German Reformation material 

Recently I was happy to catalogue a rather special volume (5000.c.81) containing German Reformation pamphlets.

5000.c.81

We received this volume as a generous donation from the library of the late Donald William Nicolson. Mr Nicolson was a classics teacher with a keen interest in languages which is reflected in his library. He also trained in bookbinding, and we might assume that he was planning to repair this volume as its front board is detached.

The pamphlets collected in the volume were published separately in the years 1523 and 1524 in Augsburg, Strasbourg, Nuremberg and Wittenberg and only later bound together in a half-leather binding. The connecting theme of these pamphlets is the criticism of monasticism from a Lutheran standpoint. Several of the pamphlets use the style of dialogue (Gespräch/Gesprech) in which a layman and monk or clergyman discuss the rights and wrongs of monastic life, with the layman always winning the argument! Among the pamphlets is also a work by Luther himself, an admonishing address to the Teutonic Knights. These pamphlets often have illustrated title pages amplifying the point made in the pamphlet. Sadly, several of the pamphlets in our volume are missing their title pages. Nevertheless, this volume is an exciting collection of Reformation material as the images below demonstrate (click on the images to see enlarged versions).

Christian Staufenbiel

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