1671 De Imitatione Christi (The Imitation of Christ), Thomas a Kempis. Provenance. Plantin Press.


A handsome Plantin Press edition of this seminal work by Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ. Well laid out, with clean and clear type, wide margins, and a delightful title page engraving. The historicity of the Plantin Press adds to the desirability of this edition, being one of the leading printers of the 16th century during a period The Imitation was very popular. This book also boasts provenance (see note below). Complete, in all four books (Libri IV).

About The Imitation of Christ -

"The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis is an important 15th century Christian devotional book, first composed in Latin ca. 1418–1427; 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'. " - Wikipedia

Provenance -

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.

I can't find a clear match for the Father Kearny, who owned the work before Judge O'Brien.

Physical Attributes -

Measures 15 x 8.5 x 3.5 cm. Leather, edges sprinkled red; spine with five ribs and title and gilt decoration. Pages - (xxiv), 439, index - xii, (2)

Condition -

See pictures. Joints and spine leather has cracks; chipping at top and bottom of spine (endbands still present). Shelf wear at edges. Ex libris of the judge O'Brien on the pastedown and the ticket of his bequest to the Jesuits; ex dono inscription of Father Kearny on flyleaf. Wormhole on free front endpaper and half title, but does not extend into title page. Title page has the "C", meaning catalogued, as written by the Jesuits and Father Kearny signed the bottom of the title page. Pages 380-384 bottom right corner missing, marginal only (text not affected). I don't see annotations.

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