JMU Libraries Acquires Rare Copy of Book of Martyrs|
JMU joins elite group with its recent acquisition of the 1563 tome.
By acquiring a first edition of John Foxe's Acts and Monuments of these Latter and Perilous Days (commonly known as the Book of Martyrs), JMU is one of only a handful of institutions worldwide to own a copy of the 1563 tome. The elite group includes the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington DC and Princeton University.
According to JMU's own Dr. Mark Rankin (one of the nations leading experts on the Book of Martyrs), “This book is invaluable as both a historical source of the period and as a literary text. Many documents preserved in this compilation are unavailable elsewhere.” Dr. Rankin also emphasizes the significant role the Book of Martyrs played as it “shaped the English Protestant imagination more thoroughly than any other besides the English Bible.”
The book chronicles Protestant followers put to death during the reign of Queen Mary I, who ruled England from 1553-1558.
The JMU edition is estimated to be 90% complete with 46 of the original 61 woodcut illustrations.
To see a few of the iconic woodcut images, click here.