Part II. 3. Notes on blank folios and book margins

Some of the annotations found in the surviving books appear to be notes and sketches of ideas unrelated to the books themselves but quickly jotted down perhaps because an empty page conveniently presented itself. At the end of Hooke’s copy of Accolti’s Lo Inganno de gl’ occhi, prospettiva pratica (Firenze, 1625) is a leaf of notes, calculations, and sketches, including an illustration for ‘A way to print one-single coppy as fast as write it to send[?] &c.’1The recto of this leaf, showing the illustration, has been reproduced in Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, p. 119. Resembling a small version of the rotary press, the device is also reminiscent of the cipher cylinder that would be invented by Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) more than a century later. It is perhaps the same ‘contrivance’ or ‘method’ for printing books Hooke explained to Pitt and Sir John Hoskins (1634–1705) on 13 and 14 March 1679, almost three months after he had purchased Accolti’s book at Pitt’s auction.2Robert Hooke, ‘Diary, 1688-1693’ in Early Science in Oxford, Volume 10: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke (Part iv), Robert T. Gunther, ed. (Oxford: [Printed for the editor], 1935), p. 403; and Stephen Inwood, The Forgotten Genius: the Biography of Robert Hooke (1635-1703) (San Francisco: MacAdam/Cage, 2003), p. 266. See note 5 in Part II, section 1 on Hooke’s purchase of Accolti’s book. A decade earlier, Christopher Wren had devised an invention of his own for printing; however, different from Hooke’s contrivance, it only concerned itself with printing etchings made on thin plates of brass using a rolling press; see Thomas Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. II (London: printed for A. Millar, 1756), p. 409; ‘Liber epistolaris: a commonplace book of Henry Oldenburg,’ Royal Society MS/1, fol. 173v; and Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 462-3. Other ideas Hooke scribbled on the folio are ‘An engine by which a wagon coach &c. may be drawn up hill & down hill wth equall strength’, ‘A neat true[?] easy exact plain motion by 2 plain Marbles’, ‘Whether ye doctrine of triangles & measuring of angles may not be done by conick sections’, and on the verso, ‘What if we suppose libratio[?] in ye earth – which will retaine[?] by a line of signes fro[?] capr: to cancre’, with diagrammatic sketches for ‘one mold to grind all glasse’. On the front endpaper of Hooke’s copy of John Napier’s Rabdologiae, seu Numerationis per virgulas libri duo . . . (Edinburgh, 1617), we find two other geometric diagrams sketched in pencil underneath his 1684 acquisition note.3Napier’s book (extra_BH_29), now in the UCLA’s Management Gross Collection, is not listed in BH. We are grateful to Arturo Esparza from the Rosenfeld Management Library, UCLA, for his help in identifying the book and for providing us with copies of the annotations.

Several books that have been identified as being of possible Hooke provenance contain marginal notes in the books themselves.4While these books do not bear any acquisition notes from Hooke, they have been attributed to him based on other factors; see Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, pp. 131 (Malapert), 129 (Sirturus), 132 (Gassendi). Charles Malapert’s Austriaca sidera heliocyclia (Douai, 1633) discussing sunspots contains manuscript annotations cross-referencing other books that address similar topics; for instance ‘Borb.Sid.’ for Jean Tarde’s Borbonia sidera (Paris, 1620); ‘Rosa’ for Christoph Scheiner’s Rosa ursina (Bracciano, 1630), ‘K.Eph.’ probably for Johannes Kepler’s Ephemeridum (Zagan, 1630) and ‘Ricc.’ perhaps for Giovanni Battista Riccioli’s Almagestum novum (Bologna, 1651), although it is more difficult to interpret which edition ‘my Ptol.’ may be referring to.5Malapert’s book is BH, lot 427 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 17, auct_BH_775; Tarde’s is BH, lot 424 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 17, auct_BH_772; Scheiner’s is BH, lot 195 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 5, auct_BH_211; Kepler’s is BH, lot 488 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 19, auct_BH_846; and Riccioli’s is BH, lot 54 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 2, auct_BH_62. For an overview of the contemporary discussions about sunspots, see the introductory text by Eileen Reeves and Albert Van Helden in Galileo Galilei and Christoph Scheiner, On Sunspots, trans. Eileen Reeves and Albert Van Helden (London: University of Chicago Press). Similar, though more cryptic, notes can be found in Hieronymus Sirturus’s Telescopium (Frankfurt, 1618) where ‘K.D.’ might be referring to Kepler’s Dioptrice (Augsburg, 1611; not listed in BH), however it would require a careful analysis of all the numbers and notes to elucidate their meanings.6Sirturus’s book is BH, lot 602 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 21; see auct_BH_961. Pierre Gassendi’s Parhelia sive soles quatuor qui circa verum apparuerunt Romae (Paris, 1630; not listed in BH), an explanation of the atmospheric phenomenon that produces luminous spots resembling multiple suns, contains comparable references in the manuscript note on its flyleaf; we see, alongside a set of dates, references to ‘Kepler’, ‘K.Eph.’, and ‘Nunc Sid.’ the latter of course referring to Galileo Galilei, Sidereus nuncius (London, 1653).7Galileo’s book is BH, lot 376 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 29; see auct_BH_1363.

