Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser
Edited By Simon Rosenberg and Sandra Simon
Leiden-German Book-Trade Relations in the Seventeenth Century: The Case of Jacob Marcus
Paul Hoftijzer, Leiden University
Little research has been done on the book-trade connections between the Netherlands and Germany in the 17th century. This case study discusses the publishing and bookselling activities of the Leiden bookseller Jacob Marcus, which were strongly oriented towards the German states and Scandinavia.
At the end of the sixteenth century, the Leiden book-trade, which had lain dormant for many decades, suddenly revived. The cause was the foundation in 1575 of the first university of the Northern Netherlands, a reward – as legend has it – for the brave resistance Leiden had put up during a protracted siege by Spanish troops. The new university had a humanistically oriented teaching programme and modern research facilities such as a library, a botanical garden and an anatomical theatre, and soon attracted scholars and students from all over Europe. They were followed by printers and booksellers,1 who sensed promising business opportunities. Many of these book-trade entrepreneurs came from outside the Dutch Republic, in particular from the Southern Netherlands, which, following the recapture of much of Flanders and Brabant by the army of the Duke of Parma, lost the majority of its Protestant inhabitants. Among the thousands of religious (and economic) refugees who left the South were quite a few who had worked for prominent publishers such as Christopher Plantin in Antwerp. In fact, Plantin himself, although not an adherent of the new faith, worked for two years in Leiden as university printer, until he was...
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