Event—Public Programming

Wheels of Fortune: Playing with Lorenzo Spirito’s "Libro De La Ventura" at the Newberry Library

First published in Perugia in 1482, Lorenzo Spirito's bestselling Book of Fortune was an interactive book waiting to reveal the reader's secrets. Poised somewhere between being a moralizing emblem book and a game of dice, it was translated into many languages, outfitted with moving parts, and resplendently illustrated into the seventeenth century. The Newberry possesses a fascinating variety of printed editions in Dutch, French, and German, and even an Italian manuscript variant. This talk will analyze the visual and verbal variations between these editions, through their changing game structure and their ultimate goal, the hidden knowledge these tempting volumes concealed.