The 1660s witnessed the extinction of the dodo, Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pearl Earring”, and Newton’s law of universal gravitation. It is also when Het vermakelijck landtleven (“the diverting country life”) rolled off the press: a compendium produced for well-to-do landowners. Offering chapters on beekeeping, cookery, medicine and the propagation of fruit trees, it echoes the all-encompassing works of agronomists working in the Late-Roman empire. Even more so, this Early Modern collection follows a tradition of householding manuscripts produced in the later Middle Ages.
While these medieval how-to manuals may seem to have served a practical purpose, a closer look reveals that they are in fact the result of a long literary grapevine. Next to Het vermakelijck landtleven, this talk will feature more intriguing Early Modern gardening manuals held at the Special Collections, and reveal their weird and wonderful history.
After the lecture, Het vermakelijck landtleven and other Early Modern gardening manuals will be on display.
• Thursday 20 December 2018, 4 - 5 pm
• Jantina Tammes room, 4th floor University Library City Centre