Erin Maglaque

Erin Maglaque is a historian at Sheffield. Venice's Intimate Empire came out in 2018.

Case-endings and Calamity: Aldine Aesthetics

Erin Maglaque, 14 December 2023

Aldus Manutius​ is the bibliophile’s bibliophile. Between 1495 and his death in 1515, Aldus issued from his Venice press more first editions of classical texts than had ever been published before, and more than anyone has published since. With his punchcutter, Francesco Griffo, he designed an elegant new typeface for printing in Greek (a serious technical challenge) as well as the...

Diary: Desperate Midwives

Erin Maglaque, 7 September 2023

Before​ the invention of forceps in the early 18th century, a midwife presented with an irredeemably obstructed birth would insert a hook into the foetus’s skull to pull it out, or dismember it and remove its body in pieces. The foetus would – obviously – die, but the labouring woman might survive. The oaths women swore in labour were concerned with this problem of parting...


Pronoun Trouble

18 May 2023

David Book has two problems with my use of the pronoun ‘they’ to refer to Lauren Berlant (Letters, 15 June). The first is that Berlant relinquished the right to choose their own pronouns by dying. That seems to me unkind. It’s bad enough that we are welcomed into the world with a gender (‘It’s a girl!’); I don’t think we should have to leave it that way too. Book’s second objection...

‘In academia,’ Lauren Berlant wrote, ‘reputation is gossip about who had the ideas.’ Berlant had all the good ones: about sentimentality in American culture; about the place of sex and intimacy in public life; about what it feels like to live in a fraying world. Berlant taught English at Chicago from 1984 until their death in 2021 (Berlant used the non-binary pronoun in...

Dante’s Little Book

Erin Maglaque, 15 December 2022

Critics​ have struggled to define Dante’s first book, Vita Nuova, written in the early 1290s when he was in his late twenties.* Here are some of the possibilities: an autobiography (spiritual and/or poetic); a religious conversion narrative; a treatise on poetry for poets, or a treatise on love for lovers; a Künstlerroman before the invention of the novel; a Bible of Love, or a...

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