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Douglas Parker presents an old-spelling, critical edition of William Roye's English translation of Erasmus' "An exhortation to the diligent studye of scripture (or Paraclesis)," and Martin Luther's "An exposition in to the seventh chaptre of the pistle to the Corinthians" (his commentary on St. Paul's 1 Corinthians 7), first published together in 1529.
Roye's translation of Erasmus' Paraclesis was momentous because it underscored the reformers' call for a vernacular Bible, thereby providing them with a voice of authority that conservative forces could not ignore. Roye's translation of Luther was the first full-scale English rendering of a work by the great arch-heretic, and its subject matter (the iniquities of the unmarried clergy) suggested a unity of vision between European and English reformers. Most importantly, these two tracts were published together, ironically enough, thereby suggesting a unity of vision that neither Erasmus nor Luther would have been prepared to countenance.
Parker's thorough volume includes: a literary/historical introduction situating the text and explaining its importance for the English reform movement; an essay on the fidelity of Roye's English renderings of the original Latin and German texts; commentary that glosses difficult readings, identifies all biblical and secular references, provides analogues from early English reformation tracts and from some of Erasmus' and Luther's other writings. This is a critical work for scholars of the English reformation movement.
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