Humanism For Sale is an experiment. We are using the Word Press blog platform and the Comment Press theme to begin a dialog based on a new scholarly monograph about the creation and sale of school books in Europe between 1450 and 1650. For a description of the project and its background, see the web pages at www.humanismforsale.org. These pages also offer some advice for getting around the text if you are not used to blogging.
You are cordially invited to comment on any portion of Humanism For Sale in the comment fields that run parallel to the text. Simply click on the comment icon next to the portion of text that interests you, register once, and get a password that will allow you to comment as often as you like. Feel free to respond to other comments -- the whole point of using this software is to have a conversation. You may also quote and cite the text freely under the terms of its Creative Commons copyright statement. We recommend citing the text by section number.
Some readers may prefer to start with the fuller advice offered by the accompanying web pages. But in fact the software is easy to use and most people can just plunge in.
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
You can use the more detailed table of contents at left to find what most interests you in the book. The comparable contents column on the right will appear on every page, so you can move forward or back without returning to this page. The search box at top right will get you to keywords in the text. At the moment there are only a few illustrations in text, drawn from the collections of the Newberry Library. Clicking on the thumbnails will give you a larger image. Footnotes use abbreviated forms by reference to a full bibliography in the accompanying web pages.
As time permits we will provide more illustrations, better indexing, and additional gateways for readers who are not historians but who are interested in the history of design, marketing, and education.
Humanism For Sale is a project of the Newberry Library Center for Renaissance Studies (see http://www.newberry.org/renaissance/renaissancehome.html). A variety of additional backround information on this project and its author, Paul F. Gehl, an historian of printing on the staff of the Newberry Library, is available on the web pages at www.humanismforsale.org.