Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies: Art of the Book Open House, 23 September

The Massachusetts Center for Renaissance Studies, one of the most-undervalued cultural gems of the Valley, made its contribution to BookMarks with a special one-time mini-exhibition of treasures from its collection: its so-called "Renaissance Top 10" (actually 16).

Reading in the Renaissance: An Exhibition of Books from the Early Age of Print, the catalogue compiled by curator Philip Palmer, provides a detailed description of the content and publication history of the books, along with notable features of the individual copies in the Center's collection. For example: The Arcadia displayed here is only one of seven editions in the holdings but was the personal copy of William Wordsworth. The 1549 Pliny is one of the most recent and finest acquisitions. The 1536 Galen is the oldest book in the collection.

#1 Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia (Basel: 1549)
#2 Ben Jonson, Works (London: 1692)
#3 Sir Philip Sidney, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (London: 1598)
#4 John Milton, Paradise Lost(London: 1705)
#5 Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene (London: 1609)
#6 John Donne, LXXX Sermons (London: 1640)
#7 William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet (London: 1734)
#8 Ludovico Ariosto (trans. Sir John Harington), Orlando Furioso (London: 1634)
#9 William Prynne, Histrio-mastix (London: 1633)
#10 Raphael Holinshed, Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland (London: 1587)
# 11 Katherine Philips, Poems by the most deservedly admired Mrs. Katherine Philips, the matchless Orinda (London: 1667)
#12 Sir Walter Ralegh, The History of the World (London: 1621)
# 13 Geneva Bible (London: 1598)
# 14 John Gerard, The Herball, or General History of Plants (London: 1633) [ 1597 ed.]
#15 Galen of Pergamum, Opera omnium utilissima (Basel: 1536)

Search the holdings of the Renaissance Center.

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