New Directions in Book History

Magical Manuscripts in Early Modern Europe

The Clandestine Trade In Illegal Book Collections

Authors: Bellingradt, Daniel, Otto, Bernd-Christian

  • Uses an eighteenth century German case-study to examine the clandestine, and sometimes illegal, practices of the early modern European book trade
  • Addresses questions of censorship regimes and efficiency, of the textual-ritual tradition and eventual canon formations of ‘Western learned magic’, and of the status and use of handwritten books in an alleged ‘age of print’
  • Provides a methodological pathway towards an interdisciplinary, integrative, and thus more comprehensive analysis of books of ‘learned magic’ in and beyond early modern times
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eBook 41,64 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59525-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 53,49 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59524-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This book presents the story of a unique collection of 140 manuscripts of ‘learned magic’ that was sold for a fantastic sum within the clandestine channels of the German book trade in the early eighteenth century. The book will interpret this collection from two angles – as an artefact of the early modern book market as well as the longue-durée tradition of Western learned magic –, thus taking a new stance towards scribal texts that are often regarded as eccentric, peripheral, or marginal. The study is structured by the apparent exceptionality, scarcity, and illegality of the collection, and provides chapters on clandestine activities in European book markets, questions of censorship regimes and efficiency, the use of manuscripts in an age of print, and the history of learned magic in early modern Europe. As the collection has survived till this day in Leipzig University Library, the book provides a critical edition of the 1710 selling catalogue, which includes a brief content analysis of all extant manuscripts. The study will be of interest to scholars and students from a variety of fields, such as early modern book history, the history of magic, cultural history, the sociology of religion, or the study of Western esotericism.

About the authors

Daniel Bellingradt is Professor of Book Studies at Erlangen-Nuremberg University, Germany, co-editor of the German Yearbook for the History of Communications, and co-editor of Books in Motion in Early Modern Europe. Beyond Production, Circulation and Consumption (2017).

Bernd-Christian Otto is postdoctoral researcher at the Max Weber Center for Advanced Cultural and Social Studies at the University of Erfurt, Germany. His book publications include Magie. Rezeptions- und diskursgeschichtliche Analysen von der Antike bis zur Neuzeit (2011), and, as co-editor, Defining Magic: A Reader (2013), and History and Religion: Narrating a Religious Past (2015).

Reviews

“This is a tremendously valuable contribution to the study of a pivotal period in the development of modern magic. Undoubtedly, it will become a standard point of reference not only in understanding Enlightenment magic, but also the transmission and transformation of medieval and renaissance traditions. It is also a highly useful bibliographic tool. On that ground alone, no library of modern magic traditions should be without it.” (Frank Klaassen, Associate Professor of History, University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and President of Societas Magica)

“This book will provide a valuable resource for the increasing number of scholars working in the field of post-medieval literary magic.” (Owen Davies, Professor of History, University of Hertfordshire, UK)

Table of contents (5 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 41,64 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59525-2
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 53,49 €
price for Germany (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59524-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Magical Manuscripts in Early Modern Europe
Book Subtitle
The Clandestine Trade In Illegal Book Collections
Authors
Series Title
New Directions in Book History
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2018
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-59525-2
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-59525-2
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-59524-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
VII, 166
Number of Illustrations and Tables
4 b/w illustrations
Topics