I was reading Quasten’s Patrology vol. 3, looking for interesting untranslated texts, when I came across (p.57-8) mention of a work of Athanasius on the Holy Spirit, consisting of four letters to bishop Serapion of Thmuis. Quasten lists an English translation: C. R. B. Shapland, trans., The Letters of Saint Athanasius Concerning the Holy Spirit, Ad Serapion (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1951).
The subject is probably dull, but a US publication of that date may be out of copyright, unless the copyright was renewed after 28 years. So I thought it was worth checking. And … I can find no evidence of a copyright renewal. “Shapland” is quite an unusual name, after all. “Athanasius” is going to get a limited number of hits in any database.
By contrast the Tertullian / Minucius Felix in the “Fathers of the Church” series (1950) turns up as renewed in 1978 in this database.
A look in COPAC reveals that “Shapland” was Cuthbert Richard Bowden Shapland, but no dates for his life. (The copyright system outside the US demands that we know the biography of the author, absurdly enough). The book is 204 pages, and Shapland’s last date of publication was a volume of sermons in 1957 – but this was edited by someone else, and was probably posthumous.
A search for the name on Ancestry.com reveals a man of that name born 1907, died 1952. There is a picture of a young clergyman there. This is likely to be the same man, and the dates are right. If so, his books goes out of copyright outside the US in 2022 (1952+70).
What a performance, just to find out the status of a long defunct book!
So … are any copies available for sale? Not that I can find. Hum!
Well, I’ve placed an ILL for it instead.
Update: (3rd September 2021): Eleven years later, a kind correspondent writes that C. R. B. Shapland, trans., The Letters of Saint Athanasius Concerning the Holy Spirit, Ad Serapion (New York: The Philosophical Library, 1951), is online here:
I wonder whatever happened to that ILL?