- Jan 2022
Early English Books Online offers a hundred thousand titles printed between 1475 and 1700. Massive tomes in Latin and the little pamphlets that poured off the presses during the Puritan revolution—schoolbooks, Jacobean tragedies with prompters’ notes, and political pamphlets by Puritan regicides—are all available to anyone in a major library.
- May 2021
With some continued clever searching today along with some help from an expert in Elizabethan English, I've found an online version of Robert Copland's (poor) translation from the French, some notes, and a few resources for assisting in reading it for those who need the help.
- The art of memory, that otherwyse is called the Phenix A boke very behouefull and profytable to all professours of scyences. Grammaryens, rethoryciens dialectyke, legystes, phylosophres [and] theologiens. Petrus, Ravennas, ca. 1448-1508 or 9., Copland, Robert, fl. 1540-1547. [Imprynted at London: In Fletestrete at the sygne of the George by Wyllyam Myddylton, [ca. 1545]]
This is a free text transcription and will be easier to read than the original black-letter Elizabethan English version.
For those without the background in Elizabethan English, here are a few tips/hints:
For the more obscure/non-obvious words:
- Middle English Dictionary (online) from University of Michigan
- Project Gutenberg Middle English Dictionary
Finally, keep in mind that the letter "y" can often be a printer's substitution for the English thorn character) Þ, so you'll often see the abbreviations yͤ for "the" and yͭ as an abbreviation for "that".
Copland's original English, first printing of Ravenna can be accessed electronically through a paid Proquest account at most universities. It is listed as STC 24112 if you have access to a firewall-free site that lets you look at books on Early English Books Online (EEBO). A photocopy can be obtained through EEBO reprints on Amazon. Unless you've got some reasonable experience with Elizabethan black-latter typography, expect this version to be hard to read. It isn't annotated or modernized.
@ehcolston I'm curious to hear what the Wilson/Pena text looks like. I'm guessing it's not scholarly. I think Wilson is a recent college grad and is/was a publishing intern at a company in the LA Area. I'm not sure of Pena's background. I suspect it may be a version of the transcribed text I've linked with a modest updating of the middle English which they've self-published on Amazon.
Of course, given the multiple translations here, if anyone is aware of a more solid translation of the original Latin text into English, do let us know. The careful observer will notice that the Latin version is the longest, the French quite a bit shorter, and the English (Copland) incredibly short, so there appears to be some untranslated material in there somewhere.