1831 · Boston
Fénelon (1651–1715), a French theologian and archbishop, had a tense and complex relationship with the Church hierarchy because of his writings. His office in Cambray was one of the richest benefices in France, and upon his banishment from the court of Louis XIV for the publication of his Maxims of the Saints, he dedicated himself fully to his position, making himself in all that he did the perfect churchman (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 253).
The "lady" was Eliza L. Cabot Follen (1787–1860), the Boston-born author, translator, and abolitionist. She used her own translation — "a free one; but sedulous care has been taken never to depart from the spirit of the author" (v) — and one of her concerns in selection is to de-Catholicize the archbishop, allowing his more universal appreciation — for, as she says, his "writings necessarily contain many things that could not be acceptable to Christians of all denominations [and have therefore] been uniformly omitted" (v).
Fénelon's appearance in Follen's selective epitome would surely have amused him, and it pleased the book-buying public: This is the works third edition.
Provenance: A note states that "this book belonged to Grandmother Dyer[:] Ann Eliza Morse"; Charles Dyer Norton has also signed an endpaper in ink.
American Imprints 7028. On Fénelon, see: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th ed., X, 252–54. Mid-19th-century plain black calf with gilt spine compartments tooled in an interesting pattern, single gilt rule around covers, a little gilt on board edges, marbled endpapers and edges; some wear and abrasions but spine gilt still bright. Provenance markings as above, some leaves creased across and a little interior staining and spotting especially at rear. => A nice old book. (Inventory #: 36673)