London: Sands & Co., 1928. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Blue cloth with embossed title and decorative lines in black. 318p. Cover somewhat faded on spine. Corners somewhat bent. Some cracking within. Otherwise a tight and clean book in good condition. Item #132185
A British novel written on the occasion of early 20th century legislation finally freeing British Catholics completely. The title ‘Ancient Lights’ refers to a property law also known as the ‘Right to light.’ The law gives house owners the right to receive natural light from and through a window if that particular window has been receiving light uninterrupted for 20 years. Once a person gains the right to ancient lights, the owner of the adjoining land cannot obscure them, such as by erecting a building, raising a wall or planting trees. In the past, neighbors with right to light have sued neighbors on grounds of ‘nuisance’ for obstruction of light, and have won in courts of law. The phrase appears to serve as a metaphor for the liberation of the long-standing Catholic community of Britain.