Ransome, Joyce. "Monotesseron: The Harmonies of Little Gidding." The Seventeenth Century. 2.1 (2005): 22-52.
debate about pictures -- NF clearly saw educational purpose of pictures; no representational art recorded in LG, although texts were written on walls and a late 18c visitor describes "elaborat wall paintings in what might well have been Nicholas's private set of rooms"
- "He was obviously no iconoclast and hist personal taste would have reinforced his pedagogical conviction that pictures promoted learning. Yet interestingly a Ferrar family bible of 1637, though bound in velvet like several of the harmonies, contained no pictures. Whether this absence reflected scruples or expense, however, remains unknown." (24)
only two English harmonies available in 1625-6; Hill's was popular version, but was summary, not actual words of scripture
"In 1625 therefore he could only have obtained such an English harmony by making it himself, cutting up an English bible and arranging its verses in Jansen's sequence. This necessity, however, Nicholas took not as an obstacle but an opportunity, for he enlisted the entire family in a way that maximized both participation and instruction. Once Nicholas had provided the necessary materails and laid out the order of the passages, everyone capable of using scissors and paste could help. A special room in the house was set aside for this activity. It contained, besides thenecessary work tables and chairs, two 'great presses' which produced pasted pages so neatly and firmly joined that eople who saw them believed them to be 'a new kind of printing'. The room would also have housed the equipment needed to bind the completed pages." (25) -- quotes John Ferrar on 'the younger sort" learning gospels through hands and minds
"Though biographies of Nicholas suggest that everyone, including on occassion the matriarch Mary Woodnoth rself, took part, the bulk of the craft work evidently fell to the elder Collet daughters." (25)
"what if any changes and developments appeared in the fifteen harmonies they made over the years and when and why such changes were introduced" (26)
"Not previously studied, however, is the framework that structured the narrative and I shall concentrate here on its development. There are three basic problems in harmonizing the text apart from combining it with illustrations. One of these is chronology, establishing a unified time sequence for the new narrative of Christ's life compiled out of four different stories each with its own sequence of events. Another is reconciling variations in accounts of the same episode in the four gospel sources. The third is the need to retain every word of Holy Writ while avoiding a redundancy that would hinder the narrative flow. The Little Gidding harmonies adressed all these problems, sometimes implicitly and sometimes explicitly, in ways that developed according to the use intended for the books and the knowledge and skill available to the makers." (26)
argues that Bodleian Harmony is printer's dummy for a possible printed version of a Harmony; but Johan Hiud beat them to it with Story of Stories (1632) -- letter to Arthur Woodnoth expresses disappointment they are thrwarted in publication but hope that God's plan prevented them from "honor and profit"
letter from Woodnoth to Nicholas in April 1632 saying he's sending some "letters or characters" and printer's ink and leather ball; "he supplied directions for doing this and then applying the letters to the prepared paper. Such stamped letters could have substituted neatly for the handwritten marginal indicators of source gospels and were used in later harmonies." (29)
family turned hopes to another devotional practice, experiment in temperance, which began with rigorous fast during Christmastide 1632, continued into 1633 and issued in 1634 with publication of NF's translation of Lessius's Hygiasticon (30)
1633, King's coronation progress to Scotland; borrowed Harmony, wanted his own -- "That first request and those that followed in effect linked LG to the king and by extension to the ecclesiastical policies of his metropolitan William Laud despite Nicholas's efforts to stay out of the controversy they engendered." (30)
King's Harmony has added tools for study -- "suggest the influence not only of Jansen's and Buisson's Latin harmonies but also Hiud's and Henry Garthwait's English ones." -- Garthwait has explicit chronological framework, divided into 5 books -- used the term "Context" to the central narrative; "Nicholas's adoption of that same term not only in the royal harmony of the following year but also in other subsequent ones suggests Garthwait's influence." (31)
we know NF had copy of Garthwait's book; Robert Mapletoft of Pembroke College, Cambridge, procured it as his request; also sent Mapletoft and Edward Wallis "searching college libraries for other harmonies ... That he made the request, however, remains a measure of the system and seriousness he brought ot the making of a new style of harmony fo the king." (31)
discussion of King's Harmony -- with new structure "Nicholas transformed the king's harmony from a source book for reading aloud to a book for an individual reader and serious student, a substantial leap beyond the beginnings discernible in the Bodleian Harmony." (32)
next Harmonies "constitute a distinctive subgroup" -- Cotsen, lesser BL volume, Hatfield House volume
advertisements in these books are "brief methodological summar[ies] in" themselves, appearing in all 3 volumes (although Cotsen's is not on a separate page); no mention of Jansen or Buisson in these ads; "These volumes thus sought to retain the flexibility of the king's harmony without its extra apparatus." (33)
all 3 volumes "also used a printed table of chapter heads and numbers to supply a table of contents at the beginning; the appropriate page numbers fo the chapters were then supplied by hand in the Collet and Hatfield volumes but omitted in the Cotsen."
