The Man ‘that Loved the mysterie’

Our Research Fellow Rebecca Barr (NUI Galway) writes about an amazingly annotated book

I’ve been looking at a 1654 edition of ‘Mysterium Magnum’ by the (somewhat crazy) German mystic, Jacob Boehme. The copy at Marsh’s has two dedicated annotators, who really have read the whole esoteric thing. One of them has been inspired to fill entire margins with their own responses to Boehme’s theories of angels, good and evil, and the creation of mankind. So important was Boehme’s book to one of its owners that they took the trouble to replace 16 missing pages with handwritten facsimiles of the printed version in order to preserve its integrity. A later reader has noted the care taken to save these lost pages, writing a short poem to thank the previous owner for his love of ‘the Mysterie’. Meeting these past readers in the pages has been wonderful!

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