In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

HUMANITIES 443 Heywood's Johan Johan, apparently for no other reason than the common subject of adultery. She tries to get from the Noah's wife of medieval drama to the patient-wife comedies of the seventeenth century, linking the latter with the long-suffering Noah; but the link snaps. These, however, are small weaknesses in a generally thoughtful book, one that helps us consolidate our view of domestic drama and its relation to society. (ALEXANDER LEGGATT) Peter M. Daly and G. Richard Dimler, SL editors. The Jesuit Series: Part One (A-D) MeGill-Queen's University Press. lxii, 230. $100.00 Under the distinguished general editorship of Peter M. Daly, the Corpus Librorum Emblematum is an ambitious series which aims to collate, update, and expand our scholarly knowledge of the European emblem tradition. The present volume marks the begi.rming of a much-needed attempt to provide a scholarly bibliography of 'all extant books of emblems, works illustrated with emblems, and books dealing with the theory and practice of emblematics written by members of the Society of Jesus.' The need for such a series has been created by the advances in our knowledge of the range and extent of the Jesuit emblem tradition over the past several decades. Of the 240 texts classified in this volume alone, fully half are not mentioned in Mario Praz's Studies in Seventeenth-Century Imagery (which remains a standard reference for emblem books in this period) and 54 are absent from the De Backer-Sommervogel Bibliotheque de Ia compagnie de Jesus (the standard reference on Jesuit writing of all kinds). In addition, the size and importance of the Jesuit tradition of emblematics have long been recognized, but not until now have scholars had a comprehensive reference that will permit this tradition to be examined separately. The benefits of this for scholars of the Counter-Reformation and early modern religiosity in general are obvious and considerable. The editors of this series have wisely chosen to be as broad-minded as possible in their criteria for selecting and classifying materials. Recent writing on the emblem tradition has focused increasingly on its diffuseness and interrelations with rhetoric, the decorative arts, impresa portraits, and many other representational traditions. Richard Dimler's earlier work on Jesuit emblems has convincingly demonstrated the extent to which the Jesuit emblem tradition was part of this process of exchange and adaption, and the editorial matter here is refreshingly honest about the impossibility of a rigid, exclusive definition ofJesuit emblematics. They have also chosen to be as inclusive as is reasonably possible in their definition of what constitutes an emblem and an emblematic book, omitting only those works with two or fewer plates or woodcuts and those with only an emblematic title-page or frontispiece. The recognition of how much extra work they 444 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 made for themselves and their co-workers by opting for such inclusiveness is not the least reason for appreciating its results. The text is arranged alphabetically by author, with a corporate author (usually the name of a Jesuit College) substituted for the many collections which were collectively assembled. A separate classification of the many different types of Jesuit emblem books is also provided, and will be a great help to non-specialists in field. Each entry provides a short-title and a facsimile reproduction of the title-pages, together with information about the text's layout, known library pressmarks, and location in other standard bibliographies. While no claims are made to provide the exhaustive information of traditional bibliography, the editors have collated two or more copies of each entry, and the fingerprints and reproduced title-pages provided make this work more than adequate to identify almost any emblem book which its readers may encounter. Inevitably, not all of the facsimiles are as clear as one would wish. Restrictions of space preclude full-page reproductions in works of this kind; however, they are still more valuable as aids to identification than most written descriptions can be. All in all, the editors cue to be congratulated on the launch of what promises to be an important new reference series. (JOHN HUNTER) Hilmar M. Pabel. Conversing...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 443-444
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.