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New on the shelves: The Trial of Queen Caroline
We recently acquired 18 pamphlets, many of them illustrated, on the 1820 trial of Queen Caroline of England, one of the most sensational events of Regency England. Her husband, the unpopular King George IV, put her on trial for adultery in the House of Lords, in an effort to dissolve their marriage.
While serving as Regent during the incapacity of his father George III, "Mad King George", the future king acquired a reputation as a spendthrift, a drunk, and a womanizer. His arranged marriage to Caroline, a German princess, was never a happy one, and they separated soon after the birth of their only child, Princess Charlotte. Caroline departed for Europe and rumors later circulated that the head of her household, the Italian courtier Bartolomeo Bergami, was her lover.
Upon the death of George III in 1820, Caroline's husband took the throne as George IV, and Caroline returned to England to claim her place as the queen consort. He retaliated by introducing the Pains and Penalties Bill in Parliament, declaring Caroline guilty of adultery and granting him a divorce. By this time George was intensely unpopular with the British public, who took the Queen's side. The reform movement adopted Caroline as their figurehead.
The trial generated a huge amount of press coverage, pamphlets and broadsides, such as the example shown here: The R--l Fowls, or, The Old Black Cock's Attempt to Crow over His Illustrious Mate (7th ed.; London: Printed for Effingham Wilson, 1820). They are forerunners of the tabloid press and the satire of Monty Python.
Our newest Flickr gallery, The Trial of Queen Caroline, displays all our holdings on the trial, including over twenty pamphlets and six multi-volume accounts of the trial, most of them copiously illustrated. As a whole, they can support research on the press, gender issues, divorce, popular illustrators, the British monarchy, and many other topics.
For more on the trial, see the Wikipedia article, "Pains and Penalties Bill 1820"; the online article by Carolyn Harris, "The Trial of Queen Caroline in 1820 and the Birth of British Tabloid Coverage of Royalty"; and the book by Jane Robins, Rebel Queen: The Trial of Caroline (Simon & Schuster, 2006).
Rare Book Librarian
Medieval manuscripts in the vernacular
My colleague at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Raymond Clemens, recently asked me for a list of the Law Library's medieval manuscripts in vernacular languages. The list is in three parts: (1) complete manuscripts, (2) facsimiles, and (3) binding fragments. You can view images from each of the items in a gallery on our Flickr site, "Medieval manuscripts in vernacular."
PART 1: COMPLETE MANUSCRIPTS
All of our complete medieval manuscripts are in Law French, the dialect used in English legal literature and common law pleading until the early 18th century. The image at right is from one of these manuscripts, a collection of case reports from the reign of Edward III known as the Liber Assisarum. Our collection has a number of manuscripts of Italian city statutes in the vernacular, but none of them are from the medieval era.
PART 2: FACSIMILES
The outstanding examples here are the four facsimiles of the medieval Saxon law code known as the Sachsenspiegel. These manuscripts are known collectively as the codices picturati (illustrated codices) because they are heavily illustrated with images designed to help the reader understand and navigate the code.
- (Church Slavic) Merilo pravednoe po rukopisi XIV veka. Moskva: Izd-vo Akademii nauk SSSR, 1961.
- (German) Vollständige Faksimile-Ausgabe im Originalformat des Dresdner Sachsenspiegels. 4 vols. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 2002-2011.
- (German) Der Sachsenspiegel: die Heidelberger Bilderhandschrift Cod. Pal. Germ. 164. Leipzig: Insel Verlag, 1989.
- (German) Der Oldenburger Sachsenspiegel: Codex picturatus Oldenburgensis CIM I 410 der Landesbibliothek Oldenburg. 2 vols. Graz: Akademische Druck-u. Verlagsanstalt, 2006.
- (German) Sachsenspiegel: die Wolfenbütteler Bilderhandschrift Cod. Guelf. 3.1 Aug. 2̊. 3 vols. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1993.
- (Irish) Ancient laws of Ireland: Senchas mar, facsimile of the oldest fragments from ms. H.2.15 in the Library of Trinity College, Dublin. Dublin: Stationery Office of Saorstát Éireann, 1931.
- (Old Norse) Fragment AM 315 E of the older Gulathing law: from an old Norwegian codex of the XIIIth century with facsimile and introduction. Urbana: University of Illinois, 1928.
- (Portuguese & Spanish) Portugal. Tratados de Tordesillas. Madrid: Testimonio, 1986-1990.
- (Swedish) Wästgotha lagben. [Stockholm: s.n., 1889]. Facsimile of MS. B 59 in Kungliga biblioteket, Stockholm.
