1864 Fine Binding. L'Imitation de Jesus-Christ (The Imitation of Christ), Thomas a Kempis. Mame, Tours


A beautiful binding, with silk moire doublures, graces this 19th century French edition of Thomas a Kempis seminal Christian devotional, The Imitation of Christ. This book also boasts provenance (see note below).

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 12.5 x 8 x 3 cm. Fine binding, leather. Boards have fillet boarders with floret corner decorations. Spine has four raised spines with three compartment housing central floret, and fourth housing the title in gilt. Board edges have fillet applied, and turn-ins are rolled. Silk moire doublures with a joint. All edges gilt. Pages - (1), viii, 572, (1)


See pictures. Just a little shelf wear to boards. A little dust on top edge. Front silk moire doublure has a few marks. Book plate of William O'Brien and ticket of his bequest to the Jesuits on the verso of free front endpaper (over possible binder signature). Title page has the "C", meaning catalogued as applied by the Jesuits; also the Jesuits stamped the preface page. Tissues covering the illustration plates foxed, which left a few fox marks on the illustrations and facing pages.

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