The predominant theme of the letters of 1528 is Erasmus' controversies with a variety of critics and opponents. The publication in March of the dialogue Ciceronianus, for example, provoked a huge uproar in France because it included an ironic jest that was considered insulting to the great French humanist Guillaume Budé. More serious were the continuing efforts of conservative Catholics in France (Noël Béda), Italy (Alberto Pio), and Spain (members of the religious orders) to prove not only that Erasmus was a secret Lutheran but also that humanist scholarship was the source of the Lutheran heresy. In response to these charges Erasmus wrote letters and books in which he vigorously defended his orthodoxy and assiduously cultivated the support of his many admirers among the princes and prelates of Europe.
The letters also record Erasmus' growing anxiety over the progress of the Reformation in Basel, which would cause him to leave the city in 1529; his diligent attention to his financial affairs, which had improved in recent years thanks to the assistance of the Antwerp banker, Erasmus Schets; and his progress on the great editions of Augustine and Seneca that would be published in 1529.
Volume 14 of the Collected Works of Erasmus series.
‘Anyone who has tried to translate Erasmus’s Latin will marvel at the skill and talent displayed here to render it into good idiomatic English… This volume together with volume 13 will certainly satisfy even a gargantuan appetite for Erasmiana in English.’