Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Seek and Ye Shall Find

It will come as no surprise that I enjoy secondhand-bookhunting; in Adelaide for example, in between my church-frequenting, I obtained a number of pleasing items, such as Strong's Search the Solar System, which I have been curious to read for decades.

But having come back to Launceston, to-day I hit the jackpot: not just a book I've been toying with buying for ages (Homo Ludens by Huizinga), but above all three real finds - 
  • firstly, a small (13.5 by 8.5 cm) edition of the August volume of Butler's Lives of the Saints, but a real edition thereof, complete with lengthy footnotes and latin quotations, not some modern mutilation, for only $10; 
  • secondly, still better, a 1904 edition of Hilarius Dale's Ceremonial according to the Roman Rite (so wonderfully mocked by Fortescue for its mistakes, such as the following instruction for the entry into church on Palm Sunday: "the Subdeacon turns the face of the Cross towards the door, which he strikes with his foot" - of course, the foot of the processional cross is what Baldeschi, his source, meant), which was for sale at $10 but was so obviously worth more I gave the man $20 instead; 
  • and last and best, for an absurdly low $65, a book I never thought to see in the original, Ward's controversial Ideal of a Christian Church, second edition of December 1844, published as its Preface relates "because the recent proceedings at Oxford necessitate the immediate appearance of a Second Edition", alluding to what had then been set in motion and soon came to pass - the University condemning the book in early 1845, and stripping Ward of his degrees; famously, he had the last laugh, by announcing, in The Times, his conversion to Catholicism and his engagement on the same day!  (From him descended Maisie Ward, who married Frank Sheed and together with him ran the Catholic publishers Sheed & Ward.)

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