These annotations are sparse when compared with the marginal notes and heavy-handed underlining throughout Hooke’s copy of Fregoso’s Factorum dictorumque memorabilium libri IX (Antwerp, 1565). The latter display a close reading uncharacteristic of Hooke in light of the other surviving books; and when considered alongside the manuscript note ‘finis huius libri’ and signature, both in an unfamiliar hand, at the end of the book, the possibility that the annotations instead belonged to Robert Grove from whose library auction Hooke had purchased the copy in 1697 is strengthened.8See note 20 in Part II, section 1.

Hooke did, however, annotate several of his mathematics books. William Oughtred’s Clavis mathematicae (1652) contains extensive annotations that show Hooke following along with the calculations, cross-referencing chapters, sketching geometric diagrams, and even adding some references.9Oughtred’s book is BH, lot 339 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 28; see auct_BH_1324. Hooke’s annotated copy is available online via EEBO. Sources on Oughtred’s Clavis include Jacqueline Stedall, A Discourse Concerning Algebra: English Algebra to 1685 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 55-87. For instance in the left margin of page 62, in the midst of his notes on triangular and pyramidal numbers, we see his note ‘Vieta p.374’ referring to François Viète’s Opera mathematica (Leiden, 1646).10Viète’s book is BH, lot 173 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 5; see auct_BH_188. And Michael Dary’s Gauging Epitomized (London, 1669), a single-folio compilation of easy-to-use stereometry formulas, contains a few explanatory notes in Hooke’s hand on the calculations for solids bearing spheroid and parabolic spindle shapes.11Dary’s publication is not listed in BH; see extra_BH_6. Hooke’s annotated copy is available online via EEBO.

While it does not contain marginal notes in the conventional sense, one last example to consider is the British Library copy of Heinrich Lautensack’s Des Circkels unnd Richtscheyts (Frankfurt, 1564). Heavily influenced by Albrecht Dürer’s work, it is a manual on practical geometry, perspective, and proportion, written for artists and craftsmen.12Sources on Lautensack include Sibylle Gluch, ‘Geometrie – Fortifikation – Menschliche Proportion: Zu Kontext und Wirkung der Technischen Schriften Albrecht Dürers’ (unpub. D.Phil. diss., University of Birmingham, 2006), p. 234; and Sibylle Gluch, ‘The Craft’s Use of Geometry in 16th c. Germany: A Means of Social Advancement? Albrecht Dürer & After’, Anistoriton Journal, Essays 10 (2007). Although the book does not contain any acquisition notes and is not listed in BH, it does appear as ‘[High] Dutch Perspective & limning of Lautensack, Goldsmith. Frankfurt 1564’ on fol. 3v of British Library, MS Sloane 949, the manuscript catalogue Hooke prepared of his own library c.1676.13The book is attributed to Hooke in Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, p. 130. For more details on MS Sloane 949, see Part I, section 2 and Part I, section 4. Some of the more conventional annotations include the manuscript inscription ‘Magnus ope minorum’ in an unidentified hand on the title-page, some underlining of the German text, and pencil lines on some of the drawings, e.g. on fols. 30r and 31r, perhaps signalling that the book was indeed used as a manual to learn perspective.14Several other 16th-century books bearing the same ‘Magnus ope minorum’ inscription appear to have survived in the Pepys Library; see 1077(1), 1077(7), and 1077(10) in Charles S. Knighton, ed., Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Volume I: Census of Printed Books (Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 87-8.

