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What Price a Luther 'First Edition'?

Under the headline, ‘Protestant reformer Martin Luther's 16th Century notes found,’ the BBC reported on 21 May 2015 how, “A first edition of one of the most important works of the man who inspired the Protestant Reformation has been discovered in a library in France.”

The publication called ‘On the Freedom of a Christian,’ dates back to 1520. This was a year before Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X and declared an outlaw and a heretic by the Roman emperor at that time, Charles V, for criticising the Roman Catholic Church.

It includes around 50 notes written in red by Luther himself, indicating changes he wanted for a second edition.

The American who made the discovery, James Hirsten, said it gave an important insight into Luther's thinking at the time.

The annotated edition was found in The Humanist Library in Selestat, in the north-east of France.

It would be a lovely – but not at all likely! – addition to our Reformation Room!

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