The Fox and the Bees: The Early Library of Corpus Christi College Oxford
Title Details

103 Pages

31.2 x 23.7 cm

23 colour. Illustrations

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

The Fox and the Bees: The Early Library of Corpus Christi College Oxford

The Lowe Lectures 2017

by R.M. Thomson

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Reviews
The first book-length study of the famous pre-1600 library at Corpus Christi College, one of the few college libraries to survive in its original form and with many of its original books in contemporary bindings.
The library of Corpus Christi College is one of the most famous of all of those in Oxford and Cambridge. It is one of the few pre-1600 libraries to survive in something like its original form, and the only one still in use as a library. Its main space is still the original room built in 1517, and its furniture, if not original, is still early, most of it dating from 1604. A high proportion of its earliest book-stock, whether print or manuscript, still survives, and there is a wealth of documentation that makes it possible to chart the process of acquisition, especially the major donations of the Founder, Bishop Fox, and first President, John Claymond. And yet there is no modern, book-length study of the College Library. The present volume is intended to provide a scholarly but attractive and readable account of the Library from its conception in the mind of Richard Fox, to the appearance of its earliest surviving catalogue in 1589. It is extensively illustrated, highlighting the rarely-seen original bindings of the early books.
Lecture 1: Richard Fox: The Concept and Foundation of the College
Lecture 2: John Claymond: Executor of Fox's Erasmian Programme
Lecture 3: The Library in the Age of Elizabeth
Appendix A: Surviving Books from the College Library to 1589
Appendix B: A Letter of John Claymond to an unidentified old friend
Appendix C: A Letter of Thomas Linacre to John Claymond
Appendix D: Extracts from the College Accounts relevant to the Library
"Handsomely produced and illustrated [it] comprises an expert account of the library of Corpus from its conception to the earliest surviving catalogue of 1589." OXONIENSIA
"The book is handsomely produced and illustrated and will be of great use to all those concerned with the contents and physical structure of late medieval and early modern college libraries, and the spread, or attempted spread, of humanism in English universities." LIBRARY
"This attractive and informative book makes a substantial contribution not only to the history of a single library, but to the history and contents of college libraries in general at a time of intellectual and religious ferment. It also makes important contributions to the history of the spread of humanism and protestantism." SEHEPUNKTE
"Thomson's writing has a concise simplicity that makes reading the volume wholly pleasurable; his underlying scholarly rigour is always present." PARERGON
"Thomson's lectures detail the care with which Corpus's herbarii, from Fox and Claymond to its current librarians and archivist, have nurtured, scrubbed, and tended the library since its foundation. A college account from 1596 serendipitously records outlay "for mending the librarie windowes" alongside "Josephe Scaliger de emendacione temporum" (85). If The Fox and the Bees inspires curiosity rather than sating it, it nonetheless provides rich testimony of a moment when to mend a library was to mend the times." Speculum

Hardcover

9781843844853

June 2018

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Ebook (EPDF)

9781787442610

June 2018

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Title Details

103 Pages

3.12 x 2.37 cm

23 colour. Illustrations

Imprint: D.S.Brewer