"A most striking development in all these harmonies, including that of the king, was an extraordinary and puzzling change to the text. Surely only Nicholas himself could have presumed to make a deliberate and consistent alteration of this sort, though it is not clear why he did it. He took the material that Jansen himself and the first two Little Gidding Harmonies had included in a single chapter, numbered 44 and entitled 'The Leaper [i.e. Leper] Cleansed', and divided it into two widely separated chapters. This curious rearrangement, which added a chapter to the total, then produced a mismatch between the chapters as listed in the table of contents and the actual numbering and headings of chapters in the text. This change and resulting confusion became the more striking and also the more entrenched because the chapter lists in the three other volumes in this group were printed in contrast to the handwritten one in the king's book. One can only assume that at some point in 1635 the Ferrars had decided that their arrangement of chapters was sufficiently fixed to justify a printed version, which could be used both for the table of contents and for chapter headings in the texts of their harmonies. Yet, very curiously, at that same time they changed the text in a way that made their new printed version incorrect." (34)
How did the Ferrar's obtain these printed lists? "Did they order them from a printer, perhaps in Cambridge where they had connections with printers and booksellers? Or could they have printed them at Little Gidding? Perhaps emboldened by their success with stamping the individual letters that Arthur Woodnoth had sent in 1632 the family had added to the Concordance Room an actual printing press. These is no definitive evidence for this, so the possibility must remain conjectural if intriguing. If the printing of chapter numbers and titles was indeed undertaken at Gidding, why, once the mistake became obvious, did they not print a corrected version? Perhaps they wanted to retain the established 150-chapter format. Or perhaps, if they had had to purchase the printed pages, they felt they could not afford a second order after the expense of the king's book. Whatever the reason, they resorted, instead of a reprinting, to various more or less awkward interpolations to correct the discrepancy." (34)
3 Gospel harmonies all dated 1640 & thus completed after NF's death: Monotesseron, & two similar to each other: Hervey & Heming
"If the Cotsen, Collet, and Hatfield harmonies have omitted the separate 'Comparison' and 'Compositon' sections of the king's book, these later ones have jettisoned the 'Supplement' and 'Context', which in the earlier three continued to furnish a reader with reasonably accessible material for comparisons. Instead these later volumes presented simply 'one Compleat body of History wherein that which is severally related by all of them is digested into Order.' Hence there is in both a uniform text preceded by a table of contents employing the same printed list of numbered chapters with their titles, which list is also cut up and pasted into the text as chapter headings. Both also have the usual capital lettersin the margins to indicate source gospels, though their reference is not always clear and in the Heming harmony they are not stamped in or all in the same hand. Trying to read a single gospel through consecutively would probably have been considerably more difficult than in the earlier three harmonies. That recurrent complication in the printed chapter list of the extra chapter on the leper cleansed also occurred in both in slightly different forms. The signifcant point about these two later harmonies is their simplification of the apparatus developed first fo rthe king's harmony and then incorporated in modified form in the Cotsen, Collet, and Hatfield books. They reverted in effect to the single text that we find in the Harvard and Bodleian versions. Such a simplification might signify that they were intended for family use, as the earliest harmonies had been. It might also reflect new demands on the time and energy of the harmony-makers, for in 1636 a fresh royal request had compelled Nicholas and his helpers to redirect their skills and knowledge to harmonizing altogether different biblical books." (35)
Kings and Chronicles -- new kind of Harmony, no precedent for NF to follow; "It would have been a more intellectually demanding task than the 'scissors' work of the womenfolk" -- Ransome suggests that the male nephews Ferrar and Nicholas would have been old enough to help by this point, and the draft in the FP has multiple different hands
"the Ferrar's position as harmony-makers to the king linked them increasingly, in the minds of many, not only to his spiritual life but also an dmore controversially to his and his archbishop's ecclesiastical policies." (37)
after NF's death -- two gospel harmonies in truncated form, and Monotesseron
Pentateuch presented to Laud when he brought young NF to present Monotesseron
"Why did the elder Nicholas choose this subject? Did it seem a logical outgrowth of the 'Historyu of the Israelites'? Could a section on 'Ceremoniall Law' have reflected concern with the deepening discord aroused by Laud's efforts to enforce ritual conformity? Certainly among its 74 headings was one entitled 'Of the Preists and their Vestements For Glory and for Beauty'. Would related points of 'Politicall Law' back to the 'Moral Law' of the Ten Commandments have shed light on 'idolatry' and the duties of subjects to their rulers? Did Archbishop Laud specifically request the subject or did Nicholas himself choose it because he thought it of particular value to Laud? Andswers to such questions can only remain conjectural" (39)
King Charles made his first visit to LG on 1642, on way north to rally forces; was with Prince Charles and the Palsgrave, who looked over house and Pentateuch being made for the prince