INVENTION and DISCOVERY:
Printed Books from Fifteenth-Century Europe
An Exhibition at Bridwell Library, February 1 – May 3, 2010
|PRINTING IN FRANCE||
47. [Pseudo-]ALBERTUS MAGNUS (late 13th century). Secreta mulierum et virorum, cum commento. [Paris]: André Bocard, [c. 1493-96].
Falsely attributed to St. Albertus Magnus (c. 1206–1280), the “Secrets of Women and Men” was compiled from a variety of Western and Arabic treatises on medicine and astrology. Just as the discussion of male physiology reflects the primitive state of medieval medicine, the moralizing and misogynistic “Secrets of Women” is a compendium of thirteenth-century gynecological misinformation.
Bridwell Library’s copy is one of only
two recorded. The title page (an increasingly popular feature at the end of
the fifteenth century) includes the printer’s woodcut device, in which three
shields serve as a heraldic emblem of his allegiances: the uppermost shield,
crowned and supported by two angels, displays the arms of France; at the
right are the arms of Paris; at the left are the arms of the University of
Paris. Their significance is clarified by the French verse surrounding the
border, which pledges honor to the king and his court, the city, and its
may not be published without the permission of Bridwell Library.