Anja-Silvia Goeing

Conrad Gessner (1516–65) was town physician and lecturer at the Zwinglian reformed lectorium in Zurich. His approach towards the world and mankind was centred on his preoccupation with the human soul, an object of study that had challenged classical writers such as Aristotle and Galen, and which remained as important in post-Reformation debate. Writing commentaries on Aristotles De Anima (On the Soul) was part of early-modern natural philosophy education at university and formed the preparatory step for studying medicine. This article uses the case study of Gessners commentary on De Anima (1563) to explore how Gessners readers prioritised De Animas information. Gessners intention was to provide the students of philosophy and medicine with the most current and comprehensive thinking. His readers responses raise questions about evolving discussions in natural philosophy and medicine that concerned the foundations of preventive healthcare on the one hand, and of anatomically specified pathological medicine on the other, and Gessners part in helping these develop.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Clare A. Lees

This article explores the contributions of women scholars, writers and artists to our understanding of the medieval past. Beginning with a contemporary artists book by Liz Mathews that draws on one of Boethius‘s Latin lyrics from the Consolation of Philosophy as translated by Helen Waddell, it traces a network of medieval women scholars of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries associated with Manchester and the John Rylands Library, such as Alice Margaret Cooke and Mary Bateson. It concludes by examining the translation of the Old English poem, The Wife‘s Lament, by contemporary poet, Eavan Boland. The art of Liz Mathews and poetry of Eavan Boland and the scholarship of women like Alice Cooke, Mary Bateson, Helen Waddell and Eileen Power show that women‘s writing of the past – creative, public, scholarly – forms a strand of an archive of women‘s history that is still being put together.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Anne Kirkham

Rylands Latin MS 164 is one of over forty manuscript books of hours in the John Rylands Library. It was made in France in the middle of the fifteenth century and its extensive, high quality illumination associates its production with the worshop of the so-called Bedford Master. However, it has not been the subject of any sustained published research and consequently the significance of variations in the mise-en-page of the books pages has not been scrutinised. This article focuses on the variations in two replacement pages, one within the calendar and one beginning the Penitential Psalms, and in the case of the page beginning the Penitential Psalms considers whether the replacement could have been made by Sir Gregory Osborne Page-Turner, the owner of Rylands Latin MS 164 in the early nineteenth century.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Richard Sharpe

Rylands Irish MS 22 is a copy of Geoffrey Keatings Trí Biorghaoithe an Bháis (1631), made by the well-known scribe Risteard Tuibear in 1710, a professionally made vernacular book, making available for circulation a widely read devotional text. In the last two pages the scribe permitted an apprentice to copy, and as a result he had to write the ending a second time more correctly. Like several other books made by Tuibear, it belonged to Muiris Ó Gormáin in Dublin in the later eighteenth century and is found in his book lists from 1761 and 1772. Inside the front is the book-plate of the Duke of Sussex, and the catalogue of his library from 1827 shows that this is a book given to him by Sir William Betham a year earlier. When the Duke‘s library was auctioned, this was sold to a London dealer, reappearing in sales between 1866 and 1869. It was bought by the Earl of Crawford and came with all his manuscripts into the Rylands Library, where for its origin and history it stands out from a collection of books largely made for or by Denis Kelly, of Castle Kelly, in the mid-nineteenth century.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Douglas Field

Despite publishing nearly forty books between 1963 and 2003, Jeff Nuttall remains a minor figure in the history of the International Underground of the long 1960s. Drawing on his uncatalogued papers at the John Rylands Library, this article seeks to recoup Nuttall as one of the key architects of the International Underground. In so doing, my article argues that Nuttalls contributions to global counterculture challenge the critical consensus that British avant-garde writers were merely imitators of their US counterparts. By exploring the impact of Nuttalls My Own Mag (1963–67) and Bomb Culture(1968), it can be shown that Nuttall was a central catalyst of, and contributor to, the International Underground. As a poet, novelist and artist, Nuttalls multidisciplinary contributions to art were at the forefront of avant-garde practices that sought to challenge the perceived limitations of the novel as a social realist document and visual art as a medium confined to canvas.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Simon Mayers

The prevailing historiographies of Jewish life in England suggest that religious representations of the Jews in the early modern period were confined to the margins and fringes of society by the desacralization of English life. Such representations are mostly neglected in the scholarly literature for the latter half of the long eighteenth century, and English Methodist texts in particular have received little attention. This article addresses these lacunae by examining the discourse of Adam Clarke (1760/2–1832), an erudite Bible scholar, theologian, preacher and author and a prominent, respected, Methodist scholar. Significantly, the more overt demonological representations were either absent from Clarke‘s discourse, or only appeared on a few occasions, and were vague as to who or what was signified. However, Clarke portrayed biblical Jews as perfidious, cruel, murderous, an accursed seed, of an accursed breed and radically and totally evil. He also commented on contemporary Jews (and Catholics), maintaining that they were foolish, proud, uncharitable, intolerant and blasphemous. He argued that in their eternal, wretched, dispersed condition, the Jews demonstrated the veracity of biblical prophecy, and served an essential purpose as living monuments to the truth of Christianity.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Douglas Field and Jay Jeff Jones

The exhibition Off Beat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground (8 September 2016 to 5 March 2017) showcases the archive of Jeff Nuttall (1933–2004), a painter, poet, editor, actor and novelist. As the exhibition illustrates, Nuttall was a central figure in the International Underground during the 1960s through to the early 1970s. During this time he collaborated with a vast network of avant-garde writers from across the globe, as well as editing the influential publication My Own Mag between 1963 and 1967.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
Benjamin Pohl

This article offers the first comprehensive study of Manchester, John Rylands Library, MS Latin 182, a twelfth-century codex formerly belonging to (and possibly produced at) the Benedictine Abbey of (Mönchen-)Gladbach in Germany. I begin with a full codicological and palaeographical analysis of the entire manuscript, before moving on to a discussion of its contents. These include the Venerable Bede‘s Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum and the Continuatio Bedae, as well as two hagiographical works copied at the end of the manuscript. I then propose a new possible context of reception for Bede‘s Historia ecclesiastica during the twelfth century, one that interlinked with the prevalent discourses on secular ecclesiastical lordship and monastic reform at Gladbach, as well as, perhaps, in Germany more widely. In doing so, I essentially argue for the possibility that the Gladbach scribes and their audiences may have used and understood the Historia ecclesiastica not only in the conventional context of history and historiography, but also (and perhaps equally important) as an example of the golden age of monasticism which during the later twelfth century was re-framed and re-contextualised as both a spiritual guide and a source of miracle stories.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library