Once described fondly as "an ecclesiastical sort of P.G. Wodehouse," this famed British priest especially popular among Americans was one of the best known Jesuits of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, author of humorous spiritual books such as "We Neurotics," "The Noonday Devil," "Cloud of Witnesses," "Priest in the Presbytery: A Psycho-ecclesiastical Extravaganza" and others as well as a lively biography of Thomas More and saucy history of early English Jesuits. Item #46534
A fascinating and meaty ALS, 3pp (2 leaves), 8" X 5", Roehampton, London, 19 June 1947. Addressed to Father Karl Schroeder (1910-99, long-time English professor known for Chaucer and Shakespeare courses at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa). Near fine. On letterhead of "Manresa House," a Society of Jesuits villa, Basset mentions sending Schroeder a couple of Thomas More books, apparently in exchange for some pamphlets sent to book-starved post-WW2 England: "I cant tell you how good your pamphlets did. I gave one huge consignment to an R.A.F. Camp, and another to the Novices here who catechize in the poorer parishes of London. They are planting them in homes from which they will be most widely circulated. So ask your friends at Loras not to destroy any Catholic literature but keep it till a convenient date and then send it over.... In return, if anyone wants old books, out of prints etc. let me know and I can gradually pick them up. That would make some sort of bargain, much in our favour...." Goes on about Stonyhurst and other British Jesuit enclaves that he "will get them to send you photographs and details of plays they perform. That would be a most useful link between schools and the more Anglo American friendship is boosted the better. I am worked off my feet. I give retreats and sermons non stop. I'll send you a copy of my new book when it comes out...." Nicely penned in blue ballpoint. With original envelope.