Dye groote evangelische Peerle, vol devoter ghebeden, godlijcker oeffeninghen, ende geesteliker leeringen hoe wy dat hoochste goet (dat God is) in onser sielen sullen soecken ende vinden, ende uyt allen onsen crachten liefhebben ende bevatten. Nu ten lesten wel gecorrigeert ende vermeerdert, ende met schoonder letter correct gedruct. Mathei. xiii. Dat rijck Gods is ghelijck eenen mensche die goede peerlen soect, , ende als hy een costelijcke peerle ghevonden heeft, so vercoopt hi al dat hi hevet, ende cooptse.
Gheprint Thantwerpen buyten dye Camerpoorte, inden, gulden Eenhooren, by mi Willem Vorsterman. Int Iaer ons Heeren. M.CCCCC. ende XLII. (1542). W. printed title in red and black, surrounded by 4 woodcuts (2 floriated, 2 architectural (columns). A large number of woodcut floriated and historiated initials in different sizes. Old overlapping vellum, ties missing. (Upper inner hinge weakening). (A-Z8, A-G8, H4; 244 lvs.). (Lvs. A6, 7, 8 a small strip from lower righthand side missing, appr. 1.5 x 6.5 cm, the ENTIRE leaf supplied in photocopy, the original lvs. A6,7,8 preserved and laid in.). (Title and first few lvs. some soiling. Lower part of printed title a name in ink which has been made invisible by black ink.). (Inscr. in ink on front paste down reading 'Joffrou Leanora van Grevenbroeck'). Comp. Nijhoff/Kronenberg Vol. I, 1689 and 1690 (eds. 1537-39) and vol. II, 3683 (ed. 1536), vol. III, 0965 (1531).: Belgica Typographia I, 4636: Machiels I, P164: Comp. STC Dutch p. 72 (Under Nicolaus van Ess, later eds.): Not in Adams.: Auction sale "Chateau de Heeswijk" (Fred. Muller, May 1901), vol. I, item 200 (Ed. 1536, Antwerpen, Symon Cock).: Het Boek vol 28, pp. 209 - 225. Bibliography of 'Peerle' editions on pp. 219 to end. See for this edition item 6 in the bibliography. Of special interest is the entry under number 8 (Antwerpen, Peetersen, 1548) the copy found at Wittem, Redemptoristenklooster. This particular copy has inscriptions in ink by 'Joff. a Leonora van Grevenbroeck', indicating that the book belongs to her and that it was a gift from her brother Jonkheer Jan van Grevenbroeck, March 1629. Leonora also owned and inscribed the book here offered. The article by A. de Wilt S.J. in Het Boek (Nov. 1943) concentrates on a German translation of this 16th century Low Countries mystical publication, which was printed by the Carthusian Dirk Loer van Hoogstraaten, initially in a shortened version (38 of 168 chapters!). In 1538 a complete edition is published and in 1542 Nicolaas van Ess takes over as publisher. Van Ess or Van Essche (1507 - 1578) was a priest and author of another rare mystical work "Vanden Tempel onser sielen" (Antwerpen, 1543). For a long time this precious 'Peerle' (Pearl) remained hidden and not until the 19th c. there are some scattered references. In the twenties and thirties of this century extensive studies begin to appear, especially concentrating on the origin of the 'Peerle' and the enigmatic female mystic responsible for the text. The ed. 1542 has a preface by van Esch (leaf A2) which is the main source for identifying the author. She was from a noble family, from Oisterwijk or Den Bosch, lived with her father, reached the age of 77, died 28 Jan. 1540. Consequently Maria van Oisterwijk, Anna Bijns and Reinalda van Eymere (great aunt of Petrus Canisius) were put forward as author, none of whom fitted the description required. L. Reypens & J. Huyben, 'Nog een vergeten mystieke grootheid', in: Ons Geestelijk Erf, II -IV (1928/30) and Luc. Verschueren, idem VI (1932).: 6th Dutch edition, 3rd complete, of this important mystic work.
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Keywords: mysticism religion theology Brk