Renæssanceforum 3 • 2007

Marianne Alenius
Håndskrifterne til Birgitte Thotts Om et lyksaligt liv og deres tilblivelse

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The Manuscripts of Birgitte Thott's On the Happy Life and their provenance: The impact on the Danish learned society of the noblewoman Birgitte Thott (1610-1662), renowned as translator of Seneca's prose works (1658), still remains to be fully investigated. The present paper examines two manuscript copies in the Karen Brahe Library in Odense (Denmark) of her principal work, the unpublished moral treatise On the Happy Life (1659). The lost original, and the dating and provenance of the two extant copies are discussed. It is argued that one of the copies was dictated by Birgitte herself to her young niece Sophie Thott (1645-), while the other has been written by three unidentified hands.