Edited By Sarah Alyn Stacey
Marina Benedetti ‘Documentary Adventures’
: The Waldensian Inquisition Manuscripts in Trinity College Dublin The historiographical problems connected with the formation of the col- lection of Waldensian sources that ended up in the library of the Irish Archbishop James Ussher have only been given f leeting and superficial attention. Similarly, the presence of inquisition trials has either been ignored or simply referred to in passing, while for a long time ‘Waldensian litera- ture’ has been the main focus of attention. The af fair is comparable to the ‘queer story’ of the early modern inquisition manuscripts studied by John Tedeschi.1 This ‘documentary adventure’ does have its own appeal and it allows for several startling surprises, especially when we consider the medieval Waldensian manuscripts (both literary books and inquisitorial trials) that arrived in Ireland. Generally speaking, we can say that scholarly research has favoured the valuable literary codices that survived the itinerant activities of the barba – as a Waldensian itinerant preacher was called – and has focused on phi- lology rather than inquisition. The literary texts proved to be considerably more attractive, even though there has been little coordination in their study so far.2 This has created an imbalance in the analysis of these extraordinary 1 On Trinity College Dublin’s acquisition of other records of an inquisitorial nature which have enjoyed historiographical success among modern age historians, see John Tedeschi, ‘A “Queer Story”: The Inquisitorial Manuscripts’, in Treasures of the Library of the Trinity College Dublin (Dublin: Royal Irish Academy, 1986), 67–74; for a broader problematic picture pertaining...
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