The Soul of a Bishop

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Author: Herbert George "H G" Wells (1866-1946) from the library of Larry McMurty

Year: 1917

Publisher: Macmillan Company

Place: New York


[viii]+241+[7 ad] pages with frontispiece. Small octavo (7 3/4" x 5 1/2") bound in original publisher's red cloth with gilt lettering to spine and cover in original jacket. From the library of Larry McMurty collection of H G Wells, with McMurty's bookplate. Advanced review copy of the First American edition.

The Soul of a Bishop is a novelistic treatment of themes Wells developed in another book published the same year, God the Invisible King. In that volume, which was widely discussed at the time, as in The Soul of a Bishop, Wells rejects the theological doctrine of the Trinity that he attributed to the Council of Nicaea (the novel opens with Scrope dreaming about the Council of Nicaea). Wells experienced a religious conversion during World War I; his biographer David C. Smith reports that this conversion "did not last long, and mirrored somewhat similar experiences widely recorded in France and England" that were provoked by the war. These beliefs proved to be only a passing phase; "[e]ssentially . . . Wells had tried Christianity again, albeit in a version much altered from that normally taught, and had found it wanting." Another biographer, Vincent Brome, wrote that "within a few years, [Wells's] natural streak of Voltairian anti-clericalism had re-asserted itself with all its old vigor. Later in life he was a little uneasy about the lapse.

Larry McMurtry, winner of a Pulitzer for Lonesome Dove and an Oscar for his co-adaptation of Brokeback Mountain, is also a legend among booksellers as the owner of Booked Up in Archer City, TX. His H G Wells Collection was developed by Nina Matheson with help from Serendipity Books and added to by McMurtry. It contained items to highlight any Wells collection, including the true first edition of The Time Machine (New York: Henry Holt, 1895) with H. G. Wells's name misprinted on the title page, The Island of Doctor Moreau (London: William Heinemann, 1896) in trial binding, and a signed first edition of The Invisible Man (London: C. Arthur Pearson, 1897).


Publisher's advanced review stamp to title determining the review date, extremities lightly worn. Jacket rubbed, some wear to folds and edges, slightly trimmed else a very good copy in like jacket.

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