London, South Kensington
16 February 2006
DOUGLAS, Norman (1868-1952). "How About Europe? Some footnotes on East and West." [Florence: c.1929]. 4° (280 x 220mm). Original manuscript on c. 320-pages, a few pages typed in blue, with numerous deletions, amendments and inserts, bound in contemporary floral-patterned boards, later slipcase.
NORMAN DOUGLAS'S SOMETIMES SCABROUS CRITIQUE OF WESTERN CULTURE AND RELIGION. "That discomfort, that European stomache-ache from which all of us are suffering, that moral constipation, has been traced to a variety of sources. I become more and more convinced, with increasing years, that the roots of the mischief lie far back, in the Roman point of view. The shoddiness of our ideals ... is a heritage from those unimaginative roundheads, with their ingrained vulgarity, their imperialism, their pernicious doctrine of "raison d'Etat", and the welcome they gave, as vulgarians naturally would give, to imported pinchbeck like Christianity" (p.179). The work was first published in a private limited edition of 500 copies in Florence in 1929. "In 1929 there appeared How about Europe?, which was written as a counterblast to Katherine Mayo's "Mother India." It is less a defence of the Orient than an attack on western standards, the false morality, the hypocrisy and the brutality of our civilisation" (Constantine Fitzgibbon Norman Douglas. A Pictorial Record (London, 1953)).
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