- (Welsh) Facsimile of the Chirk codex of the Welsh laws. Llanbedrog, N. Wales: [s.n.], 1909.
PART 3: BINDING FRAGMENTS
These fragments were recycled as binding materials. Several of them were featured in our Spring 2010 exhibit, "Reused, Rebound, Recovered: Medieval Manuscript Fragments in Law Book Bindings." We have two Flickr galleries devoted to manuscript binding fragments: "Medieval binding fragments," with 189 images, and a subset of these, "Medieval binding fragments - legal texts," with 33 images.
- (French) Fragment: French, perhaps a deed of sale for a piece of property, ca. 1475-1525; used as a wrapper. Medieval Manuscripts in Law Book Bindings, no. 20. Found in: Giovanni Battista Caccialupi, De pensionibus (Rome, 1531).
- (German) Fragment: Cover is half stamped leather and half manuscript fragment, from a 13th-14th century manuscript of the Sachsenspiegel, marked with red initials. Found in: Angelo Gambiglioni, De maleficiis (Lyon, 1551).
- (Hebrew) Fragment: Maimonides’s Mishneh Torah / Vidal of Tolosa’s Maggid Mishne, ca. 1300-1500. Medieval Manuscripts in Law Book Bindings, no. 19. Found in: Milan (Duchy), Constitutiones dominii mediolanensis (Novara, 1567).
- (Hebrew) Fragment: Mahzor, c. 1300-1500. Medieval Manuscripts in Law Book Bindings, no. 9. Found in: Robert Parsons, Elizabethae reginae Angliae edictum promulgatum Londini 29. Nouemb. anni M.D. XCI. (Rome?, 1593).
-- MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian
New Flickr gallery: Portraits of legal authors
The newest gallery in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr site is "Portraits: legal authors." At present it contains the portraits of 30 authors, with more being added as opportunity allows. All the portraits come from printed books in the Law Library's rare book collection
The star of the gallery is the portrait at right, of Paolo Attavanti (1445?-1499), generally considered to be the very first author portrait to ever appear in a printed book. The woodcut appears in a summary of canon law that Attavanti authored, Breviarium totius juris canonici (Milan: Leonhard Pachel and Ulrich Scinzenzeler, 28 Aug. 1479). As such, it is the granddaddy of the author photos on today's dust jackets.
Attavanti was a monk of the Servite Order and a well known Florentine theologian. His Lenten sermons, inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy, were published by Pachel and Scinzenzeler a few weeks after the Brevarium with the same portrait.
The "Portraits: legal authors" gallery joins three other portrait galleries in the Flickr site: portraits of Hugo Grotius, portraits of Modena jurists published in Dottori Modonesi (Modena, 1665), and portraits of Italian jurists in Illustrium iureconsultorum (Rome, 1566?).
For a guide to finding legal portraits online, you can do no better than "The telling image: searching for portraits of lawyers", a recent post on the Rechtsgeschiedenis Blog by my friend and colleague Otto Vervaart. In his typically thorough and informative fashion, Vervaart reviews portrait collections on both sides of the Atlantic and gives helpful suggestions on search strategies.
-- MIKE WIDENER, Rare Book Librarian
New Flickr gallery: Bookplates
The latest addition to the Rare Book Collection's Flickr galleries is a set dedicated to bookplates. The Bookplates set is a project of Drew Adan, Library Services Assistant in our Collections & Access department. He will be adding more images of bookplates in the coming weeks and months.
The set includes bookplates of the famous, such as the bookplate of Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780), author of Commentaries of the Laws of England, the most influential book in the history of Anglo-American common law. His bookplate is in a copy of John Locke's Essay Concerning Humane Understanding (4th ed.; London 1700), which we recently acquired for our Blackstone Collection:
We will also seek help in identifying bookplates, such as this colorful one found in the Summa aurea of Hostiensis (Lyon 1556):
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The newest Flickr galleries
There are two new sets in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr gallery...
Justitia - headpieces is part of my continuing pursuit of images of Lady Justice (or Justitia). This set contains images of Lady Justice found in headpieces, which are defined as "A type-ornament or vignette at the head of a chapter or division of the book" (ABC for Book Collectors). The example above comes from volume 1 of Capitularia regum Francorum (2 vols.; Paris, 1780).
