Books in the Catholic World during the Early Modern Period


The Reformation is often alluded to as Gutenberg’s child. Could it then be said that the Counter-Reformation was his step-child? The close relationship between the Reformation, the printing press and books has received extensive, historiographical attention, which is clearly justified; however, the links between books and the Catholic world have often been limited to a tale of censorship and repression. The current volume looks beyond this, with a series of papers that aim to shed new light on the complex relationships between Catholicism and books during the early modern period, before and after the religious schism, with special focus on trade, common reads and the mechanisms used to control readership in different territories, together with the similarities between the Catholic and the Protestant worlds.

Contributors include: Stijn Van Rossem, Rafael M. Pérez García, Pedro J. Rueda Ramírez, Idalia García Aguilar, Bianca Lindorfer, Natalia Maillard Álvarez, and Adrien Delmas.
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Biographical Note

Natalia Maillard Álvarez, Ph.D. (2007) in History, is lecturer at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide. Her research focuses on book history during the early modern period. She has published Lectores y libros en la ciudad de Sevilla (1550-1600)(2011).

Review Quotes

“Maillard’s is an excellent compilation, which sheds light on the different topics studied, and will undoubtedly invite further scholarship on book circulation, control, and readership in the early modern period.”
Marta M. Nadales, Complutense University of Madrid. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 4 (Winter 2014), pp. 1430-1432.

“All contributors made their investigations in libraries all over Europe and the Americas, resulting in an impressively rich account, based on abundant evidence of facts and figures. Book historians dealing with Catholic books in the early modern period will certainly be grateful for the in-depth analysis of new sources and little-known subjects, and for the results of this collective analysis of everyday practice in the bookish culture of the early modern Catholic world.”
Anton van der Lem, Leiden University Libraries. In: Quaerendo, Vol. 46, No 4 (2016), pp. 373-376.

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors

Natalia Maillard Álvarez

1. The Verdussens and the International Trade in Catholic Books (Antwerp, Seventeenth Century)
Stijn Van Rossem
2. The Globalization of the European Book Market: Diego Crance’s Catalogus librorum (Seville, 1680) and the Sale of Books
in New Spain
Pedro Rueda Ramírez
3. Communitas Christiana: The Sources of Christian Tradition in the Construction of Early Castilian Spiritual Literature, ca. 1400–1540
Rafael M. Pérez García
4. Italian Literature in the Hispanic World during the Early Modern Period (Seville and Mexico City)
Natalia Maillard Álvarez
5. Aristocratic Book Consumption in the Seventeenth Century: Austrian Aristocratic Book Collectors and the Role of Noble Networks in the Circulation of Books from Spain to Austria
Bianca Lindorfer
6. Before we are Condemned: Inquisitorial Fears and Private Libraries of New Spain
Idalia García Aguilar
7. Artem Quaevis Terra Alit: Books in the Cape Colony during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries
Adrien Delmas


Index of Names


All those interested in book history, history of reading, the Early Modern period, the history of the Church, as well as the Reformation and Counter-Reformation.