However, the ‘annotations’ under consideration here are the small manuscript drawings and print cuttings pasted into the book. Some of these, for instance the five ‘kunst calendar’ illustrations on fol. 31v (Brachmonat, Herbstmonat, Weinmonat, Wintermonat, Christmonat) may have been pasted in by a previous owner. The same may be the case with the cuttings on fol. 34v, where an illustration of the proportions of a horse is pasted in the centre, perhaps to remedy the fact that the entire last section of the book, on Dürer’s proportions, is missing from this particular copy of the book. Other cuttings on the same folio may be traced to Luis de Granada’s Devotissime meditationi per I Giorni della settimana tanto per la mattina, come per la sera (Ferrara, 1578; not listed in BH) by the renowned printer Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, and their selection hint at a typographical interest.15The cuttings include one of the printer’s devices used by Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, as well the illustrations from pp. 128 and 199, the decorated letters V and E from pp. 188 and 199, and the decorative element at the top of p. 202, of this particular edition 1578 of the book. However, a part of the frontispiece of the duodecimo The Resolver, or Curiosities of Nature, written in French by Scipio du Plesis . . . (London, 1635; not listed in BH) pasted onto the recto of the title-page suggests further additions may have been made after the book had found its way into England.

The origins of the manuscript drawings, such as that of a red tulip in a clay jug pasted on the verso of the title-page or the ink sketch of a face in profile pasted on the recto side of )(iij are difficult to determine.16The profile sketch has been reproduced in Matthew C. Hunter, ‘Hooke’s Figurations: a Figural Drawing Attributed to Robert Hooke’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society 64 (2010), p. 253. Sloane’s purchases from Hooke’s manuscript papers are discussed in Henderson, ‘Hooke’s Archive’, pp. 95, 106-7; and Arnold Hunt, ‘Sloane as a Collector of Manuscripts’, in From Books to Bezoars, p. 204. Sloane’s collections of drawings are discussed in Kim Sloan, ‘Sloane’s “Pictures and Drawings in Frames” and “Books of Miniature & Painting, Designs, &c.”’, in From Books to Bezoars, pp. 168-89. Fossil drawings in Hooke’s hand have been discovered in another Sloane album, British Library MS Add. 5262; see Kusukawa, ‘Drawings of Fossils by Robert Hooke and Richard Waller’. While the latter resembles some of the sketches found among Hooke’s architectural drawings in British Library, MS Sloane 5238, the provenance of that album is not as unambiguous as one might wish. It was compiled from two sets that Hans Sloane had acquired separately, cataloguing one of them as ‘Drawings and designs of the Monument & Designes relating to Architecture, draughts of the River Thames’s wharf chiefly by Dr. Hook, Roe and others, with some other original drawings by several Masters – first by R[oger] Bradley 1722 part of a Roman Pavement found at Wood Chester in Glo[ce]ster[shire]- fo[lio]’.17British Library, MS Sloane 3972C IV, fol. 2497/243, as transcribed in Kim Sloan, ‘Typescript of All ‘Miniatura’ Listed in Sloane’s Own MS Catalogue of His Library (BL Sloane MS 3972C IV And Ms 3972 C VI)’ (unpub. work, May 2010). We would like to thank Dr Sloan for sharing her unpublished work for the ‘Sloane’s Treasures’ project. This description and the great variance in the drawing styles in MS Sloane 5238, make it difficult to discern which of these figural drawings are by Hooke and which are the ‘original’ ones by the ‘Masters’. It is also impossible to know whether some of these masters’ drawings were owned by Hooke or whether they were added to his papers after they were acquired separately by Sloane; the latter possibility is strengthened by the presence of at least one drawing created long after Hooke’s death, and the fact that Sloane had many other acquisitions similarly catalogued as drawings or designs of ‘several masters’, without identifying the individual artists’ names. While these do not rule out Hooke’s authorship of the sketches pasted in Lautensack’s book, they amount to a caveat to making this attribution based on MS Sloane 5238 alone.

 

Part II, section 2 ❮ back || next ❯ Appendix A

footnotes   [ + ]

