Recent Arrivals: 17th Century Literature & Jesuit Writings

May 2015—Several 17th-century editions of works by early-modern English literature greats and of early Jesuit writings have arrived in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives. From the last sermon of John Donne to the research of Jesuit scientist Athanasius Kircher, these works offer scholars and students alike a rich view into our literary, spiritual, and scientific heritage. They join a growing collection of English literature and Jesuit history that are part of our much larger rare books collection. Read a short synopsis of the six books below.

If you would like to view any of these books, please contact Amy Cooper Cary, Head of Special Collections & University Archives. Special Collections is home to the Père Marquette Collection as well as large collection of rare books.

Deaths duell, or, A consolation to the soule, against the dying life, and living death of the body, presents John Donne’s final sermon. Donne died five weeks after delivering the sermon, and the edition we have just acquired was published only two years later. It includes a rare engraving of Donne after his death.

The Works of Ben Jonson, published in 1692, is the first single-volume edition of Jonson’s complete works. In addition to poetry and plays, it also contains masques; epigrams; panegyrics; the English Grammar; Timber, or Discoveries; and a translation of Horace’s de Arte Poetica.

The Temple. Sacred Poems, And Private Ejaculations, by George Herbert, is one of the great works of 17th century English poetry. This sixth edition of the work was published in 1641.

Physiologia Kircheriana Experimentalis, Qua Summa Argumentorum Multitudine & Varietate Naturalium rerum scientia per experimenta Physica, Mathematica, Medica, Chymica, Musica, Magnetica, Mechanica comprobatur atque stabilitur is a compendium of Athanasius Kircher’s pioneering scientific findings, prepared by his pupil Johann Stephan Kestler and published in 1680, the year of Kircher’s death. The breadth of Kircher’s research and inventiveness are documented across this large volume and are supplemented with many woodcuts and engravings.

Mathias Tanner’s Societas Jesu usque ad sanguinis et vitae profusionem militans, in Europa, Africa, Asia, et America pro Deo, fide, ecclesia, pietate. Sive vita, et mors eorum, qui ex Societate Jesu in causa fidei, & virtutis propugnatae, violentâ morte toto orbe sublati sunt chronicles the martyrdoms of nearly two hundred 16th- and 17th-century Jesuits across the world, pairing the biographies with graphic engravings depicting their moments of death. This first edition was published in 1675.

Johann Crasset’s La Vie de Madame Helyot documents the life of Marie Heylot (nee Henrix), a French noblewoman of Flemish descent who became Jesuit mystic, attributed with healings, miracles, and prophecies. This fourth edition was published in 1693.

Three images: Engraving of John Donne from Death's Duell, Frontispiece from Athanasius Kircher's Philogia, and Title page of Johnson's Complete Works