TRANSLATED BY A ‘UNITED IRISHMAN’

The Meditations of Saint Augustine, from the Latin Original. By the Rev. J. Martin, O.S.A. …

Dublin: Printed for the Author, by H. Fitzpatrick … 1798.

12mo, pp. [12], 183, [9, index]; lightly foxed but a good copy in contemporary sheep, spine with remains of paper label; boards chipped, joints starting; inscription on front pastedown: ‘Hassop Mission [Derbyshire] 11 March 1852'.

£1250

Approximately:
US $1529€1448

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First edition of this rare translation of the pseudo-Augustinian Meditationum Liber, an eleventh-century devotional text very popular in the Middle Ages.

The translator, John Martin, was an Augustinian friar who became a fervent activist within the Society of United Irishmen. His political conversion (and this book) coincided with the outbreak of the rebellion of 1798, in which he took a number of increasingly dangerous commissions from the Dublin United Irish Committee, but he has been largely neglected in the historiography of the rebellion; his stance suited neither loyalists nor rebel apologists, and he remains an enigmatic figure.

Daire Keogh, ‘“The most dangerous villain in society”; Fr. John Martin’s Mission to the United Irishmen of Wicklow in 1798’, Eighteenth-Century Ireland, 7, (1992), pp. 115-135.

ESTC records copies at the British Library, National Library of Ireland, and Illinois only.

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