Wisdom of Fortescue

Michael Davies:
The Wisdom of Adrian Fortescue

Michael Davies, Editor.,
The Wisdom of Adrian Fortescue
(Roman Catholic Books), 421 pp, hardback.

This beautifully produced volume is the fourth book by Father Adrian Fortescue to be published in recent years, and is an important indication of the renewed interest in one of England’s greatest but most neglected scholars of the present century.

Michael Davies has prefaced the book with a 70 page biography of Father Fortescue (1874-1923), the most detailed account of his life yet to be published. He was a priest of unique and remarkable talents who truly merited the title of genius. He could not only speak but lecture in eleven languages, was an authority on the classics, an artist of considerable talent, a recognised authority on heraldry, the outstanding calligrapher of his time, a talented musician and composer, possessed an unrivalled knowledge of the Eastern Churches, his books on them still remain classics, and is certainly the greatest authority on the liturgy of the Roman Rite the English-speaking world has ever known.

The purpose of this book is to make available once more Dr Fortescue’s scholarly exposition of the Mass of the Roman Rite as it was celebrated during his lifetime and, as he points out, as it had been celebrated in all essential respects since the pontificate of St. Gregory the great at the end of the sixth century.

The articles reprinted in this book have all been taken from the original Catholic Encyclopaedia published in the first decade of this century, and, taken together, provide an unrivalled history of the Roman Rite. The 30 chapters cover most of the principal parts of the Mass from the Introit to the Ite missa est, with an exceptionally detailed exposition of the Canon, and also such topics as Liturgy, Rites, Liturgical Books. The Roman Rite, Votive Mass. Concelebration, and Epiklesis.

An informative and fascinating glossary has been provided dealing in detail with topics ranging from Agape, through Euchologion, to Trope. The book is profusely illustrated with pictures of and by Father Fortescue, his parish of St. Hugh at Letchworth, examples of his calligraphy, musical compositions, pages from his diary and his famous organ book.

It is a book to which the reader will wish to refer again and again, and on each occasion his knowledge of the most venerable and most beautiful liturgical rite in Christendom will be deepened.

This book is available from:

Una Voce America
P.O. Box 1159 St. Charles, MO

The cost is $35 post paid for U.S. addresses.
Canadian addresses please add $2 for postage.
Other international addresses, please e-mail for shipping rate. Make check payable to Una Voce America