Erasmus and His Books

By Egbertus Van Gulik
Translated by J.C. Grayson and edited by James K. McConica and Johannes Trapman

© 2018

What became of Erasmus’ books? The most famous scholar of his day died in peaceful prosperity and in the company of celebrated and responsible friends. His zeal for useful books was insatiable. Indeed, he had taken care to insure that after his death they would pass to an appreciative noble owner, yet after his death their fate was unknown.

Erasmus and His Books provides the most comprehensive evidence available about the books of Erasmus of Rotterdam – the books he owned and his attitude towards them, when and how he acquired them, how he housed, used, and cared for them, and how, from time to time, he disposed of them.

Part 1 details the formation, growth, scope, and arrangement of Erasmus’ library and opens the door to a new understanding of the more intimate side of his daily life as a scholar at home with his books, friends, publishers, and booksellers.

Part 2 presents a carefully annotated catalogue, the Versandliste, of the more than 400 books in Erasmus’ possession at one point. Drawing upon his command of bibliographical data and his extensive knowledge of Erasmus’ correspondence and related records Egbertus van Gulik proposes as precise an identification of each of the titles as the evidence will allow.

Van Gulik’s insightful discoveries tell us what can be known of books in Erasmus’ working library and how he used them and will be of interest to students of the northern Renaissance, the history of the book, and the history of learning.

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Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
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    Regular Price: $160.00

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Quick Overview

Erasmus and His Books, an essential reference for Erasmus scholars and bibliophiles around the world, details the formation, growth, scope, and disposal of Erasmus’ library, and includes a lengthy annotated catalogue of all items.

Erasmus and His Books

By Egbertus Van Gulik
Translated by J.C. Grayson and edited by James K. McConica and Johannes Trapman

© 2018

What became of Erasmus’ books? The most famous scholar of his day died in peaceful prosperity and in the company of celebrated and responsible friends. His zeal for useful books was insatiable. Indeed, he had taken care to insure that after his death they would pass to an appreciative noble owner, yet after his death their fate was unknown.

Erasmus and His Books provides the most comprehensive evidence available about the books of Erasmus of Rotterdam – the books he owned and his attitude towards them, when and how he acquired them, how he housed, used, and cared for them, and how, from time to time, he disposed of them.

Part 1 details the formation, growth, scope, and arrangement of Erasmus’ library and opens the door to a new understanding of the more intimate side of his daily life as a scholar at home with his books, friends, publishers, and booksellers.

Part 2 presents a carefully annotated catalogue, the Versandliste, of the more than 400 books in Erasmus’ possession at one point. Drawing upon his command of bibliographical data and his extensive knowledge of Erasmus’ correspondence and related records Egbertus van Gulik proposes as precise an identification of each of the titles as the evidence will allow.

Van Gulik’s insightful discoveries tell us what can be known of books in Erasmus’ working library and how he used them and will be of interest to students of the northern Renaissance, the history of the book, and the history of learning.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Erasmus Studies
  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 544 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 1.0in x 9.0in
  • Author Information

    James McConica is a Professor Emeritus at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto



    J.C. Grayson lives in Liverpool. He has translated numerous scholarly books from various languages.

  • Table of contents

    Foreword by James K. McConica
    Abbreviations and Works Frequently Cited
    Bibliography
    Short-Title Forms for Erasmus’ Works
    Introduction

    Part One

    1. The History and Nature of Erasmus’ Working Library
    2. The Formation and Growth of the Library
    3. The Disposal and Replacement of Books
    4. The Housing and Arrangement of the Collection
    5. Maintenance and Binding
    6. What the Versandliste Does Not Include
    7. Erasmus and the Book: The Humanist at Work
    8. Conclusion

    Part Two

    1. The Versandliste of Erasmus’ Library in 1536: An Annotated Catalogue
    2. Introduction: Methods and Resources
    3. The Versandliste: Authors and Titles in Erasmus’ Library
    4. The Versandliste: An Annotated Catalogue

    Appendix 1: Catalogus librorum Erasmi

    Appendix 2: Books Found in Erasmus’ Correspondence

    Appendix 3: Classification of the Books on the Versandliste