Fredericka van der Lubbe’s Martin Aedler:You read about him first in Biblionews
Readers may recall a pair of articles in the March 1996 and the September 1996 issues of Biblionews by Fredericka van der Lubbe on “The High Dutch Minerva of 1680 and its author”. In the first of these she refuted the opinion put forward by other researchers and commentators that this first ever published book that attempted to teach German to English speakers was by an anonymous author and advanced the evidence of manuscripts she had located in London and Cambridge that it was in fact by a German named Martin Aedler, who went in Britain under the name of Martin Eagle (the German word Adler meaning ‘eagle’). This discovery resulted from work she was doing on this book for her PhD with the Department of Germanic Studies at the University of Sydney.
The final thesis went well beyond the book itself, as the manuscript material by and about Aedler took her into the areas of the teaching of Semitic languages in 17th century England and Germany, where Aedler first studied these, and religious controversy in England in that period. The thesis was passed and the degree conferred in 2000. It is pleasing to relate that her work was published in English in book form at the beginning of 2007 under the title Martin Aedler and the High Dutch Minerva: The first German grammar for the English as no. 68 in the German series Duisburger Arbeiten zur Sprach- und Kulturwissenschaft/ Duisburg Papers on Research in Language and Culture (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang).
It is nice to reflect that the solution to this authorial problem, which had puzzled scholars in Britain and Germany for very many years, was first published in our journal. Our congratulations go to Dr van der Lubbe on the appearance of her book.