Bambergensis 1580 contains all the illustrations from the 1580 edition of the Bambergische peinliche Halszgerichtszordnung. We acquired the volume in 2008 from Jeffrey D. Mancevice Rare Books, who described the book as "one of the most beautifully illustrated law books of the 16th century." Also known as the Bambergensis constitutio criminalis, this criminal code was compiled by Johann von Schwarzenberg (1463-1528). We also own the first edition, printed at Mainz in 1508. Mancevice continues: "The fine text woodcuts which first appeared in the 1507 edition are by Fritz Hammer after drawings by Hans Wolf Katzheimer (according to the NUC) with the exception of three which were recut for this edition. The woodcuts are also attributed to Wolf Traut (ca. 1486-1520). Among the fine full-page woodcuts [is] a charming woodcut of seven people at a meal, each with an emblem of punishment above their heads (two appear to be playing cards)"; this is the woodcut shown below.
With apologies for my extended absence...
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Images of law libraries
The Law Librarians of New England are meeting today here at the Yale Law School. In honor of their visit, I've posted a new gallery in our Flickr site, "Law Libraries", with images of both real and imaginary law libraries. Below is one of my favorites, the frontispiece for the 1743 edition of a popular legal bibliography, Bibliotheca iuris selecta by Burkhard Gotthelf von Struve (1671-1738). Struve's legal bibliography was first published in 1703 and went through nine editions. It's interesting to note that a direct descendent of the author, Henry Clay von Struve (1874-1933), was the first fulltime law librarian of the University of Texas Law Library, in 1895.
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Justinian's Institutes, illustrated
Among the most outstanding illustrated law books of all times is an edition of Justinian's Institutes published by a member of the Giunta printing dynasty of Venice, Instituta novissime recognita aptissimisq[ue] figuris exculta (Venice: Luca-Antonio Giunta, 1516). The "aptissimae figurae" are small woodcut vignettes that introduce 22 of the titles in the Institutes. Below is the woodcut for Inst. 2.10, De testamentis ordinandis (Of the execution of wills), showing a man dictating his last will from his sickbed. The Roman emperor Justinian promulgated the Institutes as a textbook for students of Roman law, and remained the standard introduction to Roman law for students throughout the medieval and early modern periods.
All 22 woodcuts are in a new gallery on our Flickr site, Justinian's Institutes illustrated. The images appear first in two-page spreads, showing them in context, and then as cropped images of the woodcuts themselves. The image titles cite the title of the Institutes where the woodcut appears (i.e. "Inst.2.10" is Book 2, Title 10 of the Institutes), followed by the title in Latin and an English translation taken from R. W. Lee, The Elements of Roman Law, with a Translation of the Institutes of Justinian (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 1944).
This edition of the Institutes is stylistically a companion to the three heavily illustrated volumes of the Corpus Juris Canonici that Luca-Antonio Giunta published in 1514: Gratian's Decretum, the Decretals of Gregory IX, and the Liber Sextus of Boniface VIII, all of which we were fortunate to acquire in 2009.
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More images of Lady Justice -- LOTS more!
This past month I've added 44 additional images containing depictions of Justitia (Lady Justice), to our Flickr gallery Justitia: Iconography of Justice. In addition, the Courtroom Scenes gallery grew by a dozen or so images. Below is an image that now appears in both places: it is the frontispiece to Johann Stephan Burgermeister's Teutsches corpus juris publici & privati, oder, Codex diplomaticus (Ulm: In Verlegung Johann Conrad Wohlers Buchhändlers, 1717), and shows Lady Justice as the presiding judge, encouraging the downtrodden of the Holy Roman Empire to draw near and enter their pleas.
For the past several months I've been scouring our collection for such images, and also buying books containing images of Justitia, as part of our collecting focus on illustrated law books. The project has taken on additional relevance with the publication of Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-states and Democratic Courtrooms by Yale Law professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis (Yale University Press, 2011), and the Spring 2011 seminar, "Representing Justice," taught by Professors Resnik and Curtis. See the Law Library's Representing Justice page in its Document Collection Center.
I've discovered that an Italian law library shares our interest in images of Lady Justice. The law library of the Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia has built an excellent website, Immagini della Giustizia. The user can view examples based on their role in the printed book (frontispiece, headpieces, initials, architectural borders, etc.), as well as via iconography (the scales, sword, blindfold, etc.). I don't read Italian, and I still found the site easy to navigate. It also has a thorough bibliography. Our rare book collection owns very few of the examples in the Modena website, so I have new titles to pursue!
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Damhoudere's illustrated law books
The newest galleries in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr site feature two of the most heavily illustrated books in the history of legal literature, both by the Flemish jurist Joost de Damhoudere (1507-1581). Both were also among the most popular law books of their time, going through numerous editions in several languages.
