This book, originally written in the 17th century, remains available in print and as an e-book - testament to its enduring popularity as a spiritual text. St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honoured as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the 'Introduction to the Devout Life' and the 'Treatise on the Love of God'. During his years as bishop, Sales acquired a reputation as a spellbinding preacher and something of an ascetic. His motto was, "He who preaches with love, preaches effectively."
The author, Jean Pierre Camus (1584-1652) was a French bishop, preacher, author of works of fiction and spirituality, and a fervent disciple of St François de Sales, the inspiration for his extensive spiritual works on poverty, grace and spiritual reflection. His fiction, encompassing both novels and short stories, is generally moralistic, depicting human folly, the unruliness of passions, the dangers of illicit love, and the saving grace of divine love.
This little volume is a delight - it is in excellent condition, having perhaps been given as a gift but scarcely opened. Published in 1899, it is bound in royal blue cloth and handsomely decorated in gilt on both the front cover and the spine. All page edges are gilt. The black endpapers are in perfect condition. The binding is generally tight, apart from a slight weakness at pp 160-1 and 176-7, and the text is clean and bright with no markings. An intriguing little paper slip inside the book may indicate from whence it came - but possibly was just used as a bookmark.