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BEWICK, Thomas (illus.); LINGARD, John.

The Antiquities of the Anglo-Saxon Church.

Newcastle: Printed by Edward Walker; Keating, Brown, and Keating, London, 1806 Stock Code: 121264
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First edition of the first work of John Lingard (1771-1851), Roman Catholic priest and historian, "a work which reveals him to be a moderate upholder of the Catholic cisalpine and Gallican tradition of historical scholarship. In this work he sought to oppose the errors of a generation of protestant Anglo-Saxon scholars who argued for an English church, which was from the beginning independent from Rome. Against these writers Lingard asserts the catholicity of the Anglo-Saxon church, presenting a picture of a national church, guided by regular diocesan and provincial synods, but always absolutely loyal to the representative of St Peter. Lingard was anxious to show how Christianity brings culture and civilization, together with its promise of salvation, and was keen, quietly and subtly, to undermine arguments which suggest an aggressive approach to the English church on the part of Rome. Impervious to the wiles of romanticism, Lingard's work belongs to the Enlightenment; his style is akin to that of Gibbon, though his irony is more gentle... Lingard was the first English historian to make serious use of rare printed material and manuscript sources in the Vatican and other Italian libraries, as well as French dispatches, and material from the state papers of Ferdinand and Isabella and Philip II of Spain preserved in an almost inaccessible state in the Spanish castle of Simancas. The pioneering use of such material enabled him to move away from a tendency towards parochialism in English political history, placing it in a more broadly European context" (ODNB).

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2 volumes, octavo (211 x 126 mm). Contemporary calf, smooth spines, gilt in compartments, green morocco labels, gilt roll to board edges.


Wood-engraved title vignettes by Thomas Bewick (showing St Augustine preaching to King Ethelbert and Coffii, high priest of Northumbria, hurling his spear at the idol), engraved folding map hand-coloured in outline.


20th-century bookplates of Robin Lingard, presumably a descendant of the author. Headcap of vol. I worn, just exposing headband, spines lightly rubbed, front joint of vol. 1 tender, occasional light foxing, still very good, a pleasing set.


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