Imitatio Christi in French
[Thomas à Kempis (ca. 1380–1471)].
Le livre intitule eternelle consolacion.
Paris: Michel Le Noir, 10 December 1500. (07069)
Only four copies of this French translation of the Imitatio Christi are known to survive, and this is the only copy in the United States. This edition rearranges the order of the four individual books of the Imitatio Christi and omits the final book, on the Eucharist, which was intended mainly for the clergy. The first book in the Latin version, which begins with a well-known quotation from John 8:12 (“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life”), here appears at the end. The exhibited opening, which introduces the traditional third book concerning the eternal consolation of the soul, features a woodcut of the Last Judgment. Here virtuous souls are welcomed into heaven while sinful souls are dragged in chains into the mouth of Hell.