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.
Judging from repetitious appearances of her marital arms in the painted line-endings, the Psalter-Hours John Rylands Library Latin MS 117 probably belonged to Jeanne of Flanders (c.1272–1333), daughter of Count Robert III of Flanders and in 1288 second wife to Enguerrand IV of Coucy. Yet the line-endings also contain some 1,800 diminutive painted escutcheons, many of which refer to other members of the local nobility active during the 1280s. This study, based on an exhaustive survey of the total heraldic and codicological evidence, suggests that the majority of the extant Psalter predated the Hours and that the two parts were combined after the 1288 marriage. The ‘completed’ manuscript bears witness to major events that unfolded in and around the Coucy barony over the course of the decade. It suggests a complex relationship between Jeanne of Flanders and a lesser member of the local nobility, a certain Marien of Moÿ, who may have served as her attendant.
The letter collections of Greco-Roman antiquity dwarf in total size all of
ancient drama or epic combined, but they have received far less attention than
(say) the plays of Euripides or the epics of Homer or Virgil. Although
classicists have long realised the crucial importance of the order and
arrangement of poems into ‘poetry books’ for the reading and
reception both of individual poems and the collection as a whole, the importance
of order and arrangement in collections of letters and the consequences for
their interpretation have long been neglected. This piece explores some of the
most important Greek letter collections, such as the Letters attributed to
Plato, and examines some of the key problems in studying and editing collections
of such ancient letters.
In this article on book circulation, I survey twelve English library auction
catalogues from the period 1676–97, in order to show how interest in the
writings of the Amsterdam rabbi Menasseh ben Israel (1604–57) continued
after his death. I do this by identifying the circulation of his works in
Puritan personal libraries. I focus particularly on the library auction
catalogues of leading Puritans, notably Lazarus Seaman, Thomas Manton, Stephen
Charnock and John Owen. I also show that of all Menasseh’s books,
De resurrectione mortuorum libri III was the one most
frequently owned by Puritan divines. This article demonstrates how books helped
to catalyse the boundary-crossing nature of the Jewish–Christian
encounter in seventeenth-century England.