That a publisher has taken on the monster job of translating, editing and then publishing 3,141 of Erasmus’ letters is evidence of a grand passion. In fact, a foundation was set up with this specific aim under the impressive name ‘Foundation for the promotion of the publishing of the complete correspondence of Desiderius Erasmus’. Delightful.
The project has resulted in an exceptional, beautifully published series. Following an equally impressive period of 19 years between idea and completion, we simply cannot ignore this generous gesture towards the reader. Our assessment is based on a consideration of the series as a whole; we did not zoom in on an individual title, even though it struck us that – in contrast to the other parts – the index was finally not done in ton sur ton. The series is otherwise without exception executed with admirable consistency and the choices made two decades ago in terms of form and typography stand up remarkably well. This while, however you look at it, in the years since then things have moved on in relation to (the experience of) books with a classic typography. The fact that the text is not printed in black makes for a pleasantly gentle reading experience.