Argula von Grumbach

Argula von Grumbach (1492–ca. 1568). Wie eyn Christliche fraw des adels, in Beiern durch iren, in Gotlicher schrift, wolgegründten Sendtbrieffe, die Hohenschul zü Ingoldstat, umb das sie einen Evangelischen Jüngling, zü wydersprechung des wort Gottes betrangt haben, straffet.
[Nuremberg: Friedrich Peypus, 1523]. Bound with 24 other pamphlets, 1521-1556. (BRB0114)

Argula von Grumbach, a Bavarian noblewoman and the first published female Protestant author, wrote this letter in protest of the arrest of a Lutheran student at the University of Ingolstadt in 1523. Her first publication, the letter belongs to a remarkable gathering of 25 rare Reformation pamphlets bound together for Simon Gerengel (1518–1571), an Austrian theologian who converted to Lutheranism through the influence of Johann Spangenberg.

A group of separate publications bound together in this manner (known in German as a “Sammelband”) can offer important insights into the reading habits of its earliest owner. This Sammelband also includes Grumbach’s second publication, one work by Martin Luther, one by Erasmus of Rotterdam, three by Philipp Melanchthon, and eighteen by less well-known authors. The eleven earliest pamphlets (printed prior to 1543) also bear the signatures of Erasmus Schütz, a German priest who inscribed lengthy comments on Grumbach’s works. Gerengel evidently purchased Schütz’s earlier tracts and had these bound with fourteen more recent publications.

Argula von Grumbach