Sederi Yearbook 30

Sederi 30
Sederi 30 — 2020
Ana Sáez-Hidalgo
María José Mora
ISSN 1135-7789


Isabel de la Cruz-Cabanillas, “The Secrets of Alexis in Glasgow University Library MS Ferguson 7.” SEDERI 30 (2020): 29–46.


DOI:                                                         Download PDF



This article deals with a handwritten, hitherto unexplored copy of a printed text, The Secrets of Reverend Alexis of Piedmont, held in Glasgow University Library, MS Ferguson 7, which dates to 1565. The manuscript includes a collection of secrets by an anonymous compiler from the English translation of De’ Secreti del reverendo donno Alessio de Piemontese, a highly popular book of secrets published in Venice in 1555 and immediately rendered into other languages, including English. The handwritten compilation proves to be a dynamic artifact which is personalized to suit the compiler’s needs and ultimately becomes an independent new product.

Keywords: early modern manuscript studies; Books of Secrets; MS Ferguson 7; Secrets of Alexis of Piedmont; Girolamo Ruscelli; William Warde.




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Piemontese, Alessio. 1562a. The Secretes of the Reuerende Mayster Alexis of Piemovnt. Containing excellent remedies against diuers disease, woundes, and other accidentes, with the maner to make distillations, parfumes, confitures, dyinges, colours, fusions, and meltinges. A worke well approued, very profitable and necessarie for euery man. Newely corrected and amended, and also somewhat enlarged in certaine places, whiche wanted in the fyrst edition. Translated oute of Frenche into Englyshe, by William Warde. Translated by William Warde. London: Roland Hall for Nycholas England.

Piemontese, Alessio. 1562b. The thyrde and last parte of the Secretes of the reuerende Maisster Alexis of Piemont, by him collected out of diuers excellente Authors, with a necessary Table in the ende, contayining all the matters treated of in this present worke. Englished by Wylliam Warde. Translated by William Warde. London: Roulande Hall for Nycholas England.

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