By K. Lesley Knieriem
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Additional resources for Book-Fools of the Renaissance
He would give all the Bookes in his Study (which are rarities all) for one of the Romane binding, or sixe lines of Tully in his owne hand ... 2 Although printing began around the middle of the fifteenth century, printed books did not really replace manuscripts until the early part of the next century. Nonetheless, the majority of scholars soon bought printed books voraciously and discarded manuscripts as obsolete; however, a conservative minority disliked and refused to use them. This desire for manuscripts in the face of printing is generally taken as conclusive evidence of antiquarian sentiment.
Money was always lacking even for the necessities of life and much more so for the satisfaction of my passion for books. 236 Much of his bookish passion was channeled into building a magnificent library at Sponheim, famous for its completeness and the rarity of its volumes. Under his direction, the monks copied texts both borrowed and purchased from other monasteries. 23 7 Whenever he encountered manuscripts or rare editions, he tried to acquire them by purchase or exchange. " 238 Despite the meager resources of his monastery, he spent vast amounts for the purchase of books; during his 25 years as abbot, Trithemius accumulated approximately 2,000 volumes with the expenditure of between 1,500 and 2,000 gulden.
Some humanists found the texts unacceptable, particularly in the incunabula. Indeed, Johan Wernher, Freiherr zu Zimbern, hired the scribe Gabriel Lindennast to write manuscripts for his library because printed books had such inferior texts. 225 Others considered printed volumes to be flimsy and cheap. " 227 Others found them aesthetically displeasing. Francesco Sassetti was exceptionally fastidious about the quality of his books, eschewing paper in favor of only the finest parchment and avoiding all but the most refined and sparing decoration.
Book-Fools of the Renaissance by K. Lesley Knieriem