Exchanges between Iberia and the British Isles, 1500–1767
In Exile, Diplomacy and Texts, Ana Sáez-Hidalgo and Berta Cano-Echevarría offer an interdisciplinary narrative of religious, political, and diplomatic exchanges between early modern Iberia and the British Isles during a period uniquely marked by inconstant alliances and corresponding antagonisms. Such conditions notwithstanding, the essays in this volume challenge conventionally monolithic views of confrontation, providing through fresh examination of exchanges of news, movements and interactions of people, transactions of books and texts, new evidence of trans-national and trans-cultural conversations between British and Irish communities in the Iberian Peninsula, and of Spanish and Portuguese ‘others’ travelling to Britain and Ireland.

Contributors include: Berta Cano-Echevarría, Rui Carvalho Homem, Mark Hutchings, , Thomas O’Connor, Susana Oliveira, Tamara Pérez-Fernández, Glyn Redworth, Marta Revilla-Rivas, and Ana Sáez-Hidalgo.
Perceiving and Controlling Time in Late Medieval and Renaissance Rome
Time in the Eternal City: Perceiving and Controlling Time in Late Medieval and Renaissance Rome is a major contribution to the study of time and its numerous aspects in late medieval and Renaissance Rome. The authors offer a versatile view on the variety of ways time could be perceived. Individual chapters concentrate on the grass-root levels of everyday life, on various uses of the past in the present, as well as on the control of time by the ecclesiastical authorities. These studies reveal a wealth of new information that demonstrates the almost endlessly fluid manner in which time could be perceived, as well as the innovative ways in which time could be used by individuals and authorities alike.
The wide scholarly interests of Scots in the Restoration period are analysed by Murray Simpson through this in-depth study of the library of James Nairn (1629-1678), a Scottish parish minister. The collection demonstrates a remarkable receptivity to new intellectual ideas. At some two thousand titles Nairn’s is the biggest library formed in this period for which we have detailed and accurate records. The collection is analysed by subject. In addition, there is a biographical study and chapters investigating aspects of the Scottish book market and comparing other contemporary Scottish clerical libraries. A short-title catalogue of the collection, giving references to relevant online bibliographies and catalogues, a select provenance index and a subject index complete the work.
Machiavelli’s Art of War and the Fortune of the Militia in Sixteenth-Century Florence and Europe
Author: Andrea Guidi
How did the evolution of new gunpowder weapons change the nature, structure and composition of the Florentine militias during the first decades of the sixteenth century? Via an examination of little-known and unpublished sources, this book provides a comparative exploration of two Florentine republican experiments with a peasant militia: one promoted and created by Niccolò Machiavelli (1506-12) and a later one (1527-30). Using this comparison as the basis for a new reading of Machiavelli’s Art of War (which drew on the author's experience with the militia), the book then investigates the relationship between the circulation and reception of Machiavelli’s influential work, changing conceptions of militia, and the formation of new cultures of warfare in Europe in the sixteenth century.
Author: Efraim Wust
The Yahuda Collection was bequeathed to the National Library of Israel by one of the twentieth century's most knowledgeable and important collectors, Abraham Shalom Yahuda (d. 1951). The rich and multifaceted collection of 1,186 manuscripts, spanning ten centuries, includes works representing the major Islamic disciplines and literary traditions. Highlights include illuminated manuscripts from Mamluk, Mughal, and Ottoman court libraries; rare, early copies of medieval scholarly treatises; and early modern autograph copies.

In this groundbreaking Arabic catalogue, Efraim Wust synthesizes the Islamic and Western manuscript traditions to enrich our understanding of the manuscripts and their compositions. His combined treatment of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish manuscripts preserves the integrity of the collection and honors the multicultural history of the Islamic intellectual traditions.
Author: Samarpita Mitra
In Periodicals, Readers and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture: Bengal at the Turn of the Twentieth Century Samarpita Mitra studies literary periodicals as a particular print form, and reveals how their production and circulation were critical to the formation of a Bengali public sphere during the turn of the twentieth century. Given its polyphonic nature, capacity for sustaining debates and adaptability by readers with diverse reading competencies, periodicals became the preferred means for dispensing modern education and entertainment through the vernacular. The book interrogates some of the defining debates that shaped readers’ perspectives on critical social issues and explains how literary culture was envisioned as an indicator of the emergent nation. Finally it looks at the Bengali-Muslim and women’s periodicals and their readerships and argues that the presence of multiple literary voices make it impossible to speak of Bengali literary culture in any singular terms.
The Latin poet Ovid continues to fascinate readers today. In Italian Readers of Ovid from the Origins to Petrarch, Julie Van Peteghem examines what drew medieval Italian writers to the Latin poet’s works, characters, and themes. While accounts of Ovid’s influence in Italy often start with Dante’s Divine Comedy, this book shows that mentions of Ovid are found in some of the earliest poems written in Italian, and remain a constant feature of Italian poetry over time. By situating the poetry of the Sicilians, Dante, Cino da Pistoia, and Petrarch within the rich and diverse history of reading, translating, and adapting Ovid’s works, Van Peteghem offers a novel account of the reception of Ovid in thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Italy.
Author: Lisa Kuitert

Abstract

In the Netherlands, and elsewhere, too, Laurens Janszoon Coster of Haarlem, and not Gutenberg, was long thought to have been the inventor of the art of printing. The myth—for that is what it was—was only definitively repudiated at the end of the nineteenth century, though some continued to believe in Coster until their dying breath. The Coster myth was deployed to give the history of the Netherlands status and international prestige. This article concerns the extent to which Coster’s supposed invention was known in the Dutch East Indies—today’s Indonesia, a Dutch colony at that time—and what its significance was there. After all, heroes, national symbols and traditions, whether invented or not, are the building blocks of cultural nationalism. Is this also true for Laurens Janszoon Coster in his colonial context?

In: Quaerendo

Abstract

Benedictus de Spinoza became one of the few censored authors in the liberal publishing climate of the Dutch Republic. Twenty-three years passed before the first Dutch translation of his Tractatus Theologico-Politicus (1670) appeared in print, despite two interrupted attempts to bring out a vernacular version before 1693. This article compares the three oldest Dutch translations of Spinoza’s notorious treatise by combining digital sentence alignment with philological analysis. It describes the relationship between the variants, two printed versions and a manuscript, revealing a pattern of fragmentary similarity. This partial textual reuse can be explained using Harold Love’s notion of ‘scribal publication’: readers circulated handwritten copies as a strategy to avoid the censorship of Spinozism. As a result, medium and language not only conditioned the dissemination of Spinoza’s treatise in Dutch, but also affected its text in the versions published—either in manuscript or print—between 1670 and 1694.

In: Quaerendo

Abstract

This article analyses the private library book sale catalogue of paper-cutting artist (knipkunstenaar) Johanna Koerten (1650-1715), one of the most famous artists in the Dutch Republic. The study draws on data gathered for the ERC-funded MEDIATE project (Measuring Enlightenment: Disseminating Ideas, Authors and Texts in Europe, 1665-1830). The bibliometric approach of this digital humanities project uses book sale catalogues to study the circulation of books and ideas in eighteenth-century Europe. This article analyses the catalogue of Koerten, her background and professional interests, the ‘femininity’ of female book collections in general, and the problems and opportunities one faces when using bibliometric data on book sale catalogues.

In: Quaerendo