CICERO, Orations, Vols II and III ([Venice], 1541)

(Donor unknown - listed in the 1836 Library catalogue)

These two volumes from the Aldine Press carry the former ownership inscription 'Arundel' on their title pages. This is Henry Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, who died in 1579/80, and who had a fairly turbulent career during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. (He remained a devout Roman Catholic - which was a problem under Edward VI and Elizabeth I especially.)

He was a collector of books, and at the beginning of Mary's reign in 1553 he also acquired the library of Archbishop Thomas Cranmer whose property was confiscated by the Crown in that year as an 'attainted' person. Most of these books he passed on to his son-in-law, John, Lord Lumley; but his own library was amalgamated with Lumley's during the 1560s when both lived in the palace of Nonsuch in Surrey (a former palace of Henry VIII). Some of Arundel's books were probably given away as duplicates when his library was combined with that of Lumley, and the Roderic Bowen Library books are probably examples of this.

The title page of Volume III also has a later inscription by Nicholas Radford ('sum Nicholai Radford' - 'I belong to Nicholas Radford') dated 1599; elsewhere there are the signatures of 'Robert Bostock', 'Hammont' and others. Some classical texts probably circulated through generations of students at Oxford and Cambridge over the years.

The binding is almost certainly a contemporary Italian one - Arundel visited Italy and collected books and music while there. The printer was Paulus Manutius (Paolo Manuzio), son of Aldus and by now working under his own name, not merely describing himself as one of his father's heirs. He produced many of the common classical texts in this fairly inexpensive, popular format, and Cicero was much in demand as a University textbook.

(D.Selwyn)