David Lloyd Roberts MRCS LSA MD FRCP FRS.Edin (1834–1920) was a successful Manchester doctor who made significant contributions to the advancement of gynaecology and obstetrics. His career was closely linked to the Manchester St Mary’s Hospital for Women and Children, 1858–1920. He lectured on midwifery at Owens College and the University of Manchester and was gynaecological surgeon to Manchester Royal Infirmary. He had many interests outside medicine, including a large collection of rare books, paintings and antiques. He produced an edition of Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici (1898) and a paper, The Scientific Knowledge of Dante (1914). He donated his books to the John Rylands Library and the London Royal College of Physician, his paintings to the Manchester Art Gallery, and he left a large endowment to Bangor College, Wales. This article reviews his medical work alongside his legacy to literature, the arts and education.
The article describes copies of three early-printed books at the Manchester Grammar School, which have not previously been noted in the bibliographies. These are the Missale Romanum (Venice, 1494), De Re Militari (Rome, 1494), and Aquinas, Summa contra Gentiles (Cologne, 1501). Two of the books have Hungarian connections, as is shown by inscriptions in them. They appear to have been at the grammar school since the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, but their detailed provenance remains obscure.
This article examines cuttings from a now-lost manuscript decorated by the little-known Florentine illuminator Littifredi Corbizzi (1465–c.1515) at the turn of the sixteenth century. This manuscript, a choirbook produced for the monks at San Benedetto in Gubbio in 1499–1503, was dismembered in the nineteenth century. Until now, all but one of its cuttings were believed to be lost. Through the emergence of several key pieces of evidence, most notably the identification of tracings of the manuscript made by the German artist Johann Anton Ramboux in the mid-1830s before its dismemberment, I have been able to link definitively three initials to this largely unresearched commission. Two of these are in a previously unstudied manuscript album at the John Rylands Library, recently digitised. Considering the cuttings stylistically and, critically, interrogating their provenance, I propose that a further ten cuttings can also be linked to Littifredi’s work for the monastery, and argue that Ramboux played a significant role in their initial collection.
The beautiful Latin MS 198 of the John Rylands Library preserves one of two currently known manuscript copies of the Servite Lorenzo Opimo of Bologna’s Scriptum on the Sentences, the only such text by a Servite that survives. In 1494, the Chapter General of the Servite Order made Lorenzo the order’s teaching doctor, since the representatives declared that his work, primarily his questions on the Sentences, would be required reading for Servite students and masters of theology. No doubt as a result, Lorenzo’s Scriptum was printed in Venice in 1532. To most medieval intellectual historians, the printing, the author, and even the religious order are virtually unknown. This two-part article puts this unique text in its doctrinal and institutional context. Part I argues that Lorenzo delivered his Sentences lectures at the University of Paris in 1370–71, presents and analyses the tradition of the three textual witnesses, and offers a question list.
Celebrated as a leader of London’s ‘Underground’ in the 1960–70s, and a leading British poet and performance artist of his time, Jeff Nuttall found fame through his critique of post-nuclear culture, Bomb Culture, which provided an influential rationale for artistic practice through absurdism but lost that recognition a decade or so later. Less well recognised, and with greater influence, is the distinctively visceral sensibility underlying much of his creative work, notably his poetry that draws on Dylan Thomas and the Beat Movement, his graphic drawing and luscious painting styles, and his pioneering performance art. This article argues that it is through these artistic expressions of visceral intelligence that Jeff Nuttall’s art and its long-term influence can now best be understood. It is intended to complement the Jeff Nuttall Papers in the Special Collections of The John Rylands Research Institute and Library, University of Manchester, deposited by the gallerist and poetry publisher Robert Bank (1941–2015), to whose memory this article is dedicated. Further papers have been added by Nuttall’s friends and relatives.
The twenty-three Ur III cuneiform texts presented in this article are housed in the collections of the Detroit Institute of Arts. This article publishes thirteen Neo-Sumerian tablets from Puzriš-Dagan which primarily deal with animals, and a further ten texts from Umma, including five messenger texts. The aim of the article is to offer an edition and an updated catalogue of these texts, with a special focus on the Neo-Sumerian administration.
This article discusses how we might formulate an account of William Blake’s avant-garde reception. Having dealt with Peter Bürger’s theorisation of the notion of ‘avant-garde’, it concentrates on a series of portraits, made from Blake’s life mask, by Francis Bacon in 1955. This ‘high art’ response to the Romantic poet is then contrasted with a series of ‘subcultural’ responses made from within the British counterculture of the 1960s. Case studies are presented from the alternative magazine production of the period (notably an illustration from Oz magazine in which Blake’s imagery is conflated with that of Max Ernst). An article by David Widgery in Oz on Adrian Mitchell’s play Tyger (1971) is also discussed to show how the scholarly literature on Blake of the period (mainly David Erdman) was called on by the counterculture to comment on political issues (e.g. Enoch Powell’s 1968 ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech). The final section of the article shows how the ‘avant-gardism’ of Oz’s utilisation of Blake might be counterposed to the more activist left-wing approach to the poet in small magazines such as King Mob with their links to French situationism. In terms of the classic avant-garde call for a reintegration of art and life-praxis, such gestures testify to a moment in the 1960s when Blake may be considered fully ‘avant-garde’.
This article, originally published in 1958, was written to commemorate William Blake’s bicentenary. In it, the author observes that Blake has been claimed or dismissed by successive generations since his death in 1827: for the Romantics, he was a ‘weird crank’, while the Victorians enveloped him in ‘their own damp sentimentalism’. The author argues that Blake ‘evades appraisal because he was always working for a synthesis of creation far beyond outward forms and genres’, which meant ‘he had to invent his own methods to express himself adequately’. He notes that the recent bicentenary was marked by ‘floods of exhibitions, magazine supplements, radio features, new books from all sides devoted to him’. This clearly anticipates the Blakean explosion of the 1960s, in which the author himself would play a major role. This article can therefore be seen as marking the beginning of Sixties Blake in Britain.
This article explores the reception and transformation of William Blake’s countercultural legacy by focusing on the neo-Romantic resurgences within maelstrÖm reEvolution, an experimental performance and arts collective based in Brussels but with heavy transnational affiliations. In relation to the company’s neo-shamanic and therapeutic conception of poiesis, Blake is an inspirational figure amongst a broader family of mentors ranging from Beat Generation writers to Arthur Rimbaud and Alexandro Jodorowsky. The Blake–maelstrÖm connection is here examined for the first time. Blending classical reception studies with a broader interest in the intersections between poiesis and the ‘sacred’, this article approaches countercultural Blake as the archetypal embodiment of the shamanic poet. More specifically, it reflects on how, as the poet of ‘double-edged madness’ and ‘Spiritual Strife’, Blake’s subversion of alienation into ecstasy feeds maelstrÖm’s own ‘therapoetic’ experimentalism and psycho-aesthetic endeavours to restore the lines of communication between the ‘visible’ and the ‘invisible’.