Title: Mont St Michel & Chartres
Author: Henry Adams, Gonzalo Fonseca (illus)
Publisher: The Franklin Library, 1978. A limited edition collection published under the auspices of The American Revolution Bicentennial Administration.
Condition: Hardcover, full-leather. Like new, except for minor shelf-wear. A magnificent book – looks even better in real life than in photos.
This book features:
- Full tan top-grade burgundy binding
- Genuine 22k gold gilt to all edges, front design, spine, and back
- Silk moire endsheets
- Satin bookmark, sewn-in
- Hubbed spine with raised bands
- Smyth-sewn binding for durability
- Premium acid-neutral archival paper that will not yellow
Extended essay by Henry Adams, printed privately in 1904 and commercially in 1913. It is subtitled A Study of Thirteenth-Century Unity. Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres is best considered a companion to the author’s autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams (1918). In Chartres, he described the medieval world view as reflected in its cathedrals, which he believed expressed “an emotion, the deepest man ever felt–the struggle of his own littleness to grasp the infinite.” Adams was drawn to the ideological unity expressed in Roman Catholicism and symbolized by the Virgin Mary; he contrasted this coherence with the uncertainties of the 20th century.
— The Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature
“Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres is undoubtedly Adams’s greatest work; though not apparently related to his earlier writings, this inspired work of poetry is the crowning achievement of his severe and somber historical oeuvre.”–Maurice le Breton
“Emerson discussed man’s need to discover a system of unity for his age; Henry Adams did the same for an age when the conflict was infinitely more acute and the solution less apparently obvious.”–Robert Spiller
“One has the feeling that during the process of writing, the book grew way beyond its original plan and intention to be the informal travel talk of an art tourist, or an art-uncle for nieces with Kodaks. At a certain point it almost ceases to deal with esthetic experiences and becomes a confession of a seeker after unity, of a pilgrim who hopes to find in the Middle Ages an emotional repose-peace-Nirvana.”–Ernst Scheyer, The Circle of Henry Adams