1. The recto of this leaf, showing the illustration, has been reproduced in Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, p. 119.
2. Robert Hooke, ‘Diary, 1688-1693’ in Early Science in Oxford, Volume 10: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke (Part iv), Robert T. Gunther, ed. (Oxford: [Printed for the editor], 1935), p. 403; and Stephen Inwood, The Forgotten Genius: the Biography of Robert Hooke (1635-1703) (San Francisco: MacAdam/Cage, 2003), p. 266. See note 5 in Part II, section 1 on Hooke’s purchase of Accolti’s book. A decade earlier, Christopher Wren had devised an invention of his own for printing; however, different from Hooke’s contrivance, it only concerned itself with printing etchings made on thin plates of brass using a rolling press; see Thomas Birch, The History of the Royal Society of London, vol. II (London: printed for A. Millar, 1756), p. 409; ‘Liber epistolaris: a commonplace book of Henry Oldenburg,’ Royal Society MS/1, fol. 173v; and Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998), pp. 462-3.
3. Napier’s book (extra_BH_29), now in the UCLA’s Management Gross Collection, is not listed in BH. We are grateful to Arturo Esparza from the Rosenfeld Management Library, UCLA, for his help in identifying the book and for providing us with copies of the annotations.
4. While these books do not bear any acquisition notes from Hooke, they have been attributed to him based on other factors; see Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, pp. 131 (Malapert), 129 (Sirturus), 132 (Gassendi).
5. Malapert’s book is BH, lot 427 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 17, auct_BH_775; Tarde’s is BH, lot 424 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 17, auct_BH_772; Scheiner’s is BH, lot 195 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 5, auct_BH_211; Kepler’s is BH, lot 488 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 19, auct_BH_846; and Riccioli’s is BH, lot 54 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 2, auct_BH_62. For an overview of the contemporary discussions about sunspots, see the introductory text by Eileen Reeves and Albert Van Helden in Galileo Galilei and Christoph Scheiner, On Sunspots, trans. Eileen Reeves and Albert Van Helden (London: University of Chicago Press).
6. Sirturus’s book is BH, lot 602 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Quarto’ on p. 21; see auct_BH_961.
7. Galileo’s book is BH, lot 376 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 29; see auct_BH_1363.
8. See note 20 in Part II, section 1.
9. Oughtred’s book is BH, lot 339 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Octavo’ on p. 28; see auct_BH_1324. Hooke’s annotated copy is available online via EEBO. Sources on Oughtred’s Clavis include Jacqueline Stedall, A Discourse Concerning Algebra: English Algebra to 1685 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 55-87.
10. Viète’s book is BH, lot 173 in ‘Libri Latini, &c. in Folio’ on p. 5; see auct_BH_188.
11. Dary’s publication is not listed in BH; see extra_BH_6. Hooke’s annotated copy is available online via EEBO.
12. Sources on Lautensack include Sibylle Gluch, ‘Geometrie – Fortifikation – Menschliche Proportion: Zu Kontext und Wirkung der Technischen Schriften Albrecht Dürers’ (unpub. D.Phil. diss., University of Birmingham, 2006), p. 234; and Sibylle Gluch, ‘The Craft’s Use of Geometry in 16th c. Germany: A Means of Social Advancement? Albrecht Dürer & After’, Anistoriton Journal, Essays 10 (2007).
13. The book is attributed to Hooke in Mandelbrote, ‘Sloane’s Purchases’, p. 130. For more details on MS Sloane 949, see Part I, section 2 and Part I, section 4.
14. Several other 16th-century books bearing the same ‘Magnus ope minorum’ inscription appear to have survived in the Pepys Library; see 1077(1), 1077(7), and 1077(10) in Charles S. Knighton, ed., Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge. Volume I: Census of Printed Books (Cambridge, UK: D. S. Brewer, 2004), pp. 87-8.
15. The cuttings include one of the printer’s devices used by Gabriel Giolito de’ Ferrari, as well the illustrations from pp. 128 and 199, the decorated letters V and E from pp. 188 and 199, and the decorative element at the top of p. 202, of this particular edition 1578 of the book.
16. The profile sketch has been reproduced in Matthew C. Hunter, ‘Hooke’s Figurations: a Figural Drawing Attributed to Robert Hooke’, Notes and Records of the Royal Society 64 (2010), p. 253. Sloane’s purchases from Hooke’s manuscript papers are discussed in Henderson, ‘Hooke’s Archive’, pp. 95, 106-7; and Arnold Hunt, ‘Sloane as a Collector of Manuscripts’, in From Books to Bezoars, p. 204. Sloane’s collections of drawings are discussed in Kim Sloan, ‘Sloane’s “Pictures and Drawings in Frames” and “Books of Miniature & Painting, Designs, &c.”’, in From Books to Bezoars, pp. 168-89. Fossil drawings in Hooke’s hand have been discovered in another Sloane album, British Library MS Add. 5262; see Kusukawa, ‘Drawings of Fossils by Robert Hooke and Richard Waller’.
17. British Library, MS Sloane 3972C IV, fol. 2497/243, as transcribed in Kim Sloan, ‘Typescript of All ‘Miniatura’ Listed in Sloane’s Own MS Catalogue of His Library (BL Sloane MS 3972C IV And Ms 3972 C VI)’ (unpub. work, May 2010). We would like to thank Dr Sloan for sharing her unpublished work for the ‘Sloane’s Treasures’ project.