‘The most lamentable burning of the cittie of Corke’: a view on Irish history from a Dutch Collection

On the morning of 31st May 1622, exactly four hundred years ago, a terrible fire struck Cork city. It was sparked by an early summer thunderstorm. Many of the tightly packed dwellings within the city walls were built of timber or clay and had thatched roofs, and when lightning struck they quickly went up in flames. Between 11 o’clock and noon the fire tore through all parts of the city, leaving a trail of devastation.

One of the reasons we know about this fire is because it was the subject of a news pamphlet, A relation of the most lamentable burning of the cittie of Corke, in the west of Ireland, in the province of Monster, by thunder and lightning, which was printed in London on 20th June, barely three weeks later. It is a scarce work, with only three copies recorded in the English Short Title Catalogue. But a Dutch translation was printed in The Hague by Aert Meuris in 1622, and this translation is held in the Library of Trinity College Dublin among the 5,200 pamphlets in the Fagel Collection.

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Farcical Fountains in the Fagel collection

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have this year been looking at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post is by Olivia Bayne.

*SPLASH* without warning, followed by a roar of shrieks and laughter.  There you were, innocently admiring the garden view from a gallery window when, suddenly, some strange figure hidden in the foliage threw a bucket of water in your face.  Equal parts damp and mortified, you scurry out of the room; away from potential further drenching, away from the laughter of other guests soon to be met with similar ironic fates. Down the hall you come across a mirror.  Stopping to rearrange your hair and wipe the water from your brow, you straighten up, smile, and *poof* another figure, this time hidden in the rafters, has emptied a sack of flour atop your head.  You are now wettened and whitened – just in time for dinner.  Your host must be a madman; surely this is nothing more than a madhouse.

Fig. 1: Guests run away under a cloak from surprise water jets. Giovanni Battista Falda, Le fontane di roma, Rome, 1691. Shelfmark: Fag. I.I.27 no.3, plate 10.
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Ephemeral Architecture Eternalised in Print:

The Documentation of the Funeral Procession for Archduke Albert VII of Austria, 1622

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have been looking this year at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post is by Zoe Cooke.

The Pompa Funebris Alberti is a book that commemorates the funeral of Archduke Albert VII of Austria which took place in Brussels on March 12, 1622. A copy of the illustrated volume resides in the expansive Fagel collection at the library of Trinity College Dublin and it includes fifty-four plates detailing all the figures who took part in the funeral procession and the purpose-built, monumental, ephemeral architecture that was designed for it by artist and court architect, Jacob Franquart. The volume provides invaluable insight into the function of ephemeral architecture in the orchestration of courtly ceremonies in the early modern period in Europe.

Fig.1. Fag.I.1.60: Jacob Franquart. Pompa funebris optimi potentissimiq[ue] principis Alberti Pii, Archiducis Austriae, ducis Burg. Bra. &c., Brussels, 1623. Title page
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The Fagel French Garden Connection

Dr Maria Elisa Navarro Morales is a professor in the Department of History of Art and Architecture. She and her students have this year been looking at the architecture titles in the Fagel Collection, although for obvious reasons they have not been able to see them in person. The students submitted blogposts, three of which will be published here. Although they included bibliographies and footnotes in their essays, for brevity we have omitted them. This post, by Niamh Flood, refers to the Fagel House, which is discussed on the first Fagel video.

There is an inconspicuous volume in the Fagel Library, unremarkable in appearance and at less than twenty pages, so slight as to be almost overlooked in this vast collection: Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book of all the Profiles and Elevations Plans both in Perspective and Geometric of Chateau de Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680. Shelfmark Fag. I.1.72.

Plate 1: Fagel I.1.72 Hardouin-Mansart, Jules, and Michel Hardouin (engraver), Book Of All The Profiles And Elevations Plans Both In Perspective And Geometric Of Chasteau De Clagny. Paris: Cossin, 1680
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Gratitude to the ladies

Andrew Lang was born in Selkirk, Scotland, on 31st March 1844. He studied at the Universities of St. Andrews and Glasgow, and Balliol College, Oxford. He was elected to an Open Fellowship at Merton College, moving there in 1869. Lang was prolific in a number of disciplines, such as pre-history, the relationship between myth and religion, and Scottish history, and was particularly prominent in the field of folklore, being a founding member, in 1878, of the Folklore Society, and its president during the International Folk-Lore Congress in London in 1891. He died on 20 July 1912. It is perhaps paradoxical, given the prevailing view at that time that children’s books were not real literature, that he is probably best remembered for his children’s books, particularly the ‘coloured’ series of fairy books. More ironic still, it was his wife who did the majority of the work on these.

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