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Tributes to Prof. John Lowden from his Students, Friends and Colleagues
The twenty-eight essays in this collection showcase cutting-edge research in manuscript studies, encompassing material from late antiquity to the Renaissance. The volume celebrates the exceptional contribution of John Lowden to the study of medieval books. The authors explore some of the themes and questions raised in John’s work, tackling issues of meaning, making, patronage, the book as an object, relationships between text and image, and the transmission of ideas. They combine John’s commitment to the close scrutiny of manuscripts with an interrogation of what the books meant in their own time and what they mean to us now.
This study reexamines the invention of the emblem book and discusses the novel textual and pictorial means that applied to the task of transmitting knowledge. It offers a fresh analysis of Alciato’s Emblematum liber, focusing on his poetics of the emblem, and on how he actually construed emblems. It demonstrates that the “father of emblematics” had vernacular forebears, most importantly Johann von Schwarzenberg who composed two illustrated emblem books between 1510 and 1520.

The study sheds light on the early development of the Latin emblem book 1531–1610, with special emphasis on the invention of the emblematic commentary, on natural history, and on advanced methods of conveying emblematic knowledge, from Junius to Vaenius.
This book is the first to date to be dedicated to the circulation of the book as a commodity in the Mamluk sultanate. It discusses the impact of princely patronage on the production of books, the formation and management of libraries in religious institutions, their size and their physical setting. It documents the significance of private collections and their interaction with institutional libraries and the role of charitable endowments ( waqf ) in the life of libraries. The market as a venue of intellectual and commercial exchanges and a production centre is explored with references to prices and fees. The social and professional background of scribes and calligraphers occupies a major place in this study, which also documents the chain of master-calligraphers over the entire Mamluk period. For her study the author relies on biographical dictionaries, chronicles, waqf documents and manuscripts.
A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Editions
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This book provides bibliographic information, ownership records, a detailed worldwide census and a description of the handwritten annotations for all the surviving copies of the 1543 and 1555 editions of Vesalius’ De humani corporis fabrica. It also offers a groundbreaking historical analysis of how the Fabrica traveled across the globe, and how readers studied, annotated and critiqued its contents from 1543 to 2017. The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius sheds a fresh light on the book’s vibrant reception history and documents how physicians, artists, theologians and collectors filled its pages with copious annotations. It also offers a novel interpretation of how an early anatomical textbook became one of the most coveted rare books for collectors in the 21st century.
In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.
A unique collection of 36 chapters on the history of Chinese medical illustrations, this volume will take the reader on a remarkable journey from the imaging of a classical medicine to instructional manuals for bone-setting, to advertising and comic books of the Yellow Emperor. In putting images, their power and their travels at the centre of the analysis, this volume reveals many new and exciting dimensions to the history of medicine and embodiment, and challenges eurocentric histories. At a broader philosophical level, it challenges historians of science to rethink the epistemologies and materialities of knowledge transmission. There are studies by senior scholars from Asia, Europe and the Americas as well as emerging scholars working at the cutting edge of their fields.

Thanks to generous support of the Wellcome Trust, this volume is available in Open Access.
Author: Lotte Hellinga
Almost half a million books printed in the fifteenth century survive in collections worldwide. In Incunabula in Transit Lotte Hellinga explores how and where they were first disseminated. Propelled by the novel need to market hundreds of books, early printers formed networks with colleagues, engaged agents and traded Latin books over long distances. They adapted presentation to suit the taste of distinct readerships, local and remote. Publishing in vernacular languages required typographical innovations, as the chapter on William Caxton’s Flanders enterprise demonstrates. Eighteenth-century collectors dislodged books from institutions where they had rested since the sales drives of early printers. Erudite and entertaining, Hellinga’s evidence-based approach, linked to historical context, deepens understanding of the trade in early printed books.
Suzanne Karr Schmidt's Interactive and Sculptural Printmaking in the Renaissance tells the story of a hands-on genre of prints: how innovative paper engineering redefined the relationship of early modern viewers to art, humanism, and science.
Interactive and sculptural prints pervaded the European reading market of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Single sheets and book illustrations featured movable flaps and dials, and functioned as kits to build three-dimensional scientific instruments. These hybrid constructions—part text, part image, and part sculpture—engaged readers; so did the polemical, satirical, and, occasionally, erotic content. By manipulating dials and flaps, or building and using the instruments, viewers learned to think through images as well as words, interacting visually with desires, social critique, and knowledge itself.

Friendship, Art and Erudition in the Network of Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598)
Erudite Eyes explores the network of the Antwerp cartographer Abraham Ortelius (1527-1598), a veritable trading zone of art and erudition. Populated by such luminaries as Pieter Bruegel, Joris Hoefnagel, Justus Lipsius and Benedictus Arias Montanus, among others, this vibrant antiquarian culture yielded new knowledge about local antiquities and distant civilizations, and offered a framework for articulating art and artistic practice. These fruitful exchanges, undertaken in a spirit of friendship and collaboration, are all the more astonishing when seen against the backdrop of the ongoing wars. Based on a close reading of early modern letters, alba amicorum, printed books, manuscripts and artworks, this book situates Netherlandish art and culture between Bruegel and Rubens in a European perspective.