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Title: Pamphilus Gengenbach, 1480-1525 : writer, printer and publicist in pre-Reformation Basel
Author: Naylor, Philip James
ISNI:       0000 0001 3440 2305
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2002
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This study of the printer-writer Pamphilus Gengenbach is the first in English. It argues that his writings and his printed output of other authors can be treated as one body of work and develops a meaningful narrative of Gengenbach's beliefs and intentions. It examines the content, language and form of his own writings, exploring common themes and ideas; and it examines the different audiences at whom Gengenbach was aiming and the messages he wanted to give them. The material he produced is seen as a measure of the 'mood' of the times, distinguished by its popular appeal: mostly short, written in the vernacular, and making extensive use of woodcut illustrations and verse. Alongside the more predictable themes that appear in his work - Luther, church reform, anti-clericalism, astrology, the coming apocalypse, the emperor and the pope - there are such themes as the Swiss intervention in Italy, mercenaries, Swiss nationalism, French expansionism, anti-Semitism, wealth and poverty, law and order, and sexual morality. The historical context is crucial for understanding Gengenbach as he was, above all, a commentator on social, political and religious questions and an analysis of his work can in turn provide important insights into contemporary events. The important influences on Gengenbach are discussed - Humanism, popular beliefs and traditions, and other writers, especially Sebastian Brant. The first chapter begins with some biographical background and a discussion of his place in Basel society, followed by a review of developments in the German print industry. Subsequent chapters follow in historical order; chapters 2 to 5 loosely so as they are thematically organised. Chapter 2 deals with Brant; chapters 3, 4 and 5 look primarily at Gengenbach's carnival plays, which are his most significant contribution to German literature. Chapters, 6, 7 and 8 which deal with the coming Reformation, are straightforwardly chronological.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available