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194 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 Index Emblematicus. Volume 4 of The English Emblem Tradition: William Camden, Remtlil1eS ofa Greater Worke Concerning Britaine; H.G., The Mirrour ofMaiestie; Otto van Veen, Amorum Emblemata. Edited by Peter M. Daly, Leslie T. Duer, and Mary V. Silcox University of Toronto Press. xviii, 376. $120.00 Index Emblematicus. Volume 5 of The English Emblem Tradition: Henry Peacham, Henry Peachnm's Manuscript Emblem Books. Edited by Alan R. Young University of Toronto Press. xxx, 332. $120.00 Currently one of the major long-range Canadian undertakings in the humanities, the index Emblematicus is an essential resource for researchers concerned with early modern culture, across a wide range of disciplines. Proceeding chronologically from 1569 to 17°O, the English Emblem Tradition, of which these volumes are the most recent instalments, is an extensive subseries of the Index that gives English emblematics in general the treatment already given to Andrea A1ciato (1492-1550), the seminal emblematist, in the Index's initial two volumes. Each volume furnishes a facsimile edition of the text or texts included, an introductory and bibliographic account of each, translations of non-English mottoes and epigrams, information on dedicatees, and elaborate computer-assisted indexes and concordances for each text, keyed to flagged words in the mottoes and other original textual elements, and in verbal descriptions of the pictures, so that graphic components are also fully indexed. Narrowly considered, an emblem is, as in Alciato's founding text for the genre, a tripartite interplay of a gnomic motto, picture, and epigram, usually all on one page, that constitutes both a particular art form and a mode ofsymbolic cornmurucation. It gives verbal-visual treatment to some subject, often moral, but otherwise possibly topicat political, celebratory, or religious. The intertextual and imagistic associations can be very dense, and reflected in marginal or other citations of authorities. There were also many closely related hybrids of texts and graphics such as Inaked' emblems, with verbal descriptions rather than pictures; devices on military banners; anthologies of imprese; and texts incorporating emblematic illustrations. The English series of the Index includes these and other quasiemblematic forms and modes in its sweeping multi-volume survey of English emblematics to 1700. The series will thus encompass over fifty-eight titles, typically including several within a single volume. Volume 4includes editions of three diverse emblematic texts. Edited by Peter M. Daly and Leslie T. Ouer, the first section presents William Camden's collection of 1}6 unillustrated imprese from a chapter of his Remaines ofa Greater Worke Concerning Britaine (London, 1605). According to Camden, an impresa 'is a device in picture with his Motto, or Word, borne by noble and learned personages to notify some particular conceit of their own,' and often pertains to some particular occasion. Camden renders HUMANITIES 195 the pictures through verbal description. His collection shows how many famous personalities expressed their concerns, desires, and frustrations through the verbal-visual conventions of the impresa, with strikingly pointed effect. As the second wife of Henry VIII, A1U1e Boleyn sported this self-congratulatory device: 'Mihi, et meae' (For me and mine), picturing 'a white-crowned falcon, holding a sceptre in its right talon, standing upon a gold trunk, from which sprout red and white roses.' The impresa apparently celebrates her amorous entry into the Tudor dynasty, the roses suggesting both the red and white associated with love, and the Tudor rose combining those colours. In retrospect, Anne's confidence is poignantly ironic, since she was beheaded in 1536; yet also vindicated, for thechild whom she bore turned out to be the last Tudor ruler, Elizabeth I. Second in the volume, and edited by Mary V. Silcox, H.C.'s The Mirrour ofMaiestie (London, 1618), a hybrid heraldic catalogue and emblem book, consists of thirty-two woodcut emblems and thirty-one woodcut coats-o£arms . In H.G.'s heraldic phase, a dedication to a leading aristocratic or ecclesiastical personage heads the page, above his coat of arms encircled by the motto, while an epigram underneath morally interprets the heraldic bearing. Complementing this quasi-emblematic ensemble, a related emblem with tripartite configuration ofmotto, picture, and epigram appears on the facing page. Reflecting the social hierarchy...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 194-197
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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