Graduation Year

1534821480

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

History

Major Professor

Giovanna Benadusi, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Brian Sandberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Anne Koenig, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Levy, Ph.D.

Keywords

Reformation, Print Revolution, Networks, Martyrology, Jean Crespin, Black Legend

Abstract

The aim of my project is to show how the lives, strategies and attitudes of Huguenot printers of the late sixteenth century both reflected and influenced the self-image of Protestant Europeans. Historians of the book such as Roger Chartier and Adrian Johns have argued that the process of printing includes several components which are easily overlooked by historians interested in exploring thoughts and attitudes. My project attempts to put these insights to practical use by demonstrating how printers were as integral to the process of reading as were readers and writers. I investigate the lives, social networks, and business strategies of a pair of successful Huguenot printers of Geneva, Jean Crespin and Eustache Vignon. My investigation shows how they relied on cooperative, international networks to practice their business and that this fostered a practical, cosmopolitan attitude among them. I then examine Jean Crespin’s most famous work, the Livre des Martyrs, showing how it supplied the needs of his readers for a sense of meaning an community. I show how this work changed over time in response to changing needs and circumstances, as seen most dramatically in the version which Eustache Vignon produced after his partner’s death. Finally, I examine how Vignon – along with other Protestant printers of his time – began to produce books about the New World. I argue that these New World Works, reflecting the printers’ cosmopolitan perspective, promoted a more ecumenical vision of Christianity and a universal ethic based on kindness and justice.

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