A rare book, rich in history. Saint Katherine was a 14th century Swedish saint, daughter of the more famous Saint Bridget or Brigitta of Sweden. Vadstena was a magnificent Swedish abbey and the motherhouse of the Bridgettine order, where Saint Bridget is buried. Katherine became abbess there in 1374. In 1415 a group of Bridgettine monks and nuns left Vadstena for England to found Syon Abbey in Middlesex, but during the dissolution of the monasteries, the Bridgettine community of Syon Abbey were expelled and went to live in the Netherlands, then Lisbon. In 1861 they came back to England, this time, to Devon. They settled first in Chudleigh then moved in 1925 to South Brent. By 2011 the community was reduced to just three elderly sisters, and it closed and was sold. The remaining community now lives in Plymouth.
This book is written inSwedish and published in 1950. The title in Swedish is "Den Heliga Katarinas av Vadstena liv och Underwerk" and states 'efter medeltida urkunder oversatta av Tryggve Lunden' (after medieval records translated by Tryggve Lunden). However it belonged to the remaining religious community of Syon Abbey as it has been rebound with an English title and has Syon Abbey printed on the spine.
A book with a truly fascinating history and almost unique. The only other traceable copy is held in a Swedish library achive. Ours is in good-very good condition with some light marks, spots and rubbing to the binding and a couple of spots to the page edges. The binding is very strong and tight, there are beautiful patterned endpapers, and green dyed page edges. The pages are on the whole very clean. The prelim has a Norwegian address written on brown paper and pasted to the page (from Frederikstad - another part of the book's journey!), and an illegible English note inked underneath. There is a lightly pencilled note possibly in Swedish on the title page.