Erasmus and the Northern Renaissance by Margaret Mann Phillips
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Overview: This book is intended for readers interested in Renaissance studies. It does not claim to make new discoveries in a field where so many distinguished scholars have laboured, or rather disported themselves in company with one of the most attractive personalities known to history. Any portrait of Erasmus can fitly bear the title chosen by one biographer: "A Study in Restatement"; and any such study which interprets for the English reader some of the works of foreign scholarship may have its uses. The whole field of Erasmian studies has been illuminated by M. Augustin Renaudet’s brilliant and sympathetic analysis of Erasmus’s years at Basle, with their plans, uncertainties, controversies and problems, and especially of the writings that were the fruit of those years. The possession of the whole wonderful series of Erasmus’s Letters, in an impeccable and satisfying form, is England’s own gift to scholarship, and simplifies the whole problem. But it is possible that owing to their very significance Erasmus has been seen too much through his letters, which reveal his delightfully human foibles as well as his deeper side, and not enough through the voluminous works which he left as his legacy to his friends. An analysis such as Renaudet’s is the surest way to correct this. And if this little book succeeds in putting at the disposal of English readers who have no Latin, both the findings of recent research and a summary of the content of some of Erasmus’s most important writings, it will have served its purpose.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs Biography, Humanism, Renaissance, Reformation