Treasures from the London Library: Magic, superstition or subversion?
Dunia Garcia-Ontiveros considers the works of three authors who, during the religious fervour of 16th-century Europe, moved away from the Church and wrote about magic.
In 16th century Europe, nothing was more important, controversial, or dangerous, than religion. Yet, as some of the books in the London Library show, at a time when wars, plague and religious persecution were part of everyday life, some turned away from the Church in their search for answers and reassurance.
Jean de Meun’s Le dodechedron de fortune: livre non moins plaisant & recreatif, que subtil & ingenieux entre tous les jeux & passetemps de fortune was printed in Paris in 1356. Jean Clopinel or Chopinel (c. 1240-c. 1320), named de Meun after his birthplace, was a French poet best known for writing the continuation to Guillaume de Lorris' unfinished Roman de la Rose, in which he famously satirizes the Pope, monastic orders, marriage, love and women.