Monday, 16 January 2012

I Want It, I Want It, I Want It, I Want It!

In 2005 appeared two volumes of the Enciclopedia fridericiana (Rome: Istituto della Enciclopedia italiana, Treccani), ed. by Girolamo Arnaldi, Ortensio Zecchino, Arnold Esch, Antonio Menniti Ippolito, Alberto Varvaro and Cosimo Damiano Fonseca. In 2008 a third volume was added, on the work of Frederick himself. It is a massive, gorgeous, vast project, produced in the wake of the the anniversary celebrations of his birth, in 1194. Compelling, complex, learned, Frederick was dubbed by a contemporary chronicler stupor mundi. Leafing through the pages of these three volumes makes for not a little stupor at its breath and its beauty.

I want this. What can I say? God I want this SO much. And now, an Italian bookseller has the three volumes on eBay for €1,500. That sounds a lot and I know what you're thinking: don’t be insane. Indeed. But I still want this! I really want this. I cannot, of course, allow myself to even consider it. But know this: when it sells, as I’m sure it will, I shall look back upon this very moment filled with regret. And it will not go away.

So if you have €1,500 and you like the Middle Ages, then you could do a lot worse than to acquire this. If, in addition to the money and a love of the Middle Ages, you have a huge and generous heart, why don’t you buy it for me! I know you won’t though. I know that.

I’d like to go and have a little cry now.

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