Monografie in uscita

V. Feola, "Elias Ashmole. The Quartecentenary Biography", L'Erma di Bretschneider, Roma 2017

Vittoria Feola’s Elias Ashmole. The Quartercentenary Biography aims to celebrate the founder of the first British public museum (1617-2017). It presents him both as a European scholar and as a patriotic Englishman. Perhaps more strikingly, it tells an incredible, seventeenth-century rags-to-riches story. Ashmole’s legal scholarship is shown to be a British perspective onto European debates about parliament and the limits of the king’s powers. Ashmole’s alchemical endeavours are set against their properly medical background. Feola begins to discuss here for the first time Ashmole’s neglected collection of Catholic devotional images. The author presents Ashmole as a man of his troubled times, during which one had to keep one’s faith private in order to be a loyal subject. Indeed, Ashmole’s sense of national identity and ideas about national sovereignty make him a relevant figure today, at a time when religions are gathering strength against the State.