A very nice description!
Leaf c2r of the Lea Library’s “Seelengärtlein” (Basel?: Pamphilus Gengenbach?, between 1515 and 1520?) with red and black inhabited woodcut initial H. Photograph by the author.
In the spring of 2019 the Penn Libraries acquired for the Henry Charles Lea Library a German Hortulus animae or Seelengärtlein (BX2085 .S44 1515), a type of lay prayer book that enjoyed a brief burst of popularity in western Europe at the beginning of the sixteenth century.1 The first known Hortulus animae—Latin for “little garden of the soul”—was printed in 1498 at Strasbourg by Wilhelm Schaffner (Oldenbourg L1; ISTC ih00485000); three years later another Strasbourg printer, Johann Grüninger, issued the first German edition, whose subtitle explains, “This little book is an herb garden / Of the soul …” [Dyses büchlin ein wurtz gart ist / Der sel …] (Oldenbourg L4; VD 16 H 5076). Its…
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