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Printers to the 'arch-heretic' David Joris Prolegomena to a bibliography of his works

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Despite the increased interest in all aspects of the Radical Reformation we are still in need of a bibliography of David Joris which might satisfy reasonable requirements. A. van der Linde's book, which presented itself as such over a century ago, is imprecise and not unnaturally entirely out of date. A new version would thus fulfil an obvious need. The reasons for which it has not yet been undertaken must be sought in the complication created by the fact that the hundreds of writings all appeared without an imprint. The dates, if indeed any are given, generally apply to the composition of the text and only coincide exceptionally with the often considerably later year of publication. All we can conclude from historical sources is that a number of his tracts were published in Deventer in about 1540 by Albert Pafraet and Dirk (II) van den Borne. In order to determine who dared to work for the arch-heretic (or, after his death, for later followers of his teaching) it is impossible to avoid a bibliographical analysis. In this manner we find the names of various of his printers and, from the years of their activity, we can deduce sufficient indications to date the publication of the writings within certain limits. This investigation shows that the first were indeed printed in Deventer, the very earliest being a treatise which has so far been ascribed to the Anabaptist Bernhard Rothmann. Thereafter David Joris gave orders for his works to be printed alternately in Antwerp, to Adriaen van Berghen, and in Deventer. After he had left for Basel he briefly applied to the services of two printers in the German-speaking area until he discovered a permanent supplier in the future university printer Ludwig Dietz in Rostock. The sectarian's death and his posthumous execution in 1559 were succeeded by a few decades of silence in the camp of his followers. In 1584, however, an edition of the Wonderboeck, entirely revised by the author, appeared and was soon followed by a series of other publications. Much previously unpublished work proved to have remained in the possession of David Joris's family. The printer, as he himself was later to admit, was Dirk Mullem in Rotterdam. When his activities came to an end in the last years of the century, other publishers took over the task.


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