A nice edition of “In Our Time” on Radio 4 this morning (a tip of the blogging hat to Chris R and Paul C, who both wished the morning Guildford traffic jam had been slightly worse so that they could have heard it all), all about our old Holy Roman Emperor pal, Rudolph II. You can also download the mp3 (20MB, 42 minutes) and listen to it off-line. Which is nice (genuinely).
Discussing the Rudolphine court with Melvyn Bragg were Peter Forshaw (always good value for money – Voynichians may remember him from the Mentorn Voynich documentary on BBC4), Howard Hotson, and Adam Mosley: the topics ranged across alchemy, the occult, Hussite heresy, astronomy, Cabinet of Wonders (including a dodo!), botanical collections, automata, natural magic, paintings, Cornelius Drebbel, Tycho Brahe, Charles University, astrology, John Dee, Kepler, etc etc… oh yes, and the Voynich Manuscript as well (about 5 minutes in), which Melvyn Bragg seemed particularly fascinated by. Maybe he’s seen the Big Fat List of forthcoming Voynich novels? 😮
The programme-makers thoughtfully included a Rudolph-centred bibliography here, which you may find useful (though with Hugh Trevor-Roper listed, I have to say it’s not particularly contemporary).