Fast Reviews of Books in Renaissance Intellectual History:
Contact: Dr. Heinrich C. Kuhn
Document created: 2003-01-15
J. V. Andreae und Herzog August zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg
Ihr Briefwechsel und ihr Umfeld
Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt [Frommann-Holzboog] 2002
X, 295 pp. : Ill.
Series:Clavis Pansophiae ; 8
Price: EUR 56
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This title was reviewed by: Martin Schmeisser of "Seminar für Geistesgeschichte und Philosophie der Renaissance (LMU München)"
Item arrived at GGREN on:2002-12-06
Review was finished on:2002-12-23
- The famous theologian Johann Valentin Andreae (1586 - 1654) left us a considerable literary estate with, among other things a voluminous correspondence. Martin Brecht undertook in his book the titanic enterprise to sound out this enormous quantity of material. Andreae as the author of sounding titles, like the Fama Fraternitatis, or the Chymische Hochzeit des Christian Rosenkreuz and as the founder of the rosicrucian myth can be characterised as one of the most famous 17th century Reformation - heroes. His amazing idea of the ideal type of a Christian society is sketched e.g. in the description of the utopian state Christianopolis - through a revolutionary new comprehension of the notion of Christian pedagogy. His radical and extensive plan for reform attracted the attention of several of his famous and witty contemporaries, like his friend August, Duke of Braunschweig. Through his book - which describes precisely the historical and biographical context of Andreae's correspondence - the lector becomes acquainted with rather unknown aspects of Andreae's life. Andreae takes shape e.g. as an Arndtianus theologus, defending Arndt - beside Heinrich Varenius - against the accusation of "weigelianism" and "schwenckfeldianism" as early as 1623, thus becoming himself the target of Arndt's antagonists and the censorship. As a direct consequence of his critical church policy, the imprimatur for his Theophilus had been refused. Amidst the turmoil and misery of the Thirty Years' War - which left its mark on his relation with Duke August - Andreae appears as an impressive descriptor of the historical circumstances. In one of the last chapters of Martin Brecht's amazing book Andreae is depicted as an amateur d'art and Duke August's personal art critic. The book is structured chronologically and thematically. Each of Andreae's correspondents is accurately described and every part of Andreae's correspondence is precisely related to important historical and biographical events thus allowing the lector to grasp the fascinating broadness of Andreae's intellectual and political activity.
- After a short preface (p. IX - X) and the introduction (p. 1 - 8) Martin Brecht starts his book with a chapter (p. 9 - 24) divided in many subchapters, describing the sources, i.e. a general description of the correspondence, along with the general content of the letters. In 1640 the correspondence becomes frequent between Andreae and Duke August, his sons Rudolf August, Anton Ulrich and Ferdinand Albrecht and his daughters Sibylla Ursula, Clara Augusta and Maria Elisabeth and Duke Augusts agents in Augsburg Phillip Hainhofer and Martin Hirt etc.. The two last sections of the chapter (p. 21 - 24) provide information about the locations of the manuscripts of Andreae's correspondence and his autobiography.
The next two chapters are containing general biographical descriptions of Andrea's correspondents, the first of them providing information about Duke August (p. 25 - 29), as one of the most relevant correspondents, and the second chapter (p. 30 - 59) provides us with information about minor correspondents, as e.g. Tobias Wagner, Johann Saubert and members of the Württemberg clergy.
The following chapter (p. 61 - 73) - also divided in subchapters - informs about Andreae's and Duke August's mutual past and August's studies in Tübingen.
The fifth chapter (p. 74 - 93) describes the begin of the relationship between Andreae and August and its historical circumstances.
The sixth chapter (p. 94 - 136) tells about the turmoil of the Thirty Years War, the events concerning Andreae and August and the deep impression which it left on the relationship between Andreae and August, and presents Andreae's correspondence of this time as a unique literary source for the war.
The seventh chapter (p. 137 - 158) relates among other things about Andreae's defense of Arndt and his Doctorate in Tübingen.
The eight chapter (p. 159 - 177) is about Andreae's relation to August's family and court.
The ninth chapter (p. 178 - 218) informs about his ecclesiastical activities and the tenth about his literary activities, inter alia about the aforementioned Theophilus (p. 232) and Andreae's poetry (p. 235).
The last chapters (p. 219 - 274) are describing Andreae's occupation as August's book counsellor and critique d'art and Andreae's last years of suffering.
- Martin Brecht's superb book is a fine example of diligent academic work. The vast material has been the most accurately structured, thus allowing the reader to gain a profound insight into the complex historical circumstances of 17th century Germany and Andreae's eventful life. As a perfect companion to the Johann Valentin Andreaes Gesammelte Werke published by Frommann-Holzboog it is interesting even for non experts and all those interested in the following topics: Johann Valentin Andreae, history of the Reformation, 17th century Germany. The price for this volume is high but surely fair.
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Biblographic data formatted for downloading
Author1: Brecht, Martin
main Title: J. V. Andreae und Herzog August zu Braunschweig-Lüneburg
subtitle: Ihr Briefwechsel und ihr Umfeld
series: Clavis Pansophiae ; 8
place of publ.: Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt
no of pages etc.: X, 295 pp. : Ill.
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