Triumph of Catholic book production
BOOK OF THE KINGDOM, edited by Rev. Leonard Boase. SJ., Assistant Editor : Mabel Quinn. 3 vols. (Virtue and Company, 53 Cannon Street, E.C.4, 10' gns.). THE FIRST impression one gets of this work is that of external elegance. There are three large quarto volumes of beautiful appearance, in a closeback binding of cream colour
with artistic grain and " blind tooling," and bearing in red the Christian symbol of the Lamb. (The approximate size of the volume is 10 inches by 7).
Upon opening a volume you realise the excellence of the binding -the technical test of which is whether a book remains flat when opened anywhere; as it should, and as these volumes do. When you glance through the volumes you realise the sustained excellence of book production evidenced by the large, clear type (11 point), the general lay-out. the line drawings, the colour printing, and the blackand-white photographic plates.
In the "Book of The Kingdom" no effort has been spared in order to produce a beautiful book as a book. in the same artistic tradition as the Catholic Bible and the Missal issued by the same publishers.
High standard BUT the contents of a hook is " incomparably more important; and a study of the contents of these volumes soon discloses the fact that it is of the same high standard as the production.
The information is vast and varied, the presentation original and fascinating, assembled under the skilful editorship of Fr. Leonard Boase, Si., M.A., and the Assistant Editor, Mabel Quinn. There are six contributors covering the three volumes. and seven illustrators.
The work is, in fact. a miniature library and an education in itself, combining Catholic doctrine, erclesiology, history, an art gallery. and general knowledge in one. Even in a moderately long review it is only possible to indicate the wide range and character. These are outlined by the Editor in his preface in Volume I!
Kingdom of God
"THE Kingdom is the Kingdom
A of God. This hook is a picture in words (with drawings. paintings and photographs to help), showing how the. Kingdom was founded, and how it is being builtlip.
" The first volume tells the story of the Coming of the King. The King is Jesus Christ, Son of God. His coming was the Incarnation . foretold and prepared for mainly through the special history of one chosen group of men, the
jew""sTh. e second volume tells of the resurrection of Christ from the dead and of the Founding of the Church, for the Church is the Kingdom of God . . .
" The third volume deals with the Church as it is today, taking up the story of the Reformation, showing how the Church has been influenced by such things as the Renaissance of Learning and the Scientific Movement, and explaining its structure and organisation and its position in the world of the twentieth century."
Myriad sources INTOINTO this wide framework is a wealth of knowledge from a myriad sources doctrine. Scripture. history. and art-a total treasury which can truly be called tremendous. To give an idea of the scope and variety. here are a few items taken almost at random: The ancient pagan world (including, e.g., the hanging gardens of Babylon and the pyramids); how Holy Scripture was written; the stars, the planets, space travel; Cribs; the Roman Empire; friends and enemies of Jesus; animals, birds and insects of the Bible (from Vol. 1).
St. Paul's journeys; the early martyrs; the catacombs; the great persecutions; the great Councils; monks; the friars; St. Patrick; Gothic cathedrals; Christian painting (from Vol. II).
Printing; the English martyrs; the old monasteries of England; the Church and science; how a Pope is elected; how a saint is canonised; the education of a priest; Catholic education in England; shrines and pilgrimages (from Vol. 111). But these arc some of the main headings; under them and many others is included an immense amount of
Illustrations VOLUME includes 16 colour VOLUME 5 Bible stories in pic tures, 56 black-and-white reproductions of religious masterpieces, and the Stations of the Cross with the singularly impressive illustrations by Louis Hendrix. Volume 11 has 16• colour plates, 4 5On-ice in pictures, the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady (with coloured pictures), 65 black-and-white reproductions of religious masterpieces. Volume III has 18 colour plates. 7 monochrome plates of modern art and 17 pages of monochrome plates of modern church architecture, 24 black-and-white reproductions of religious masterpieces; the
name of the artist and the location of the picture being given in each
casTehe three volumes include 35 maps, and between them cover some 1.270 pages. Volume HI has a general index. On many pages of each volume there are also delightful line drawings.
'Uncle David' THE introduction of Alan's "Uncle David"-"a priest and a great scholar and traveller"and of Fr. Samson. as story teller and teacher, will give several parts of the work a special appeal to young folk, who will certainly delight in the pictures and stories throughout; grown-up,s. of every grade will find fresh knowledge in a most entertaining form; and anyone who does not add considerably to his or her knowledge will have to be very scholarly indeed.
To sum up: This work is a triumph of Catholic publishing and book production from every angle: in doctrine and eeclesiology (it. has the Westminster Imprimalltr), in wide historical. artistic, and general information. in fascinating presentation, in general format. Though the price is high, it is an excellent investment; and the work is, 1 understand, obtainable on the instalment plan as well as by immediate payment; concerning which a prospectus may be obtained from the publishers.