835G   Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint (1090 or 1091-1153).

Florum S. Bernardi nobiliorum libri X (auctore Guillelmo, S. Martini Tornacensis monacho). De quibusdam sermonibus venerabilis patris Bernardi.

Cologne : Johann Koelhoff, the Elder, 1482 (In this copy and in many copies, the arabic figures 82 have been added to the printed date ‘M.cccc.’, probably in the printing-shop ) $11,000


Folio 11 1/4 x 8 inches {j.6} a2-q8, r-s6, t-v8 v8 blank(.j.1, a1,blank ).This copy lacks 5 leaves of index and 2 blanks. Second edition, the  first  was printed in 1470.

ISTC 4 copies listed in the US The Newberry Library; Western Michigan Univ., Free Library of Philadelphia (-8 leaves); Library of Congress.

This is a very nicely rubricated copy with many large lombard initials in red and the capital stroked in red and each chapter has a leather tab, This copy is bound in original quarter dsc_0064calf over Oak Boards, the clasp has been lost but the remains of the leather flap and the brass catch remains. Compiled from the works of Saint Bernard by Guilelmus Tornacensis, Benedictine monk.

It’s hard to know how to characterize Bernard of Clairvaux. On the one hand, he is called the “honey-tongued doctor” for his eloquent writings on the love of God. On the other hand, he rallied soldiers to kill Muslims. He wrote eloquently on humility; then again, he loved being close to the seat of power and was an adviser to five popes. What Bernard is remembered for today, more than his reforming zeal and crusade preaching, is his mystical writings. His best known work is On Loving God, in which he states his purpose at the beginning: “You wish me to tell you why and how God should be loved. My answer is that God himself is the reason he is to be loved.”

dsc_0068His other great literary legacy is Sermons on the Song of Songs, 86 sermons on the spiritual life that, in fact, only tangentially touch on the biblical text. One passage in particular speaks aptly to Bernard’s lifelong passion to know God (and, likely, the temptations that troubled him):dsc_0066dsc_0067

Goff B389 ; Bod-inc,; B-178; GW; 3929; Hain-Copinger; 2926*; ISTC,; ib00389000; O