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Did a Frenchman translate the King James Bible?

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Few things seem more quintessentially English than the most widely read vernacular translation of the Bible, the ‘King James’ or ‘Authorized’ Version of 1611. But new sources for the making of the translation, presented in this talk, show that it was heavily influenced by continental scholarship. Indeed, the revision of some of its most important sections was overseen by a French emigré, the scholar and religious controversialist, Isaac Casaubon — even though Casaubon hardly spoke English. I propose to use the example of Casaubon to shed some light on the international culture of research and controversy surrounding the biblical text that animated the translators’ decisions about how to render it.

Nick Hardy took his BA in Classics and English (2008) and DPhil in English (2012) at Oxford before taking up Fellowships at Trinity College, Cambridge (2012-2016) and now at the University Library and Darwin College. His interests lie in later sixteenth- and seventeenth-century English and continental humanism, biblical scholarship and translation.

This talk is part of the Darwin College Humanities and Social Sciences Group series.

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