Damhoudere's Praxis rerum criminalium became the standard handbook of criminal law in northern Europe. We recently acquired the first edition, published in Louvain in 1554 under the title Enchiridion rerum criminalium. Our Flickr gallery, Enchiridion Rerum Criminalium (1554), presents all 54 of its woodcuts, which illustrate specific crimes and criminal procedure and also serve as documents of daily life in early modern Europe. Below is my personal favorite, illustrating the crime of dumping one's garbage on passers-by. Praxis rerum criminalium was published 36 times between 1554 and 1660, and was translated from Latin into Dutch, French, and German.
The other gallery, Practique iudiciaire et causes civiles (1572), contains the 17 woodcuts from Damhoudere's Practique iudiciaire et causes civiles (Antwerp, 1572), including the portrait of the author at right. It is the only French edition of Damhoudere's Praxis rerum civilium, which was appeared in 14 editions between 1567 and 1660.
These two works must owe much of their popularity to their usefulness, but perhaps their illustrations also played a role in making them attractive to buyers. I know of few other early law books with so many illustrations, and none with such lively ones.
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Legal iconography resources
I have added several more images of Justitia (or Lady Justice, if you prefer) to the Justitia gallery in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr site. Below is one of them, taken from no. 3 of the Bollettino delle leggi della Repubblica Romana (Rome, 1798-1799).
Among the motives for building the Justitia gallery are the new book by Yale law professors Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis, Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms, due out shortly from the Yale University Press, and the Spring 2011 seminar on the same topic that Professors Resnik and Curtis will be teaching. The book features over 220 illustrations, including five taken from books in our Rare Book Collections, which are featured in our Representing Justice gallery.
In several recent posts in the Rechtsgeschiedenis blog, my Dutch colleague Otto Vervaart has written three recent posts on the value and use of legal iconography for historical research. These posts also provide a number of useful links to online resources for legal iconography. These links (and more) can also be found on the Digital Collections page of Vervaart's Rechthistorie website. One of these resources, the Dutch Database for Legal Iconography (NCRD) at the National Library of the Netherlands, is currently restricted to library pass holders, but a librarian there has told me that early in 2011 the database will be opened to all users. Watch this space for an announcement.
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New Flickr images: Tractatus iuris
There are two new sets of images in the Rare Book Collection's Flickr galleries: Tractatus iuris (1549) and Tractatus universi iuris (1584-86). Apart from the title pages, you won't see any pretty pictures in these image sets. What you will see are tables of contents and indexes of authors and titles for these two massive compilations of Roman and canon law scholarship. The images were cropped and edited for legibility, not for aesthetics. I scanned the images to save myself the trouble of wrestling these large and unwieldy volumes, but I hope researchers will benefit as well.
The 18-volume Tractatus ex variis iuris interpretibus (1549) was published by a consortium of Lyon printers. Its tall folios contains 458 separate works by over 200 different authors on virtually any topic of interest to lawyers and jurists of the time, and served as a sort of encyclopedia of the ius commune. Topics include arbitration, contracts, heresy, debt, adultery, taxation, judicial torture, banking, estates, criminal procedure, and the law of war, to name just a very few. Most of the leading authors of medieval and Renaissance jurisprudence are represented, including Baldus, Bartolus, Durandus, Odofredus, Jean Montaigne, Jacobus de Arena, Johann Oldendorp, and Guy de la Pape.
A much-expanded expanded edition, the 22-volume Tractatus universi iuris, was issued in 1584-86 by the Venetian publisher and bookseller Francesco Zilletti. It contains 754 titles by 362 authors, including several jurists who rose to prominence after the publication of the 1549 edition (i.e. Joost de Damhoudere, Benvenuto Stracca).
I hope that putting the author and title contents of these sets online will encourage others to study them. They are of interest for a number of reasons.
In connection with the history of the book, these were quite large and ambitious publishing ventures for their time. The 1549 Lyon edition required a consortium of printers, including Thomas Bertellus, Georges Regnault, and Pierre Fradin. It is tempting to speculate on a link between Pope Gregory XIII's sponsorship of the 1584-86 Tractatus universi iuris and the fine the Inquisition levied against its printer, Francesco Zilletti, a couple of years earlier for selling prohibited books.
An analysis of how the contents changed between the 1549 and 1584-86 editions would shed light on developments in legal scholarship. My cursory look at the contents reveals signs of the Counter-Reformation. The 1549 Tractatus contained 13 articles by the German jurist Johann Oldendorp, who was also a leader in the Protestant Reformation, but in the 1584-86 edition Oldendorp is nowhere to be found.
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