- Vienna & Cologne, Böhlau, 2018 219x155 mm. 574 pp. with colored illustrations. Hardcover.
Das Losbuch: Manuskriptologie einer Textsorte des 14. bis 16. Jahrhunderts
Marco Heiles’s work is a milestone in the historiography of Losbücher or lot books. Lot books are also known as “books of fortune” or “books of sorts” or simply sortes. The reader, or rather user of a lot book was likely to be entertained with various illustrations depicting the wheel of fortune or pictures of numerous “authorities” such as saints, biblical figures, or mythical personages who appeared together with texts that were supposed to talk directly to the user. Heiles’s text gives a very good idea of the visual charm of lot books. It is in fact lavishly illustrated and pages 276 to 323 present very good reproductions of some colorful lot-books manuscripts. Heiles’ book offers also text analyses and transcriptions from several lot-books manuscripts, as well as a catalogue of 50 known German-language lot-book manuscripts.