London: Golden Cockerel Press, 1950. No. 204 of a Limited Edition of 370 copies. Cloth Hardcover.
Signed by Dorothea Braby on front free endpaper and inscribed 'For Cyril Stearns with grateful thanks for his help with this book from Dorothea Braby April 1951'.
Original white cloth, Decoration stamped in gilt. Top edge gilt; 4to; 10.25 inches tall; 271 pages. Introduction and 56 illustrations by Dorothea Braby; bound and designed by Christopher Sandford; Translated by Count Lutzow. No. 204 of a Limited Edition of 370 copies.
The bindings are tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Moderate shelf handling wear with some hand-soil, the spine is lightly toned.
Very Good / No Dust Jacket As Issued. Item #17252
Comenius, a visionary in education, was a Moravian Protestant bishop, a refugee, and an early advocate of universal education, earning him the title "Father of Modern Education."
His book, "The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart," circa 1620, is primarily an allegory employing common allegorical elements of his era. In it, he portrays the world as a town and its inhabitants as lost in their own self-made labyrinths.
The story follows the Pilgrim, guided by dubious companions Ubiquitous and Delusion, on a quest to uncover the truth about humanity. Instead, he encounters hypocrisy, foolishness, and moral decay, often leading to untimely death.
Despite receiving "rose-colored glasses" from Delusion, the Pilgrim sees the world's harsh reality. Comenius criticizes all societal strata, from nobility to beggars, philosophers to knights. As absurd situations unfold, the Pilgrim despairs, suggesting that humanity has forgotten the path to spiritual redemption.
In the second part, "The Paradise of the Heart," Comenius addresses hope and renewal within, emphasizing acceptance of Christ as salvation. This work ultimately reveals his enduring belief in a better world, a central theme in his philosophy.
Remarkably, the book mirrors Comenius' life experiences and resonates with those living behind the Iron Curtain during the Communist era, highlighting themes like the "rose-colored" glasses and "Potemkin Villages."