QMUL CRLE Seminar – Cecilia Muratori – ‘Jacob Böhme in Christopher Walton’s Theosophical Library’
Here are details of the second seminar of the Centre for Religion and Literature in English at Queen Mary University of London:
Time: Wednesday 1 June 2016, 5.15-6.45pm
Place: Lock-Keeper’s Cottage Graduate Centre, Westfield Way, Queen Mary University of London, E1 4NS
Dr Cecilia Muratori (Warwick), ‘ “Public Highway to the Perfect Regeneration”: Jacob Böhme in Christopher Walton’s Theosophical Library’
The theosophical library of Christopher Walton (1809-1877) contains many books by and on the German mystical philosopher Jacob Böhme (1575-1624), alongside notes on the reception of Böhme in England and even drawings to elucidate his complex work. Walton built up his theosophic collection (amounting to around 1000 items) by purchasing books at public auctions as well as from the heirs of one of the most famous English readers of Böhme, William Law (1686-1761). With the intention of keeping the collection open to the public, Walton’s theosophic library was donated to Dr Williams’s Library at the time of Walton’s death, and in fulfilment of his wish it was (and still remains) catalogued separately. This paper will discuss the aims of this section of Walton’s collection, showing that it was designed both to assist with interpreting Böhme, and to serve as an aid for English speakers for whom Böhme’s original writings were inaccessible. The paper will also show that this collection sheds light on the reception of Böhme in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, with special regard to the networks of both English and German readers of Böhme that operated in London.