Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Research Find of the Day: Foxe's Book of Martyrs Frontispiece

Click on the picture for a larger image

I'm in a truly amazing class this semester, The Historical Imagination in Early Modern England. Most of our classes are spent in the Beinecke Rare Book Library, the Yale Center for British Art, and the Sterling Memorial Library Map Collection. All three of these are incredible resources which are under utilized by Yale students. But I digress.

A few classes ago I became completely enamored with the frontispiece of the 1632 edition of John Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Briefly, the book of martyrs is a history of Christian martyrs from the 1st century through the early 16th century, with an emphasis on the martyrdom of English protestant martyrs. Cheery right?

What is so interesting to me is that this frontispiece IS cheery. It has wings with a love poem, animals, birds and bees. It reminds me of a Valentine. I especially love all the baby animals.

My delightful professor Mia Genoni asked Beinecke to make a digital image for me, so now I can share it with you. And eventually I will use this in some paper or another. Because it is amazing. Did I mention the bees?

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