A Roving Recluse: More Memoirs by Peter F. Anson. Hardback. First edition. The Mercier Press, 1946.


A Roving Recluse is the second volume of memoirs by Peter Frederick Anson, the eccentric monk, writer and artist who became Britain's leading authority on 19th and 20th century church decor and religious ritual. Whereas Anson's first memoir, Harbour Head, chronicled the lives of fishermen and his abiding interest in the sea, this volume (published in 1946) is concerned with the religious life.

In A Roving Recluse twelve of the author's elegant line drawings evoke the world he describes. He first joined the Benedictine order on the Island of Caldey just at the moment when the majority of the monks converted to Roman Catholicism. He next became attached to the Franciscans in Italy when he embarked on his career of connoisseur "extraordinaire" not just of church furnishings, but also of church characters: Abbot Sir David Oswald Hunter-Blair; Eric Gill at Ditchling pouring scorn on ungodly railway lines and typewriters; the enigmatic couple Raffalovich and Gray. Anson brings unrivaled insights into the strangely exotic world of 20th century monastic communities, most of them now dispersed and their buildings demolished or converted into luxury spa hotels

Condition: Fairly good. 1946 First edition. 226 pages. No dust jacket. Orange hardback. A number of pages have some pen markings, e.g. brackets marking certain paragraphs.  Boards have moderate edge-wear with bumping to corners and are covered with a clear adhesive plastic. Mark on top front cover. Lovely line drawing illustrations by the author.

See examples of line drawings below.


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