Hagenau: Thomas Anshelm Badensis, 1518. Hardcover. Small 4to. 30 ff. Collation: aa - ff4, gg6, COMPLETE. Woodcut title page with columns and cherubs. Bound in 19th-century pale glazed boards, expertly rebacked. Very good. Item #1276
MARY MAGDALEN AND THE "QUARREL OF THE MAGDALENS." -- Lefevre d'Etables' "De Maria Magdalena et triduo Christi disceptatio" (1517) argued that Mary (sister of Lazarus), Mary Magdalene, and the penitent woman who anointed Christ's feet were THREE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. His claim provoked considerable debate - known as "the Quarrel of the Magdalens" - that continued into the 1520s. It is an extraordinary fact that the "Quarrel of the Magdalens" would find heated debate, nearly 500 years later," in the backlash against Brown's "Da Vinci Code" and his depiction therein of Mary Magdalene. -- "The opinion [of Lefevre d'Etaples], new at the time, gave rise to a violent controversy; refutations by Noel Bedier, syndic of the University of Paris, and John Fisher, the martyr-bishop of Rochester, appeared; they were followed by the condemnation by the Sorbonne in 1521" (Catholic Encyclopedia). Lefèvre's argument, undertaken with impeccable scholarly exegesis, effectively undermined the existence of one of the most popular saints of the Middle Ages. Lefèvre also had his defenders. In response to Grandval's apologia, Josse Clichtove published "Disceptationis de Magdalena, Defensio" in April 1519 in which he expanded Lefevre's arguments. (SOURCE: Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, "The Chapel of the Courtesan and the Quarrel of the Magdalens" in: The Art Bulletin, 2002). -- The work was first printed in Paris in 1517 by Henri Estienne, who issued a second edition in 1518. Our copy belongs to one of the earliest obtainable editions of this highly curious and interesting text. -- PROVENANCE: C. Inglis, M.D., i.e. Dr. Charles (Cornelius) Inglis (1824-1900), with his engraved calligraphic bookplate (posthumous sale at Sotheby's London, 11 June 1900). Inglis was the son of the book collector John Bellingham Inglis (1780-1870). J.B. Inglis had the curious habit of cutting out ("vignetting") pictorial or symbolic material from other old books or prints and mounting them in his books; the present volume may have been so adorned; at the foot of the inside cover are traces of a rectangular piece of paper, now removed. -- Robert T. Aitchison (1887-1964) of Wichita, Kansas (with his erotic bookplate). Aitchison's collecting interests were primarily in the works of the early printers, letterform history, fine bindings, early woodcuts, and fine maps. -- Bill Jackson, friend of Aitchison and proprietor of the Four Ducks Press (letterpress bookplate). Of Aitchison's original collection, about 600 volumes were purchased from the Mary Aitchison estate for $44,000, raised by Dr. Martin Bush from private benefactors, and is now in Special Collections at the Wichita State University library. -- REFERENCES: Sheila M. Porrer, "Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples and the Three Maries Debates" p. 491, no. 3. See also pp. 33 et seq. VD 16 -958. This edition is not in Adams. -- MARKET COMPARABLES: Rare on the market; the last copy of any edition to appear at auction was sold 28 years ago (Bloomsbury, Jun 28, 1984, lot 160). Currently this appears to be the only one in private ownership.