You are browsing the archive for Texts: 16th and older.

That to Study Philosophy is to Learn to Die (1580)

- August 29, 2013 in collections, Digital Copy: No Additional Rights, Essays, Internet Archive, Michel de Montaigne, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: Non-fiction, That to study philosophy is to learn to die. death, Underlying Work: PD Worldwide, University of Toronto Libraries

…let us learn bravely to stand our ground, and fight him. And to begin to deprive him of the greatest advantage he has over us, let us take a way quite contrary to the common course. Let us disarm him of his novelty and strangeness, let us converse and be familiar with him, and have nothing so frequent in our thoughts as death. Upon all occasions represent him to our imagination in his every shape; at the stumbling of a horse, at the falling of a tile, at the least prick with a pin, let us presently consider, and say to ourselves, ‘Well, and what if it had been death itself?’ and, thereupon, let us encourage and fortify ourselves. Let us evermore, amidst our jollity and feasting, set the remembrance of our frail condition before our eyes, never suffering ourselves to be so far transported with our delights, but that we have some intervals of reflecting upon, and considering how many several ways this jollity of ours tends to death, and with how many dangers it threatens it. The Egyptians were wont to do after this manner, who in the height of their feasting and mirth, caused a dried skeleton […]

Diary Days from Christmas Past

- December 18, 2012 in christmas, collections, diarists, diary, john adams, samuel pepys, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: 17th, Texts: 18th, Texts: 19th, Texts: 20th, Texts: Miscellaneous, Texts: Non-fiction

With December 25th fast approaching we have put together a little collection of entries for Christmas Day from an eclectic mix of different diaries spanning five centuries, from 1599 to 1918. Amid famed diarists such as the wife-beating Samuel Pepys, the distinctly non-festive John Adams, and the rhapsodic Thoreau, there are a sprinkling of daily jottings from relative unknowns – many speaking apart from loved ones, at war, sea or in foreign climes. All diaries are housed at the Internet Archive – click the link below each extract to take you to the source. Sign up to get our free fortnightly newsletter which shall deliver direct to your inbox the latest brand new article and a digest of the most recent collection items. Simply add your details to the form below and click the link you receive via email to confirm your subscription!

The Coverdale Bible (1535)

- September 10, 2012 in bible, coverdale, first english translation, non-article, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: Non-fiction


The Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale; 1535; Merten de Keyser, Antwerp.

The Coverdale Bible, compiled by Myles Coverdale and published in 1535, was the first complete Modern English translation of the Bible (not just the Old Testament or New Testament), and the first complete printed translation into English. The later editions (folio and quarto) published in 1539 were the first complete Bibles printed in England. The place of publication of the 1535 edition was long disputed. The printer was assumed to be either Froschover in Zurich or Cervicornus and Soter (in Cologne or Marburg). In 1997 the printer was identified as Merten de Keyser in Antwerp. The publication was partly financed by Jacobus van Meteren in Antwerp, whose sister-in-law, Adriana de Weyden, married John Rogers. The other backer of was Jacobus van Meteren’s nephew, Leonard Ortels (†1539), father of Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598), the famous humanist geographer and cartographer. Although Coverdale was also involved in the preparation of the Great Bible of 1539, the Coverdale Bible continued to be reprinted. The last of over 20 editions of the whole Bible or its New Testament appeared in 1553. (Wikipedia) [edit]

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The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into Englishe Metre (1584)

- May 27, 2012 in bible, non-article, psalms, Religion, songs, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: Non-fiction, Texts: Poetry

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The Whole Booke of Psalmes collected into Englishe metre,
by T. Sternhold, W. Whitingham, J. Hopkins, and others, conferred with the Hebrue, with apt notes to them withall; 1584; John Daye, London.


Thomas Sternhold published his first, short collection of nineteen Certayn Psalmes between mid-1547 and early 1549. In December of 1549, his posthumous Al such psalmes of Dauid as Thomas Sternehold … didde in his life time draw into English Metre was printed, containing thirty-seven psalms by Sternhold and, in a separate section at the end, seven psalms by John Hopkins. This collection was taken to the Continent with Protestant exiles during the reign of Mary Tudor, and editors in Geneva both revised the original texts and gradually added more over several editions. In 1562, the publisher John Day brought together most of the psalm versions from the Genevan editions and many new psalms by John Hopkins, Thomas Norton, and John Markant to make up The Whole Booke of Psalmes, Collected into English Meter. In addition to metrical versions of all 150 psalms, the volume included versified versions of the Apostles’ Creed, the Magnificat, and other biblical passages or Christian texts, as well as several non-scriptural versified prayers and a long section of prose prayers largely drawn from the English Forme of Prayers used in Geneva. Sternhold and Hopkins wrote almost all of their Psalms in the “common” or ballad metre. Their versions were quite widely circulated at the time; copies of the Sternhold and Hopkins psalter were bound with many editions of the Geneva Bible, and their Psalms were used in many churches. The Sternhold and Hopkins psalter was also published with music, much of it borrowed from the French Geneva Psalter. (Wikipedia)

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    The Faerie Queene (1596)

    - May 27, 2012 in edmund spenser, faerie queene, non-article, texts, Texts: 16th and older, Texts: Fairytales, Texts: Fiction, Texts: Poetry

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    The Faerie Queene – Disposed into twelue bookes, fashioning XII. morall vertues, by Edmund Spenser; 1596; William Ponsonbie, London.

    Original 1596 first edition of the second part to Edmund Spenser’s epic poem The Faerie Queene – disposed into twelue bookes, fashioning XII. morall vertues – a book published, according to Spenser, to “fashion a gentleman or noble person in virtuous and gentle discipline.” It is a highly allegorical tale, the adventures of several medieval knights, dragons, damsels in distress, etc., in a mythical “Faerie land” ruled by the Faerie Queene, all used to explore moral issues and what makes for a life of virtue under the reign of his ‘Queene’ Elizabeth. The language of his poetry is purposely archaic, reminiscent of earlier works such as The Canterbury Tales of Geoffrey Chaucer and Il Canzoniere of Francesco Petrarca, whom Spenser greatly admired. He originally indicated that he intended the poem to be twelve books long, so the version of the poem we have today is incomplete.

    Read the first 3 books in Part 1 in this later (and slightly more legible!) edition from 1859.

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