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Sephardic Editions, 1550-1820: Installment 3
Spanish and Portuguese books written and/or published by Sephardic Jews of Early Modern Europe

Library of Jewish heritage
The present selection reflects the impressive cultural achievements of these "New Jews" and former conversos, who are also called Western Sephardim. In communities such as Ferrara, Amsterdam, Hamburg, London, and Bayonne, these Iberians - who had been raised as Catholics, and were largely unaware of Hebrew and formal Judaism - reconnected with their ancestral faith through the creation of an authentic library of Jewish heritage in the Spanish and the Portuguese language.

Modern Jews
Numerous Bibles, prayer books, and a whole range of works on the essentials of Judaism and the duties of a Jew were published in the vernacular. However, book-printing was not limited to re-education in Judaism alone; many of the works written or printed by the former conversos also reflect the broad cultural interest, and the academic background, they had brought with them from Spain and Portugal. Precisely the encounter between Iberian Renaissance culture and the rediscovered Judaism in environments such as the cosmopolitan, tolerant city of Amsterdam, turned these Western Sephardim into the first "modern Jews," as is exemplified by the life and works of such eminent figures as Uriel da Costa, Menasseh ben Israel, and Joseph Penso de la Vega.

Most influential works
This selection comprises the most influential works written or printed by the Iberian Jews in the major centers of the Western Sephardi Diaspora (e.g., the Netherlands, France, Italy, Germany, England); it includes all genres and reflects both their religious and their secular culture. Many of the editions included in Meyer Kayserling's bibliography are exceedingly rare and are available only in specialized collections of Judaica. The aim of the present selection is to make the Sephardi heritage generally available in order to meet the needs of modern scholarship.

Harm den Boer, University of Amsterdam

Series:

Gina Dahl

During recent decades much has been written about early modern book distribution, but until now Norway has been absent from the discussion. Drawing on book listings, this study seeks to fill this lacuna by exploring the market for books in early modern Norway. Its approach is multifaceted: consideration of the types of books accessed by different elements of Norwegian society is set alongside developments within the book market itself, such as the extended life of popular books, the gradual replacement of Latin by the vernacular and the rise in the eighteenth century in the number of books available on the market. The study demonstrates the internationality of the Norwegian book market while acknowledging specific patterns that determine its Norwegian character.

Series:

Laura Delbrugge

A Scholarly Edition of Andrés de Li’s Thesoro de la passion (1494) is the first new edition of this early Castilian Passion text in five hundred years. Originally published in 1494 by the prolific Zaragozan printer Pablo Hurus, this beautifully illustrated devotional offers the modern reader a glimpse into the complex social world of late fifteenth-century Spain. Li’s converso identity permeates his retelling of the Passion through expositions on hypocrisy, anti-Semitism, and false faith. This new, modernized edition of the Thesoro de la passion dramatically illustrates the unique confluence of social, religious, and cultural forces present during the emergence of Spain’s national identity via analyses of the Thesoro’s Classical, Castilian, and Catalan sources, its importance as an early printed book, Li’s portrayal of the Virgin Mary, Christ, and the Passion events, and the importance of Li’s converso perspectives throughout the work.

Netherlandish Books (NB) (2 Vols.)

Books Published in the Low Countries and Dutch Books Printed Abroad before 1601

Edited by Andrew Pettegree and Malcolm Walsby

Netherlandish Books offers a unique overview of what was printed during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the Low Countries. This bibliography lists descriptions of over 32,000 editions together with bibliographical references, an introduction and indexes. It draws on the analysis of collections situated in libraries throughout the world. This is the first time that all the books published in the various territories that formed the Low Countries are presented together in a single bibliography. Netherlandish Books is an invaluable research tool for all students and scholars interested in the history, culture and literature of the Low Countries, as well as historians of the early modern book world.

Customers interested in this title may also be interested in French Vernacular Books, edited by Andrew Pettegree, Malcolm Walsby and Alexander Wilkinson.

The Texts and Contexts of Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108

The Shaping of English Vernacular Narrative

Series:

Edited by Kimberly Bell and Julie Nelson Couch

The late thirteenth-century, monolingual Oxford manuscript, Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108, bears singular importance to medieval studies, for it preserves and anthologizes unique versions of several seminal Middle English texts, including South English Legendary, Havelok the Dane, and King Horn and Somer Soneday. While critics have traditionally classified these poems by genre, this book returns them to their manuscript context in a comprehensive examination of this vernacular codex. Considering the manuscript as a “whole book” rather than a miscellany of romances, saints' lives, and religious poems, these inter-connected essays focus on the physical, contextual, and critical intersections of Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 108. Codicological evidence foregrounds the manuscript’s investment in a particular vision of an English Christian identity.
Contributors are A.S.G. Edwards, Thomas R. Liszka, Murray J. Evans, Andrew Taylor, Diane Speed, Susanna Fein, Robert Mills, Andrew Lynch, Daniel Kline, Christina M. Fitzgerald, and J. Justin Brent.

