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!