolation and 'On the Blessed Sacrament'. The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars." - Wikipedia


This book was in the care of the Milltown Park Jesuits until a Sotheby's sale in June of 2017. The book hails from the library of William O'Brien, the judge and bibliophile (most famous for presiding over the Phoenix Park murders in 1882). The Jesuits released a number of their books to auction stating that they'd seen very little use in their 100 years of holding them.

About the Book

Measures 14 x 8 x 2 cm. Original boards. Pages opened (cut) but not trimmed by a binder (deckled look). Pages - (1), xvi, 272, (1)


See pictures. Well worn boards, with much edge wear; corners of board are bumped. Book plate of William O'Brien and ticket of his bequest to the Jesuits on the pastedown. Title page has the "C", meaning catalogued; also John Tanswell has written on the title page. Deckled/cut edges (a binder never trimmed this book's pages, but the folded quires were cut open for reading) are dark with dust. "Finis" page has a dark spot. I don't find any writing in the text. No tears.

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