Finally available, a high quality book of the original classic edition of A Legend of Reading Abbey. It was previously published by other bona fide publishers, and is now, after many years, back in print.
This is a new and freshly published edition of this culturally important work by Charles MacFarlane, which is now, at last, again available to you.
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Enjoy this classic work today. These selected paragraphs distill the contents and give you a quick look inside A Legend of Reading Abbey:
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Our great religious house of Reading (may the hand of sacrilege and the flames of war never more reach it!), founded and endowed by the Beauclerc, had then been newly raised on that smiling, favoured spot of earth which lies on the bank of the Kennet, hard by the juncture of that clear and swift stream with our glorious river Thamesis; and in sooth our noble house was not wholly finished and furnished at this time; for albeit the first church, together with most of its chapels and shrines, was in a manner completed, and our great hall was roofed in, and floored and lined with oak, the lord abbat's apartment, and the lodging of the prior, and the dormitory for the brethren, and the granary and the stables for my lord abbat's horses, were yet unfinished; and, except on Sundays and the feast days of Mother Church, these parts of the abbey were filled by artisans and well-skilled workmen who had been collected from Windsor, Wallingford, Oxenford, Newbury, nay even from the right royal city of Winchester, which abounded with well-skilled masons and builders, and the capital city of London, where all the arts be most cultivated. ... I, who have taken up the pen in mine old age to record upon enduring parchment some of the passages I witnessed in my youth and ripe manhood, would not out of any unseemly vanity perpetuate my name and condition; I would lie, unnamed, among the humblest of this brotherhood who have lived or will live without praise, and have died or will die without blame; but as the world in after-time may wish to know who it was that told the story I have now in hand, and what were my opportunities of knowing the truth, it may be incumbent on me to say so much as this:—John Fitz-John of Sunning was my secular name and my designation in the world of pomps and vanities; my mother was of the Saxon, my father of the Norman race; my mother (I say a requiem for her daily) descended from a great Saxon earl, or, as some do say, prince; and my father's grandfather, who fought at the battle of Hastings, was cup-bearer to William the Conqueror, in sort that if I could be puffed up with mundane greatness I have the wherewithal: my name in religion is Felix, of the order of St.