.

The Cloud of Witness Book - Part 1



A few years back, I wrote about the volume of devotional readings that Mason gave to her graduates titled The Cloud of Witness. It has been my heart’s desire to reprint this little gem. At the Living Education Retreat this past weekend, I gave the opening Conversazione in which I explained how this reprint came about. The problem was that the new books hadn’t arrived yet; they were still too fresh for the bindery to send!

Thankfully, they arrived the next day and were quickly snatched up. So the 2nd printing is under way and should be available by September 1st.  If you are interested in ordering, you can find out the latest news by watching the Cloud of Witness tab above or by liking the Facebook page (The Cloud of Witness).

This new copy is a reprint of the 1891 edition. The changes include replacing the black and white picture of Holman Hunt’s The Light of the World with a lovely color image. I will share more about this fascinating painting in a later post.  Another change is that a new forward has been added, written by me. It explains my journey and reasons for reprinting this book, as well as Mason’s association with it. Finally, there is the cover.

Do you have any idea how fun it is for a book lover to actually design a book cover?! I wanted it to be stunningly beautiful.  It was enlightening to work with Cynthia Oswald. I chose the graphics for the spine based on some of my vintage books.  And I love how she imitated the variety of fonts and sizes found on the original title page for the cover.  It definitely gives it an antique feel in my mind. The eggplant color of the cover is a favorite of mine and reminds me of royalty, richness, reverence. And the sweet yellow bookmarks are reminiscent of the bookmarks in the original editions.

I need to hold books in my hands. This is even more true with books that I cherish. Giving someone you love an e-book for a special occasion doesn’t have quite the same effect as giving them an heirloom hardcover. The finished book has exceeded my expectations and I will be giving it as a gift for years to come. I hope you feel the same.

Already it has been a peaceful joy to share quotes and encouragement with those from the LER who are reading along and meditating on the same thoughts and verses. Charlotte Mason knew exactly how it would bind her students together in meditative thought.

This diminutive  devotional, all 500+ pages, follows the Christian year, beginning with Advent.  Each week begins with a theme and prayer. Then each day starts with a verse followed by poems, quotes, and other scriptures related to that theme. The passages chosen are from such authors as George MacDonald, Matthew Arnold, Plato, Socrates, Keble, and Wesley.  Poets such as Wordsworth, Milton, Browning, and Tennyson are included.

one of my old copies

another old copy


 I am not Anglican, so I wasn’t certain how useful I would find the book when I received my first copy from England.  The compiler, Edith Gell, was a member of the Church of England and had this to say about that:


This little book has owed some of the noblest testimonies to Christian thought to writers of other Communions than my own. I should be glad if it could repay the debt by being found useful in its turn beyond the limits of the Church of England. Even to such as do not share our own lifelong associations with the progress of the Church’s year, a Golden Treasury of great thoughts and aspirations culled from ancient and modern, from religious and secular writers, may be helpful. (from the Preface)

Finally, thank you to Erin Daly at Riverbend Press.  Her tireless sacrifice to make my vision a reality and educate me on the art of book making has amazed and humbled me.

There is much more to share about The Cloud of Witness, but I will stop here for now.  Thank you for your enthusiastic response to this project. I hope to do a few others in the future!

Truly,
Nancy

Update - You can now order The Cloud of Witness at Riverbend Press and Amazon!
The Tie That Binds
The Cloud of Witness Facebook Page

17 comments:

  1. I joined the Anglican Church almost three years ago, and this sounds wonderful. :) I had to learn to use the Book of Common Prayer, and this would be a beautiful companion book. Well-done. How exciting for you to see it come to pass.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Melissa. I can't wait for you to get one and hold it in your hands!

      Delete
  2. This is beautiful! I would love it and am going to look into reserving a copy. I love the Anglican tradition. The eggplant color is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Polly! We might get a pre-order button up on Amazon...stay tuned.

      Delete
  3. I love it. I saw Richelle with hers and wondered if they were only a limited edition. Glad to know they are not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I suppose we'll keep printing as long as there is an interest! Thank you, Silvia.

      Delete
  4. So lovely, Nancy! :) Thanks for sharing a bit more about how this project came about!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you were there when I announced it! Thank you for you sweet words, Amy.

      Delete
  5. I had the great pleasure of spending time with someone recently who attended LER this year and purchased this lovely book, Nancy. En route to AO At Home she shared with us the comments you delivered in your Conversazione and after the AO Retreat I got to hold this beauty in my own hands and read your wonderful words with my own eyes. I look forward to adding one to my own library when they become available.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Dawn! And would that someone be Joy? I am quite jealous of you and all those that attended the AO At Home event but one can only do so much.

      Delete
    2. That is correct, Nancy. I have been a guest in many homes but few hostesses have demonstrated as much generosity and consideration as did Joy. We call her the Rock Star of hostesses as a result now. Rumour has it that there will be another AO retreat in 2016. Perhaps our paths will cross again there:).

      Delete
    3. Amen and Amen (from someone else who was with Joy in Indiana and is looking forward to a copy of this book when it is available too. :))

      Delete
  6. Hi Nancy, is this book able to be posted to Australia. I tried to buy it but couldn't find that option. Thank you. Tara.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Tara,
      Have you ever ordered from the US Amazon site? The book should be available in a few weeks at Amazon. Yes, if you pay the shipping Riverbend can ship to Australia! Just contact Riverbend at this email and explain - info@riverbendpress.com. Hopefully we can get you a copy soon!
      Warmly,
      Nancy

      Delete
  7. Hi Nancy. I am also in Australia. It would be great to see if any other Christian parents like to do a group purchase. I am saying this because buying books from Amazon is expensive the delivery. You pay almost the cost of the book in freight. Do you sell this book in bookdepository? I love the idea of following the church calendar. I am a practitioner of the Godly Play method for Sunday school and this method focus on the church calendar as well. So being an enthusiast newbie of the CM philosophy and teologhy of education, I believe this book will be the best investment for our morning/circle time. Regards. Nat

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Natilla,
      So nice to hear from you! I understand your frustration with the shipping costs. No, as of now it is not sold at bookdepository. Godly Play is a beautiful method for Sunday School and lines up nicely with Mason's principles! I don't think that this book would be the best fit for young children, at least not read as it is presently compiled. For morning/circle time, Mason used Bible readings with some appropriate commentary and I find that is fitting and living! If you contact Erin at Riverbend Press and you could gather a large order from Australia, I am sure she would work with you. ( info@riverbendpress.com )
      Warmly,
      Nancy

      Delete
  8. Nancy,
    As a Catholic, I at first overlooked this title because I am always careful to use devotionals outside of my Faith. At the In A Large Room Retreat, I was able to take a glance inside and the first quote I saw was by Thomas A Kempis! I'm so glad I purchased the book; it is truly lovely and inspirational. Thank you for your endeavors in making this and other notable works available to us! Julie K.

    ReplyDelete