Programme for the session 2021–2022
The Society plans to hold its meetings at the Society of Antiquaries, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London W1J 0BE, beginning at 5.30 p.m. However, meetings may be moved online at short notice, and updates will be published on the Society’s website and communicated to members by email.
For all regular meetings at the Society of Antiquaries, tea will be served at 5.00 p.m. and wine will be served after each lecture. Members are welcome to bring guests, both to meetings and to the social gatherings
19 October 2020: AGM, 6 p.m.
The Annual General Meeting will take place at the Society of Antiquaries. No tea will be served before the meeting, but refreshments will be served afterwards.
The business of the meeting will be followed by a lecture by Nil Palabiyik entitled The Mad, the Bad and the Silenced: Three Tales about Ottoman Learning and Renaissance Book Culture. Turkish publishing in early modern Europe started off on the wrong foot with the word lists of the eccentric Guillaume Postel and the first grammar printed privately by the linguist Hieronymus Megiser who falsely claimed authorship of the work. When Anton Deusing, a Leiden medical student, discovered the collection of manuscripts Jacobus Golius brought from the Ottoman Empire, things began looking up. The paper explores the rise of oriental studies in early modern Europe through annotated manuscripts and printed editions.
16 November 2021
Before the meeting, the Society’s Gold Medal will be presented to Professor Michael Twyman.
Grant Recipients’ Panel
EDUARDO FERNÁNDEZ GUERRERO: Manuscript production and circulation in the age of print: the case of the Apocalypsis Nova.
The Apocalypsis Nova, a work describing the revelations of a Franciscan friar in Rome at the end of the fifteenth century, became a widely popular text in the early modern period throughout Catholic Europe. An exhaustive codicological survey of its manuscript circulation sheds light not only on how these revelations were read over time but also on how manuscript production evolved in pre-modern Europe.
JACOB BAXTER: A diplomat in the book world: Sir William Temple in print.
According to the lexicographer Samuel Johnson, Sir William Temple (1628-1699) ‘was the first writer who gave cadence to English prose’. This paper will outline the literary life and afterlife of this now largely forgotten author, with a particular emphasis on those who published his writings, and the men and women who read them.
YELDA NASIFOGLU: Tracing the circulation of mathematical books in early modern Britain through book catalogues.
This talk will address the possible methodologies and their challenges for studying the mathematical book trade in early modern Britain. It will also briefly introduce the ‘Catalogue of British Book Catalogues in Print & Manuscript up to 1700’ currently under development.
Monday, 13 December 2021
ELIZABETH SAVAGE: German Renaissance woodcuts at the British Museum.
In the last ten years, art historians have begun to recognise the significance of colour in print history—but the role of printed colour in books has been overlooked. This lecture offers a new approach, one centred on printers, based on a survey of the British Museum’s holdings of German prints, ephemera, broadsides, and books printed in 1450–1600.
The lecture will be followed by the launch of Early Colour Printing: German Renaissance Woodcuts at the British Museum (Paul Holberton Publishing, in association with the British Museum, 2021).
18 January 2022
EDWIN ROSE: Books, botany and empire in eighteenth-century Cambridge 1760 –1825.
Botany is a discipline that relies on books to function, a feature that became apparent after the foundation of the first Cambridge Botanic Garden in 1762. Concentrating on Thomas Martyn, the third Professor of Botany between 1762 and 1825, this talk will show how books were used to manage, order, describe and collect plants for the Botanic Garden across a network ranging from Tasmania to the Americas.
15 February 2022
PAUL HOFTIJZER: ‘Books from Britain in the Leiden Bibliotheca Thysiana’.
The Bibliotheca Thysiana in Leiden, founded at the death of its owner, the jurist Johannes Thysius (1622–1653), is made up of a wide variety of books from all over Europe. This paper will look at the relatively small, but highly interesting number of books printed in the British Isles or owned by British collectors.
15 March 2022
JAMES RAVEN: Monsters, myths and methods: towards a global book biography of Erik Pontoppidan’s Det første Forsøg paa Norges naturlige Historie (1752–3) [The Natural History of Norway (1755)]. What are the bibliographical implications of a ‘book biography’ (or the ‘life cycle of a book’)? Pontoppidan’s observations on giant sea monsters reappeared in Moby Dick and influenced modern sightings, writings and films around the world. Examination of surviving copies of the different editions of the Natural History (including those owned by Benjamin Franklin, Edward Gibbon and the Maharajah of Tangore), suggests gatherihow its ‘verification’ methods were modulated by different translations and inherited representations—but also by typographies, engravings and other material book forms.
19 April 2022
Graham Pollard Memorial Lecture
CRISTINA DONDI and NEIL HARRIS: The Zornale of Francesco de Madiis (1484–88): the end of the tunnel.
After over ten years of analysis of this rich and complex account book, this talk will share the final results in terms of editions identified, the availability of foreign and non-Venetian editions on the Venetian market, the speed of sales, the consistently decreasing prices of printed books, and what was sold within those early years.
17 May 2022
Homee and Phiroze Randeria Lecture
ARTHUR MARKS: The curious career of Nathaniel Price, a journeyman binder working in England and America.
This talk will follow the movements of Price, a late eighteenth-century London trained binder who worked in England and the United States, the latter in large part while in flight as an escaped convict. Eventually he made his way back to England and freedom, where after losing his sight, he encountered another impediment, blindness, while continuing to practise his profession.
Summer visit: details will be announced in The Library for March 2022.