Book Reviews

Sir Walter Raleigh by Maria Wingfield Digby

To coincide with the 400th anniversary of the death of Sir Walter Raleigh of Sherborne Castle, Pitkin Publishers have brought out a beautifully-produced booklet which is an elegant introduction to Raleigh’s life. The text is by Maria Wingfield Digby, whose husband Edward is the current owner of the Castle. The Digby family has owned the Castle since 1617. The Abbey Shop in the Close has copies of Sir Walter Raleigh at £5.95 each.

Dust that dreams of glory: Reflections on Lent and Holy Week by Michael Mayne

Our Abbey Shop Manager Phil Prout has found another Lent book which I can heartily recommend. It is a collection of addresses, edited and introduced by Joel Huffstetler, written and given by the late Michael Mayne.  The Very Reverend Michael Mayne KCVO was Dean of Westminster 1986 to 1996, and some of you will remember the wonderful Three Hours’ Devotion he conducted here in the Abbey during his retirement. He died in 2006.

There are 23 addresses in all, beautifully written and full of profound insight. The book can be obtained from the Abbey Shop at the discounted price of £8.95.

Daily Reflections for Lent by Michelle Francl-Donnay

Lent is also a time for some spiritual reading. Why not call into the Abbey Shop in the Close to see what is on offer? As usual there is the latest version of Daily Reflections for Lent which remains marvellous value at just £1.50.

The Art of Lent: a painting a day from Ash Wednesday to Easter by Sister Wendy Beckett

Why not try Sister Wendy Beckett’s The Art of Lent: a painting a day from Ash Wednesday to Easter. It is being sold at the discounted price of £7.95 in the Abbey Shop.

 

Illuminated Manuscripts by Richard Hayman

I am recommending a very different sort of book, which would make an ideal stocking-filler for anyone interested in the medieval world. Illuminated Manuscripts is by historian Richard Hayman and is published by Shire at £7.99. Beautifully illustrated (including a full page from the Sherborne Missal) this slim volume tells the story of medieval illuminated books and their production, and includes a chapter on the coming of both the printing press and the Reformation, and their significance for book production and use.

Illuminated Manuscripts is available from the Abbey Shop.

Unearthly beauty: Through Advent with the saints by Magdalen Smith

There is a wealth of Advent reading now available from the Abbey Shop in the Close, and the bookstall in the Abbey.

My personal favourite – because I like the autobiographical dimension and the anecdotes – is Unearthly beauty: Through Advent with the saints. It is by Magdalen Smith, who is Director of Ordinands in the Chester Diocese. She has a background in the visual arts and an obvious eye for spotting holiness in unexpected places. It is a delight, at the discounted price of £6.95.

Advent for Everyone: a journey through Matthew

There are three books all from the Anglican Evangelical tradition. The first by Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham and now Professor of the New Testament at St Andrew’s University. Advent for Everyone: a journey through Matthew was published in 2016.   As Archbishop Rowan Williams writes, “Tom Wright is, as always, brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into vivid, clear and accessible form”. There is a passage and a meditation on it for every day in Advent, at the discounted price of £6.95.  Available from the Abbey Shop in the Close and the bookstall in the Abbey.

Advent for Everyone: a journey with the apostles by Tom Wright

The second book by Tom Wright, former Bishop of Durham and now Professor of the New Testament at St Andrew’s University. Advent for Everyone: a journey with the apostles is just out. As Archbishop Rowan Williams writes, “Tom Wright is, as always, brilliant at distilling immense scholarship into vivid, clear and accessible form”. There is a passage and a meditation on it for every day in Advent, at the discounted price of £6.95.  Available from the Abbey Shop and the bookstall in the Abbey.

In touch with God by Michael and Rosemary Green

There is the Archbishop of York’s Advent Book for 2017, In touch with God, by Michael and Rosemary Green. Michael Green has been a giant in the Anglican Evangelical firmament since I was nobbut a lad, and he and his wife have together written a series of 25 meditations, all but two from the Old Testament, on Advent themes. Highly recommended at the discounted price of £5.95, not least for those of you who would like to make a better connection with the Old Testament. Available from the Abbey Shop in the Close and the bookstall in the Abbey.

Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas by Mary Poust

There is our regular little book of Daily Reflections for Advent & Christmas, written this year by Mary Poust. It offers a daily reading, reflection, meditation and prayer from Advent Sunday to 8 January, all for just £1.50. You can’t get better value than that!  Available from the Abbey Shop in the Close and the bookstall in the Abbey.