In this Book

Books and Religious Devotion
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In Books and Religious Devotion, Allan Westphall presents a study of the book-collecting habits and annotation practices of Thomas Connary, an Irish immigrant farmer who lived in New Hampshire in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Connary led a pious life that revolved around the use, annotation, and sharing of religious books: his surviving annotated volumes provide a revealing glimpse into the utility of books for a common reader and into how one remarkable non-elite reader imagined book utilities and the iconic status of religious books. Through a careful excavation of book adaptations and enhancements, Westphall establishes a profile of an eccentric reader-cum-annotator that gives us insight into the range of opportunities provided by the material book for recording and communicating a reader’s religious fervor. The study also investigates the broader nineteenth-century cultural setting, in which books are seen as testimonies of personal faith and come to function as instruments of social interaction in both domestic and public spheres. Underlying Connary’s many and varied interactions with books is a belief that physical objects can materialize belief, and that working in them can be a devout exercise instrumental in human salvation.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title page, Copyright
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface: A Discovery and Serendipitous Journeys
  2. pp. ix-xiv
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xv-xvi
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  1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-21
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  1. Chapter 1: Irish American Print Culture in the Nineteenth Century: A Private Library
  2. pp. 22-39
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  1. EPIPHANY: “Seeing Very Plainly”
  2. pp. 40-41
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  1. Chapter 2: “Laboring in My Books”: Thomas Connary’s Book Enhancements
  2. pp. 42-83
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  1. EPIPHANY: The Lamp
  2. pp. 84-85
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  1. Chapter 3: Redemptive Reading in the Connary Household
  2. pp. 86-117
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  1. EPIPHANY: The Road to Lancaster
  2. pp. 118-120
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  1. Chapter 4: The Farmer’s Treasure: Thomas Connary Reading St. Francis of Sales and Julian of Norwich
  2. pp. 121-149
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  1. EPIPHANY: “No Priest or Bishop in this Church but Himself Alone”
  2. pp. 150-152
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  1. Chapter 5: Book Keeping, Longing, and Besetment
  2. pp. 153-182
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  1. Epilogue: Rome Unvisited
  2. pp. 183-188
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  1. Appendix: The Contents of Thomas Connary’s Library
  2. pp. 189-200
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 201-216
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 217-224
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 225-228
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  1. Series Page
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  1. Back Cover
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