1555 Denis the Carthusian. Omnes Beati Pauli Epistolas... Women printers. Paris

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This 1555 edition of Denis the Carthusian's commentaries on the letters of Paul, was printed by the widow of Maurice de La Porte, Catherine de La Porte. The printer's mark shows Sampson carrying the doors of Gaza, with the inscription, "Omnia Mea Mecum Porto" (All that I have I carry); this was a known mark of the de La Porte printing family. The printer is listed as, "Apud Viduam Mauricii a Porta", or, "from the widow of Maurice de La Porte".

Per the rules of the guild halls, the only women who could become printers were widows and/or bereft daughters; some enjoyed great success, like Charlotte Guillard. Catherine de La Porte did not continue in the business of printing as long as some other 16th century widows; the University of St. Andrews rare book blog states, "Gabriel Buon first began actively printing in Paris in 1558, after he purchased the tools and device of another Paris printer, Catherine de La Porte, widow of Maurice de La Porte." (Cicero's Importance to Scholars of All Ages, Drew Thomas, Sept. 5, 2018)

Note: The verso of the FFEP, and top of the title page mention "v1", indicating a volume one, but neither Worldcat (library database) or the Universal Short Title Catalogue note that it's a first volume of two. That being said, there were many Denis the Carthusian works (circa 150), and it's entirely plausible a previous owner considered this commentary a pair to another commentary.

About Denis the Carthusian -

Denis the Carthusian (1402–1471), also known as Denys van Leeuwen, Denis Ryckel, Dionysius van Rijkel (or other combinations of these terms), was a Roman Catholic theologian and mystic.

Physical Attributes -

Measures approx. 15.5 x 10 x 3.5 cm. Binding in the style of 18th century French bindings. Spine with five raised bands; five compartments with a central gilt floret surrounded by leaves and fillets, one compartment with the title and author (abbreviated) in gilt. All edges red. Marbled endpapers. Pages - xii, 356. Collation - Aa8, Bb4, A-X8, Y4. Bb4 is blank (matching the catalogues).

OCLC - 644940219

Universal Short Title Catalogue - 197885

Pettegree, Walsby and Wilkinson - 65377

Condition -

See pictures. 18th century binding well worn, with edge wear and rubs to the boards. Front joint cracked. Top of spine chipped. One worm track on front board. 1/2 of rear joint cracked. Top endband cracked. Ink inscription on verso of FFEP. Paper throughout with some toning, occasional rust spots, ink spots, dog-eared pages, thumbing, etc.. Title page with a little soiling. Also, gift inscription at the top of the title page. One pinhead sized hole in title page, no text affected. Occasional damp staining throughout. Page 212 (D4) upper corner missing, with loss of text. Writing on rear pastedown, in an old hand.

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