Edited by Graeme Dunphy

The Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle brings together the latest research in chronicle studies from a variety of disciplines and scholarly traditions. Chronicles are the history books written and read in educated circles throughout Europe and the Middle East in the Middle Ages. For the modern reader, they are important as sources for the history they tell, but equally they open windows on the preoccupations and self-perceptions of those who tell it. Interest in chronicles has grown steadily in recent decades, and the foundation of a Medieval Chronicle Society in 1999 is indicative of this. Indeed, in many ways the Encyclopedia has been inspired by the emergence of this Society as a focus of the interdisciplinary chronicle community.

The Encyclopedia fills an important gap especially for historians, art historians, and literar scholars. It is the first reference work on medieval chronicles to attempt this kind of coverage of works from Eruope, North Africa, and the Middle East over a period of twelve centuries. 2564 entries escribe individual anonymous chronicles or the historical oeuvre of particular chroniclers, covering the widest possible selection of works written in Latin, English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Norse, Irish, Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, Syriac, Church Slavonic and other languages. Leading articles give overviwes of genres and historiographical traditions, and thematic entries cover particular features of medieval chronicles and such general issues as authorship and patronage, as well as questions of art history. Textual transmission is emphasized, and a comprehensive manuscript index makes a useful contribution to the codicology of chronicles.

Also available online as part of Brill's Medieval Reference Library Online.

Text Comparison and Digital Creativity

The Production of Presence and Meaning in Digital Text Scholarship

Series:

Edited by Wido Th. van Peursen, Ernst Thoutenhoofd and Adriaan van der Weel

In fourteen thoughtful essays this book reports and reflects on the many changes that a digital workflow brings to the world of original texts and textual scholarship, and the effect on scholarly communication practices. The spread of digital technology across philology, linguistics and literary studies suggests that text scholarship is taking on a more laboratory-like image. The ability to sort, quantify, reproduce and report text through computation would seem to facilitate the exploration of text as another type of quantitative scientific data. However, developing this potential also highlights text analysis and text interpretation as two increasingly separated sub-tasks in the study of texts. The implied dual nature of interpretation as the traditional, valued mode of scholarly text comparison, combined with an increasingly widespread reliance on digital text analysis as scientific mode of inquiry raises the question as to whether the reflexive concepts that are central to interpretation – individualism, subjectivity – are affected by the anonymised, normative assumptions implied by formal categorisations of text as digital data.

The Palaeotypography of the French Renaissance (2 vols.)

Selected Papers on Sixteenth-Century Typefaces

Series:

Hendrik Vervliet

This collection of thirteen essays examines sixteenth-century type design in France. Typefaces developed during this period were to influence decisively the typography of the centuries which followed, and they continue to influence a great many contemporary typefaces. The papers' common goal is to establish the paternity of the typefaces described and critically to appraise their attributions, many of which have previously been inadequately ascribed. Such an approach will be of interest to type historians and type designers seeking better-documented attributions, and to historians, philologists, and bibliographers, whose study of historical imprints will benefit from more accurate type descriptions. The papers and illustrations focus on the most important letter-cutters of the French Renaissance, including Simon de Colines, Robert Estienne, Claude Garamont, Robert Granjon, Pierre Haultin, and also include a number of minor masters of the period.

Manuscript Studies in the Low Countries

Proceedings of the 'Groninger Codicologendagen' in Friesland, 2002

Edited by Anne Margreet W. As-Vijvers, Jos M.M. Hermans and Gerda C. Huisman

Volume 3 of the Boekhistorische Reeks contains the proceedings of the ‘Groninger Codicologendagen in Friesland’, the quadrennial conference on Netherlandish manuscript studies, which in 2002 was held at the Fryske Akademy in Leewarden.

The rich contents of this book reflect the two major conference themes, Books and Teaching, and the Art of Manuscript Illumination. International scholars in these fields investigate both subjects from various angles.

Papers included in the first section offer glimpses of medieval school life, the role of schoolboys in the production of manuscripts and printed books, the use of books by medieval surgeons, the pecia-system to produce manuscripts, and the importance of manuscripts for early modern scholarship.

In the second section the focus is on the state of research and new inquiries in Netherlandish manuscript illumination. Miniatures, border decoration, scribes and workshop practices are the subjects of studies ranging from the Moerdrecht Masters, active in the second quarter of the fifteenth century, to Ghent-Bruges illuminators in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and from mass-produced books of hours to luxurious, secular manuscripts made for members of the Bourgundian court.

In the third part some current book-historical projects are presented, which cover a broad range of important research tools that are now available through the Internet, both for specialists as well as book lovers.

French Vernacular Books / Livres vernaculaires français (FB) (2 vols.)

Books Published in the French Language before 1601 / Livres imprimés en français avant 1601

Andrew Pettegree, Malcolm Walsby and Alexander Wilkinson

This work offers for the first time a complete list of all books published wholly or partially in the French language before 1601. Based on twelve years of investigations in libraries in France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere, it provides an analytical short-title catalogue of over 52,000 bibliographically distinct items, with reference to surviving copies in over 1,600 libraries worldwide. Many of the items described are editions and even complete texts fully unknown and re-discovered by the project. French Vernacular Books is an invaluable research tool for all students and scholars interested in the history, culture and literature of France, as well as historians of the early modern book world.

For vols. III & IV please go to French Books III & IV.