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First Dutch translation of the principal source of information
about the horrors of the recently introduced "Spanish inquisition"

GONSALVIUS MONTANUS, Reginaldus [= CORRO, Antonio del?].
Der heyliger Hispanischer inquisitie, etlicke listighe secrete consten ende practijcken, ontdect ende int licht ghebracht ...
[Emden, Willem Gailliart], 1569. 8vo. With woodcut decorated initials. (Near-) contemporary vellum wrappers, sewn on 3 supports (previously laced through the joints). [4], "143" [= 132], [1] ll.
€ 12,500
Rare first edition of the first translation in Dutch of this propagandistic, highly critical, and very influential book on the horrors of the Spanish inquisition. It is one of the issues in the so-called "Black Legend" (the other issue being the exploitation and extermination of the native population of the American colonies). The ideas about both matters owed their widespread dissemination to the propaganda-machine of the rebels in the Low Countries during the first years of their liberation war against the Spanish king, the Eighty-years War (1568-1648). Information about the Spanish inquisition had its origin principally in this work by Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus. Its message was quickly incorporated in public opinion and the mainstream of historical writing and collective memory.
In view of the highly controversial anti-Roman Catholic content of the book it is not only understandable that the translations were printed outside the Low Countries and even without mentioning the printers, but also that the work appeared under a pseudonym. The protestant, apparently Spanish author called himself Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus (Raimundo, or Reinaldo Gonzales de Montes). In 1865, Rahlenbeck identified him as Jacques van Wesembeke, pensionary of Antwerp and "un chaud partisan du prince d'Orange et ... un luthérien". Vermaseren, however, has made it more than likely that the author must be Antonio del Corro, a theologian and former monk of the Seville monastery San Isidoro, who lived in Antwerp in the 1560s. The book contains three sections, respectively containing information about the inquisition itself, a number of horrible "exempla", and an appendix with another 12 case-histories. Our copy is complete with the often lacking last leaf (f. R6) with the poem by the printer to the reader ("De drucker aen den goetwillighen leser").
With three bookplates of (1) Bucknell Library, Crozer Theological Seminary, Upland, Pennsylvania (2) the famous Amsterdam Antiquarian book shop of Frederik Muller, both mounted the front paste-down, and (3) an engraved coat of arms, dated 1776 on the verso of the first flyleaf and with the stamp of the "Ambrose Swasey Library" on the bottom edge of the book block. The binding shows some signs of wear and has been restored at the hinges, the front joint is slightly weakened near the head of the spine, the final endpapers are modern, the front free flyleaf is cut short at the head margin, the title-page shows a small restored hole (very slightly affecting the text), somewhat browned throughout. Otherwise in good condition. Boehmer, Bibl. Wifferiana 289; Ch. Rahlenbeck, in: Bullet. du bibliophile belge, 21 (1865), p. 156; Hoffman, 'Bibl. des Buches 'Sanctae inquis. Hisp.', in: Serapaeum, 27 (1866), pp. 161-170; Knuttel, Ned. Bibl. Kerkgesch., p. 224; Machiels G-397; STC 12001; STCN 85430360X (3 copies); Typ. Bat. 2124; USTC 401426 (5 copies); Valkema Blouw, Typographica Batava, 1541-1600, 2124; Van der Vekene, Bibl. bibliogr. hist. S. Inquisitionis, I, 1081; Van der Wulp 201; Vermaseren, 'Who was Reginaldus Gonsalvius Montanus', in: Bibl. d'human. et Renaissance, 47 (1985), pp. 47-77); not in Tielke, Das Rätsel des Emder Buchdrucks; VD16.
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Related Subjects:

Early printing & manuscripts  >  Religion & Devotion
Europe  >  Spain & Portugal
Low countries  >  Early Printing (15th & 16th Century)