Introduction Overview Images KU Leuven Penn Library

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This Bible, the most recent acquisition by the University of Pennsylvania Library included in this exhibition, was acquired in 2002. Printed in Antwerp by the Plantin-Moretus press, it presents the Vulgate text. Aside from the insignificant point that the book, printed in what is now Belgium, finds itself back in Belgium for a visit, it would seem in every other respect to be completely ordinary. So it is, but for the fact that handwritten commentary on and emendation of the Biblical text covers almost every leaf. The hand is tiny, precise, extraordinarily legible -- and, apparently, very nearly indefatigable: these marginalia go on and on and on. Moreover, the hand is also identifiable. It is that of an English seventeenth-century physician and member of the Royal College of Physicians, Thomas Marwood. Interesting not only in themselves, they also record the spiritual concerns -- the obsessive spiritual concerns, it must be said -- of a recusant, that is, a Roman Catholic, in Anglican England during a time of considerable religious upheavals. The book suggests that the College of Physicians was willing to grant membership to a Roman Catholic at a time when this toleration might not have been immediately to be expected. Unstudied as yet, this Bible opens up possibilities for students and researchers in several fields.
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Biblia, das ist, Die gantze heilige Schrift: Deudsch / D. Mart. Luth. [Bible. German. Luther. 1565.] Wittemberg: Gedruckt durch Hans Lufft, 1565. Portfolio BS239.1565.