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Reviewed by:
  • The German Political Broadsheet 1600-1700.
  • Mara R. Wade
John Roger Paas . The German Political Broadsheet 1600-1700. Volume 8. 1649-1661. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005. 490 pp. + 18 b/w pls. illus. bibl. €888. ISBN: 3-447-05061-6.

This is a truly splendid volume: the design and layout are superior, the content of the highest scholarly quality, and the potential to give durable impetus to future scholarship clear. The reproduction of the plates is excellent, and in a day and age when most publishers shy away from producing such meticulously executed illustrated folios, Harrassowitz, and of course, John Roger Paas, are to be commended for their far-reaching vision and superb craftsmanship. While this outstanding quality is characteristic of all the volumes in this series, volume 8 stands out for its marvelous presentation of irregularly sized, large-scale graphics, many requiring multiple folding — some vertically and others horizontally — an aspect that, in view of the complicated printing and binding process, would deter most publishers. While the individual volume price is staggering and puts the entire set beyond the reach of most scholars, it is well worth the efforts of readers of this journal to ensure that their university libraries acquire the entire set, be it through the normal acquisition process or designated funds from special donors and friends of the library. The potential for teaching attractive and intellectually rigorous undergraduate courses as well as graduate seminars from these plates is great; many new materials await discovery here. Each volume harbors the seeds of dissertations, articles, and monographs waiting to be written.

This volume covers a time in German history largely unknown outside of German studies — the period 1649–61 — but deserving scholarly attention from many disciplines. Most interesting, perhaps, for readers of this journal are the numerous plates (listed under "P" numbers) and their related images (listed under "PA" numbers) concerning the execution of Charles I, the rise and fall of Cromwell, the Commonwealth, and the Restoration of Charles II. There are numerous plates, numerous states of plates, and copious related material, providing a treasure trove of information on continental attitudes toward the regicide and its aftermath. Of interest is the equestrian portrait of Oliver Cromwell (P2312) with a depiction of Dresden in the background, a recycling of a plate originally depicting the Saxon Elector Johann Georg I. While the reception of these English events [End Page 580] is well known to scholars of German Baroque literature, owing largely to the excellent studies by Günter Berghaus and the considerable scholarship on Andreas Gryphius's tragedy Carolus Stuardus, the associated visual materials are still largely unknown. With the publication of volume 8, scholars no longer have an excuse.

While the volume is bursting with pictorial materials concerning Anglo-Dutch, Swedish-Dutch, and Swedish-Danish conflicts, the great Northern Wars, the death of King Charles X, and accession of Charles XI of Sweden, the entry of Louis XIV and Marie Theresa into Paris, entries of brides and emperors, coronations, funeral corteges, and the centenary of the signing of the Peace of Augsburg — including a series of portraits of the secular and episcopal Electors of the Holy Roman Empire — two events are particularly well documented: the so-called Executive Congress in Nuremberg (1649–50), with the associated celebrations marking the final negotiations concluding the Thirty Years' War, and the election and coronation of Emperor Leopold I (1658), including the entries of various princes into Frankfurt as well as Leopold I's entries into Nuremberg, Munich, and Vienna. The fold-out plates for the triumphal arches at Nuremberg are particularly spectacular. In a quirk of publishing history which speaks volumes about seventeenth-century practice, Paas's detailed research shows that P2476, depicting Leopold's entry into Nürnberg in 1658, is a recycled engraving for the entry of the Emperor Matthias into that same city in 1617. Also of bibliographic interest is the note to P2341, a plate commemorating the death of Emperor Ferdinand IV, stating that a Yiddish version of the first song was published in Prague in 1654 (483).

John Roger Paas is to be commended for his painstaking research and the resulting magisterial command of his...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1935-0236
Print ISSN
0034-4338
Pages
pp. 580-581
Launched on MUSE
2008-03-27
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2009
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