The Saint between Manuscript and Print in Italy, 1400-1600

Edited by Alison K. Frazier - ES37

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The twelve essays in this volume identify mutually interactive developments in media and saints’ cults at a time and in a place when both underwent profound change. Focusing on the Italian peninsula between 1400 and 1600, authors analyze specific sites of intense cultural production and innovation. The volume invites further study of saints of all sorts — canonized, popularly recognized, or self-proclaimed — in the fluid media environment of early modernity.

Alison Frazier is Associate Professor of History at the University of Texas in Austin. Her monograph Possible Lives: Authors and Saints in Renaissance Italy (2005) won the 2006 Gordon Prize from the Renaissance Society of America. Her current research addresses humanist contributions to the pre-Tridentine liturgy.

494 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2181-5 softcover
Published: 2015


“This expertly curated volume presents twelve sharp and sophisticated essays situated at the intersection of two fertile fields: the cultural history of sanctity and the history of the transformations wrought by the introduction of printing.” — Daniel Bornstein, Washington University in St. Louis

“The volume is alive and current in its scholarship and its rich bibliography a barometer of the state of research in the field.” — Nerida Newbigin, University of Sydney

Ecclesiastical History, 68, (2017). pp 155-157. Reviewed by Marco Faini.

H-Net Reviews, (Spring 2016). pp 494. Reviewed by Matt Vester.

The Catholic Historical Review, 102:3, (Summer 2016). pp 603-604. Reviewed by Cristina Dondi.

Renaissance and Reformation/Renaissance et Réforme, 39.2 (Summer 2016). pp 181-184. Reviewed by Mary Morse.

Literaturbericht / Archive for Reformation History, 45 (2016). pp 136-137.

Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 68.1 (2018). pp 155-157. Reviewed by Marco Faini.



Alison K. Frazier, “Introduction: Spreading the Word about Saints in Manuscript and Print”

1. Roberto Cobianchi, “Printing a New Saint: Woodcut Production and the Canonization of Saints in Late Medieval Italy”

Part I: Lay Sanctity Between Manuscript and Print
2. Barbara Wisch, “Seeing is Believing: St. Lucy in Text, Image, and Festive Culture”
3. Pierre Bolle, “Archival Documents, Early Printed Books, and Manuscripts: The Backwards Text-Tradition of St. Roch “of Montpellier'”
4. Stephen Bowd, “Tales from Trent: The Construction of ‘Saint’ Simon in Manuscript and Print”

5. Giuseppe Antonio Guazzelli, “Early Printed Martyrologies in Italy (1486-c. 1584)”

Part II: Saints of the Religious Orders Between Manuscript and Print
6. Cécile Caby, “Honoratus of Lérins: A Saint and a Holy Island Between Manuscript and Print”
7. Laura Ackerman Smoller, “The Unstable Image of Vincent Ferrer in Manuscript and Print vitae, 1455–1555”
8. Stefano Dall’Aglio, “‘Everyone Worships Fra Girolamo as a Saint’: Savonarola’s Presumed Sanctity in Sixteenth-Century Manuscripts and Prints”
9. Serena Spanò Martinelli and Irene Graziani, “Caterina Vigri between Gender and Image: La Santa in Text and Iconography”
10. John Gagné, “Fixing Texts and Changing Regimes: Two Holy Lives in French-Occupied Milan, ca. 1500–1525”
11. Gabriella Zarri, “Blessed Lucia of Narni (1476–1544) Between ‘Hagiography’ and ‘Autobiography’: Mystical Authorship and the Persistence of the Manuscript”

12. Kevin Stevens, “Sanctity as Cheap Print: Production, Markets, and Consumers in Early Modern Milan”