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Carlos Spoerhase


This paper explores Klopstock’s presentation copies of his drama Hermanns Schlacht in the context of his efforts to gain favor with the imperial court in Vienna. It focuses in particular on Klopstock’s attention to the materiality of the presentation copies and his strategies to adjust to court protocol. In this vein, the essay highlights his dissatisfaction with the quality of German books in general, which he felt undermined his efforts to establish himself with his patrons. At the same time, Klopstock seized on the book’s materiality as an opening to reframe the relationship of author to patron. He envisioned a new kind of relationship, which would be more reciprocal. By trying to redefine the author’s position at court, Klopstock aimed to elevate the authorial role more generally. Klopstock’s leveraging of the material book to elevate the author was part of a wider eighteenth-century debate concerning the status of authors in their relation to patrons. Klopstock aimed not only to redefine this relationship as one of equals but also to commit the emperor to provide recognition and financial support for German writers, thus securing the stature of German letters. In this context, Klopstock’s binding choices are shown to be bold moves through which he tried to break the cultural conventions attached to the medium of the presentation copy. Klopstock’s own designs of his presentation copies to the imperial court have to be seen as—ultimately failed—attempts to recalibrate cultural power structures.

Aron Brouwer


This article examines the political and ideological circumstances surrounding the two French translations of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf during the 1930s. It focuses on the personal histories of the translation agents involved in the production, translation and dissemination of Mein Kampf—such as diplomats, politicians, investors, publishers, editors and translators. By uncovering and exposing their ideological attitudes, this study shows how Hitler’s book was altered, censored and repurposed in France to suit different political agendas. Consequently, it argues that the two French translations during the prewar period, entitled Mon Combat (1934) and Ma Doctrine (1938), should be regarded as historical artifacts in their own right, rather than mere reproductions.

Nina Lamal


This article examines for the first time Il Corriere Ordinario, an Italian-language newspaper which appeared bi-weekly between 1671 and 1723 in Vienna. This specific newspaper title is remarkable because it was published in the Italian language in a predominantly German-speaking city. The two printers responsible for producing this periodical had recently migrated to Vienna from the Habsburg Low Countries. Despite recent advances in scholarship, acknowledging the importance of international news flows, foreign language newspaper ventures such as Il Corriere Ordinario have hitherto been largely ignored. This article investigates why this newspaper was printed in Vienna and argues that it was intended both for a local and international Italian(ate) audience. As a semi-official news bulletin of the imperial Habsburg government, it publicised foreign political news of its allies and became a useful tool in the fight against French propaganda. Using the case of this remarkable newspaper, I will demonstrate why and how political information moved across state and linguistic borders.

Yossi Almagor

This article demonstrates how patron-client relationships in mid-eighteenth century England were shaped against the background of the transition to a more negotiated marketplace. By focusing on the twenty-five-year relationship between Thomas Birch and Philip Yorke, we learn how an interesting variant of patronage embroiled with friendship developed between the two. In exchange for his services as intelligencer and agent, Birch enjoyed the benefits of Yorke’s influential network, obtaining new livings as clergyman and advancing his career as historian. Confrontations between the two, particularly on matters involving their work as dedicated historians, did not prevent them from remaining mutually loyal throughout their decades-long affiliation.

Stefan Bauer

Onofrio Panvinio was hired by sixteenth-century Roman families to write their histories and, where necessary, be prepared to bend the facts to suit their interests. This occasionally entailed a bit of forgery, usually involving tampering with specific words in documents. In most respects, however, Panvinio employed the same techniques—archival research and material evidence such as tombs and inscriptions—which distinguished his papal and ecclesiastical histories. This suggests that genealogy, despite being commissioned by aristocratic families to glorify their ancestries, can be seen as a more serious field of historical investigation than is often assumed. Yet the contours of this genre of history for hire in sixteenth-century Italian historiography are nowhere near exact. Panvinio struck a balance between fulfilling the expectations of the noble families who commissioned him and following his own scholarly instincts as an historian, but he nevertheless did not seek their publication. By contrast, Alfonso Ceccarelli, who also composed family histories, veered considerably in the direction of flattering his patrons, even forging entire papal and imperial privileges. Indeed, he was condemned to death for the forgery of wills concerning the property rights of nobles.