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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Sir Edwin Sandys' Europae Speculum : a critical edition Henley, Mary Ellen


This thesis provides for the first time a critical edition of the work "Europae Speculum, or A View or Survey of the State of Religion in the Western Parts of the World" by Sir Edwin Sandys (1561-1629). A sub-title expands further: "Wherein the Romane Religion, and the Pregnant Policies of the Church of Rome to support the same, are notably displayed with some other memorable discoveries and memorations." Sandys states that the purpose of his travels is the observation of the various religions of western Europe, especially the Reformed churches, with a view to the possibilities for unity; what he actually produced is an account of the religious/political situation in Europe at the end of the sixteenth century. Far from concentrating on Reformed churches—near the end of the work he promises to discuss them at a later time—he devoted forty-two out of sixty sections (as they are numbered in the 1605 editions) to the delineation of various aspects of Roman Catholicism, enumerating their beliefs, practices, government, and the means used to increase power, frequently finding merit in their customs and ideas while disapproving of the way in which these were put into practice. Such a preoccupation with Catholicism and reconciliation must have seemed revolutionary to his readers in an age when people were fighting about religion and had, at best, only condemnation for their opponents. Completed in 1599, Sandys's book did not appear in printed form until 1605 when it was entered into the Stationers' Register on 21 June. This publication was disowned as a 'spurious' stolen copy by the author who may have initiated, but at least agreed to, the burning of all copies available (the exact number is not known) in 1605. The 1605 edition was later published in expanded form in 1629, the year of the author's death. Whether this publication appeared before or after his death in October 1629, whether Sandys himself had a hand in the expansion, one cannot be certain, particularly since the site of publication is listed as The Hague. The work's popularity is seen in the number of editions and reprints: three appeared in 1605, one in each of 1629, 1632, 1637, 1638, 1673, and 1687. There were also at least seven manuscript copies made. It was translated into Italian in 1625, French in 1626, and Dutch in 1675. The main reason for its popularity probably arose from the various machinations to unite the churches into an anti-papal congregation, though the foreign translators may have had other reasons for their work. This thesis collates the three 1605 editions and compares them not only with the 1629 edition and the 1632 edition (the first certain posthumous one) but also with the seven extant manuscript copies of the work. The 1629 text was chosen as copy text in accordance with the dictum that a bibliographer should work from print material, where available, rather than manuscript, and use that printed text which is the last one in which the author might have had a hand rather than a posthumous text. Because the Lambeth manuscript, which is listed as the presentation copy, is very close in content and phraseology to the 1629 text, few changes have been made in the text itself. Any differences between the 1629 text and the various copies are given in the notes or textual apparatus, and explanations of practices, personalities, or foreign phrases which might be obscure to many current readers, follow in a brief set of explanatory notes.

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