English Catholic Books 1701-1800. A Bibliographycomp. by Jos Blom, Frans Blom, Frans Korsten, and Geoffrey Scott (review)
- The Catholic Historical Review
- The Catholic University of America Press
- Volume 84, Number 1, January 1998
- pp. 119-121
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- Additional Information
BOOK REVIEWS119 First, it provides a fine example of the fruitfulness of a good marriage between Uterary and historical scholarship.The author places the Quaker conventions in a broad Uterary context that stretches from Augustine to WiUiam Blake and beyond .At the same time he buüds faithfuUy on much ofthe best recent historical scholarship. In my experience this is an unusual combination.What is also striking about Damrosch's work is that he has not rested content with the 1716 edition ofNayler's writings but has both compared them with the original and has placed their countless bibUcal references in their scriptural context. Secondly, though writing from an entirely secular beUef system, Damrosch provides a comprehensible and sympathetic account of the Quaker religious culture and traces the connections between it and contemporary"Puritanism"or Calvinism. Quakers were often deemed by their outraged contemporaries to be mad. Damrosch demonstrates that, on the contrary, they took Calvinist assumptions to their logical conclusions which were rigorously rooted in the NewTestament. Thirdly, the study deserves to be read widely because it explains why the Quakers in general, and James Nayler in particular, provoked such an extreme reaction in England in 1656. In focusing on the Nayler incident, he shines a bright light on the essential conservatism of the CromweUian regime.The reaction of the "Puritan establishment" to Nayler helps to explain why Charles II was acceptable to most former "revolutionaries" three years later. To criticize such a fine work is almost churUsh. However, I would have liked the author to be more critical of the orthodox model used to make sense of EngUsh history prior to the 1650's. He takes the "Puritans"and their"revolution" too easUy for granted when his entire narrative suggests few real différences between the "Puritans" and their fellow Protestant "AngUcans" and not much revolutionary ideology underlying any of their poUtical behavior. Michael Finlayson University ofToronto English Catholic Books 1701-1800. A Bibliography. CompUed By Jos Blom, Frans Blom, Frans Korsten, and Geoffrey Scott. (Brookfield,Vermont: Scolar Press,Ashgate PubUshing Co. 1996. Pp. xl, 356. $94.95.) This is the latest in a series of bibUographical studies of EngUsh-speaking CathoUcs which have appeared in the last decade. The pioneers in the field were Antony Allison and David Rogers, who brought out their Cataloque of Catholic Books in English 1558-1640 in 1956. Both of the authors died in the past two years but not before their revision, The Contemporary Printed Literature of the English Counter-Reformation 1558-1640 appeared in two parts in 1989 and 1994.The volume under review deals with EngUsh CathoUc books of the eighteenth century. Basing themselves on materials coUected by the editors of the Eighteenth Century ShortTitle Catalogue of EngUsh Books, they vis- 120BOOK REVIEWS ited some ninety libraries.They were also in contact with Ubrarians and scholars at hundreds more. As a result they have increased their original number of eighteenth-century CathoUc items almost by one-hatf. This catalog has nearly 3000 items.This compares to about 2100 CathoUc items pubUshed in the seventeenth century. It was only in the eighteenth century that CathoUc books began to be published and dtffused widely in Ireland, Scotland, and North America. A random check oftitles reveals that about 62% of the titles were printed in England (95% of them in London), 22% in Ireland, and 8% on the European continent. SmaUer shares were printed in North America and Scotland. It was an age when authors felt no compunction about adapting or editing another author's work. OfBishop ChaUoner,the most prolific CathoUc author of the century, it has been said,"It is never safe to assume that any passage in Challoner is original." He revised the Douay Bible as weU as spiritual classics such as the Imitation ofChrist, the works of St. Francis de Sales, St.Teresa ofAvila, and many more. It is no surprise then that the items Usted under the name ofBishop ChaUoner (d. 1781) and that of Rev.John Gother (d. 1704) account for over 10% of the entries. Many of these spiritual works continued to be reprinted in the next century and even in the twentieth. Other authors...