Roehampton, U.K. Privately Printed, 1867. Hardcover. Small 4to. Quarter black calf with gilt spine lettering and black pebble-grain cloth. x, 130pp, pp. 211-307, 2pp, 110pp, 14pp; pp. 131-210. 2 engraved plates, 2 foldout plates. Very good to near fine. Item #45095
Tight, handsome first edition of this how-to manual for the enclosed Roman Catholic women's order founded in 1610 by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane Francis de Chantal in Annecy, France -- here "Translated from the Edition Printed at Annecy, 1850." This fascinating handbook runs through every facet of the order that emphasizes Mary's mission of mercy to visit her cousin Elizabeth, stressing humility, obedience, poverty and patience but not so austere as other orders that require fasting and middle-of-night canonical chanting. Also interesting is the careful editing of this copy by later generations -- it was apparently a work in progress. Pages 131-210 were never bound in, and a neatly pencilled comment on page 211 notes, "The Directory with explanations for the Office has been taken out of this Book" -- although this offending section was retained intact separately and these 80 pages bound in stiff archival wrapper accompany this volume. Elsewhere (in 110pp section near the close) a neatly typed 4¼" X 7" slip apparently prepared in May 1913 has been neatly tipped in, noting that "According to the orders of our Most Rev. Archbishop, James J. Keane... the following are the only feasts on which we are permitted to sing the Office" and listing 12 religious holidays. The 14pp section at rear was inserted later, after binding, and consists of "Explanation of the General Plans of the Monasteries of the Visitation of Holy Mary." Front flyleaf notes "This book belongs to the Monastery of the Visitation of Holy Mary of Dubuque." Most unusual and very scarce, especially in such sharp condition.