Humanism For Sale:

Making and Marketing Schoolbooks in Italy, 1450-1650 by Paul F. Gehl

Welcome to Humanism For Sale, which concerns the ways books were written, designed, printed, and marketed for schools in Renaissance Italy.

Mounted in 2008 by the Center For Renaissance Studies of the Newberry Library, Humanism For Sale was intended as an experiment in interactive scholarly publishing. It is a richly illustrated monograph on the design and marketing of schoolbooks that explores the activities of humanist teachers in the increasingly commercialized book markets of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

When first published, Humanism For Sale employed blogging software to allow readers to interact with its author, book historian and Newberry curator Paul F. Gehl, via comments or questions about general themes or specific arguments. In that format it was used in a variety of graduate and undergraduate courses in history, literature, and media studies across more than a decade. Scholarly readers and students offered many comments, which are preserved in the present version. Closed to further comment in early 2019, it remains the most comprehensive treatment of its subject currently available. It is also an artifact of scholarly publishing of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

The text you see here is essentially a scholarly monograph in seven chapters:

  • Introduction: The Problem of School Books
  • Chapter 1: School Author to School Book: Terence in MS and Print
  • Chapter 2: Learning to Latinize: Donatus, Cato and Beyond
  • Chapter 3: Antonio Mancinelli and the Humanist Classroom
  • Chapter 4: Crossing Borders: Northern Textbook on the Italian Market
  • Chapter 5: Universal & Instrumental: The Jesuit Grammar of Manuel Alvares
  • Chapter 6: Vernacular Literacy, Commercial Education, and How To Do Stuff
  • Chapter 7: Emblems in the Classroom
  • Conclusion: Selling Books and Selling Ideas

Each chapter is subdivided into sections and the footnotes and comments to each section can be viewed in the same panel. Full bibliographical references are provided in a separate Bibliography that can be accessed from any page.

For further information about the monograph and its author, click on About the Book.

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