[ 126 ] Erasmus and the Pursuit of English Royal Patronage in 1517 and 1518 by CECIL H. CLOUGH THE Library of Charlecote Park, Warwickshire, contains the illu- minated copy of Erasmus' Institutio Principis Christiani (Basel: Johann Froben, May I s 1 6) , which the author presented to King Henry VIII in the autumn of 15 17. This volume is tangible testimony of an essentially unknown episode relating to Erasmus' quest for English royal patronage in I s 1 7 and 15 18. Apart from revealing something of the problems of such patronage, the episode throws light on Erasmus' complex character and on his contemporary reputation. The bibliographical details of the Charlecote Park volume, with convincing evidence that it is the actual presentation copy, will be provided elsewhere.' My concern in this study is the circumstance of the presentation and the motives behind it. First, when did the presen- tation take place? An unctuous letter from Erasmus in Antwerp to Henry VIII, dated 9 September 1 S y, was first published by Froben in an Erasmian letter-collection published in August 15 I 8.2 The printed letter, the only existing testimony of it, most likely derived from a
Erasmus of Rotterdam Society Yearbook – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1981
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