11 results
The Tale of Genji
This book is an old movable-type edition of one of the best-known classic works of Japanese literature. It is said to be the first printed version of Genji monogatari (The tale of Genji) and appears in 54 volumes produced in the Keichō Era (1596–1615). This is one of the earliest books for which hiragana types were used, and only two others are extant as scribal copies. Hiragana is a cursive script of the Japanese syllabary. One of the oldest novels in the world, Genji monogatari was written in the ...
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National Diet Library
Books 1–5 of History. Ethiopian Story. Book 8: From the Departure of the Divine Marcus
Under the influence of Italian humanism and of his book-collector tutor János Vitéz, the Archbishop of Esztergom, Matthias Corvinus of Hungary (1443–1490), developed a passion for books and learning. Elected king of Hungary in 1458 at the age of 14, Matthias won great acclaim for his battles against the Ottoman Turks and his patronage of learning and science. He created the Bibliotheca Corviniana, in its day one of Europe’s finest libraries. After his death, and especially after the conquest of Buda by the Turks in 1541, the library ...
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Bavarian State Library
Arthurian and Other Romances of the 13th Century
This 13th century manuscript, with text in two columns and superbly decorated, is an anthology of romances from the Middle Ages. The first two texts, L'Estoire del Saint Graal (The history of the Holy Grail) and L'Estoire de Merlin (The history of Merlin) are dedicated to the Arthurian legends and are attributed to Robert de Boron (circa 1200). The third text, Le Roman des Sept Sages de Rome (The romance of the seven wise masters of Rome), is a work of ancient Eastern origins, deriving from the Book ...
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National Library of France
Roman de la Rose
The Roman de la Rose, “wherein the whole art of love is contained,” was one of the most widely read literary works of the Middle Ages. An allegorical poem composed in the French—meaning Romance—of the 13th century, it was celebrated already in the 16th century as a national classic. The first 4,058 lines of the poem were written by Guillaume de Lorris in around 1230. Jean de Meung wrote an additional 17,724 lines in around 1275. The work is at once a courtly song, a story ...
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National Library of France
On the Lovers’ Passion
This calligraphic fragment includes an anecdote about the ishtiyaq-i muhibb va mahbub (passion of the lover and the beloved), as written in red ink in the upper-right corner. As the author then notes, the story seems to have been recorded by the prolific Arab prose writer al-Jahiz (died 869, 255 AH). The subsequent text describes the tragic story of two lovers who drowned at sea. The text is executed in minute shikastah-nasta'liq script in diagonal lines in two columns. Written on a beige paper, the text is framed by ...
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Library of Congress
Khusraw Kills a Lion
This painting depicts an episode from the second book of Niẓāmī Ganjavī's Khamsah (Quintet) entitled Khusraw va Shirin. In this book, the adventures and battles of the Persian king Khusraw are described, and his love for the Armenian princess Shirin. At a feast one day Khusraw and Shirin were sitting and drinking together (per the folio's verso) when suddenly a lion approached the royal pavilion. Thereupon, the king, albeit drunk, made a fist, hit the lion in the ear, and killed it on the spot. The painting follows ...
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Library of Congress
Amadis of Gaul
Amadís de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul) is a famous prose romance of chivalry, first composed in Spain or Portugal and most likely based on French sources. An early version of the work probably existed by the late 13th century or early 14th century. A version in three books, of which brief fragments are extant, can be dated around 1420. Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo, ruler of Medina del Campo, reworked that version, added a fourth book, and continued with a fifth, entitled Las sergas de Esplandián (The adventures of Esplandian). The ...
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National Library of Spain
The Tale of Genji: Volumes 1-54
Genji monogatari (Tale of Genji) is often considered the first great novel in world literature. The author of the work, Murasaki Shibuku, was born around 978 and spent most of her life at or near the imperial court in Kyoto. After a brief marriage to an older man, she entered the service of Empress Akiko (or Shōshi) around 1005 as a lady-in-waiting. The novel consists of 54 books or chapters that recount the life and romances of Prince Genji, the young, handsome, and talented son of an emperor. The novel ...
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Library of Congress
The Small Mirror of Genji
Genji Monogatari (The tale of Genji) is widely regarded as the pinnacle of classical Japanese literature. It tells the story of Hikaru Genji, son of the Japanese emperor who, for political reasons, is relegated to commoner status and has to start a career as an imperial official. The text covers his entire life, concentrating especially on his private life as a courtier, including his numerous love affairs. The tale was written around the year 1000 at the imperial court of Heian-kyo (Kyoto) by a lady-in-waiting at the court whose real ...
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Bavarian State Library
Amadis of Gaul
Amadís de Gaula (Amadis of Gaul) belongs to the genre of chivalric romances written in Spain in the late 15th century and the first half of the 16th century, often based on French sources. They are characterized as imaginative works of illusion, filled with wonders and enchantments. The Amadís of the National Library of Colombia is a beautiful volume of 600 pages (more than 1,500 pages in today's editions), printed in two columns in gothic type. It is illustrated with numerous woodcuts covering a wide variety of ...
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National Library of Colombia
Manuscript of “The Vortex”
La vorágine (The vortex) is an epic novel by the poet and lawyer José Eustasio Rivera, first published in Bogotá in 1924 and set in the jungles of Colombia during the rubber boom dating from about 1880 to World War I. Rivera served as the legal secretary to a commission established to determine the border between Colombia and Venezuela. Presented here is a part of the manuscript of the novel, consisting of a notebook that Rivera kept during his travels to the interior for the commission. "This notebook,” he later ...
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National Library of Colombia