Dedications

For his self-published volumes, Leeuwenhoek sometimes preceded the text of the letters with a variety of front matter:

  • frontispieces
  • title pages
  • 5 dedications by Leeuwenhoek: Anatomia Seu interiora Rerum to King James II of England, Derde Vervolg to Queen Mary in 1693, Arcana Naturae Detecta to Antonio Magliabechi in 1695, Vijfde Vervolg to Baron Reede in 1696, and Send-Brieven to King Charles in 1718 (translated for Epistolae Physiologicae in 1719)
  • 3 dedications or notes to readers from the printer, in Dutch, in publications before and during 1687: Onsigtbare geschapene waarheden, Schobbens in de Mond, Vervolg der Brieven
  • 3 dedications or notes to readers from the printer, in Latin, in publications during and after 1687: Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum, Arcana Naturae Detecta, Opera Omnia Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum
  • 7 poems in volumes after 1697: Vijfde Vervolg, Sesde Vervolg, Sevende Vervolg, Opera Omnia Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum, and 3 inSend-Brieven
  • summaries of the letters, usually titled Index Rerum.

While his Latin translation reached a wider audience, Leeuwenhoek made the Dutch versions more elaborate, at least in terms of front matter. This page collects information about the notes, dedications, and poems listed by Dobell number. The other kinds of front matter -- frontispieces, title pages, and summaries -- are accessible on the right sidebar.

Dutch editions

1. Onsigtbare geschapene waarheden, Letters 32, 33

The 1684 first edition had a four-page note from the printer Daniel van Gaesbeeck to the reader dated January 1, 1684. (See lower right sidebar; click to enlarge.) The later editions were not published by Gaesbeeck and do not include this dedication (opdracht).

3. Schobbens in de Mond, Letter 40

The 1684 first edition had a two-page note from Daniel van Gaesbeeck titled Den Drukker aan den Leeser (From the Printer to the Reader) dated July 24, 1684. This dedication had summaries of the first three letters that Gaesbeeck printed. It was not reprinted when the letter was in 1696.

10. Vervolg der Brieven, Letters 53-60

The title page was followed by a one-page note Den drukker tot den Leser en Boekbinder (from the Printer to the Reader and Bookbinder).

Next came a five-page index title Register der Saaken in the voorgaende Brieven vervat (Index of Topics contained in the foregoing Letters).

13. Derde Vervolg, Letters 68-75

A six-page dedication from Leeuwenhoek to Queen Mary date September 22, 1692 (left sidebar; click to enlarge).

15. Vijfde Vervolg, Letters 84-96

The front matter had a short explanation by Rabus on the verso of the de Hooghe's Eye of Providence frontispiece tited, De Titelplaat word van Pieter Rabus dus verklaart (The Title plate is explained by Pieter Rabus).

The title page came next and then a dedication from Leeuwenhoek to Frederik Adriaan Baron van Reede. Leeuwenhoek recalled visiting his estate outside of Utrecht, a visit that may well have included the Baron's wife, Maria Duyst, who grew up across the gracht from Leeuwenhoek.

The front matter concluded with a poem by P. Rabus titled Aan den Heere Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Op het Vijfde Vervolg Zijner Ontdekking-Brieven (To Mr. Antoni van Leeuwenhoekon the Fifth Continuation of his Discovery-Letters).

16. Sesde Vervolg, Letters 97-107

The front matter included a two-page poem by P. Rabus, dated 1696, titled Op het Sesde Vervolg der Brieven van den Heere Antoni van Leeuwenhoek aan de Beminnaars der Regtschape Natuur-kunde (On the Sixth Continuation of the Letters of Mr. Antoni van Leeuwenhoek to the Lovers of Knowledge of Nature).

18. Sevende Vervolg, Letters 108-146

The front matter included a three-page poem by T. vander Wilt titled Op 't Ontdekken van de wonderen der Natuure, Door d' Hr. Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (On the Discovery of the Wonders of Nature).

19. Send-Brieven, Letters I-XLVI

This volume has the most elaborate set of front and back matter. In addition to a title page with a hundred-word summary of the contents, a frontispiece with an inset portrait, and an index at the end, it had four other parts in the front matter:

A poem by T. vander Wilt titled Op de Titel-Prent (On the title print) on the page facing Goeree's frontis.

A dedication from Leeuwenhoek titled Opdragt aan syne Allerdoorlugtigste, Groot-magtigste, Keyserlyke, en Koninklyke Majesteyt Karel, altyd Vermeerderaar des Ryks, enz. enz. enz. (Dedication to his All-illustrious, Greatly powerful, Imperial, and Royal Majesty Karl, always the Enhancer of the Realm, etc.). It is dated December 8, 1717, two weeks after the final letter included in Send-Brieven.

A poem by Arnold Hoogvliet poem titled Op de Brieven van den Zeer-geleerden Heere Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Lidt der Koninklyke Maatschappy van Londen; Uitgegeven in het 86. jaar zyns ouderdoms (On the Letters of the Very-learned Mister Antony van Leeuwenhoek Member of the Royal Society of London; Published in the 86th year of his old age).

A poem by H. K. titled Op de Brieven van den Heere Antoni van Leeuwenhoek Lidt der koninklyke Societeit te Londen (On the Letters of Mister Antony van Leeuwenhoek Member of the Royal Society of London).

Latin translations

22. Anatomia Seu interiora Rerum, Letters 28 - 31, 34 - 36, 38, 42 - 52

A 5-page dedication to Jacobo, King James II of England was printed at the beginning of this edition. It was not printed in any Dutch editions or in any editions after James was deposed in 1688.

22. Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum, Letters 28 - 31, 34 - 36, 38, 42 - 52

The note Lectori Typographus (printer to reader) was printed on two pages for the 1696 edition and on one page for the 1708 edition. It was unsigned and undated, but Boutesteyn's name was on the title page, so he probably wrote it himself between the date of the last letter and the actual printing.

25. Arcana Naturae Detecta, Letters 32, 33, 37, 39, 40, 41, 61 - 92

1695 first edition

The front matter had two frontispieces, the Verkolje portrait of Leeuwenhoek followed by de Hooghe's Eye of Providence print. As in Vijfde, it had a Latin translation of the short explanation by Rabus on the verso.

The title page came next and then a dedication from Leeuwenhoek to Antonio Magliabechi.

The front matter concluded with a one-page note from the printer to the reader, Typographus Lectori. In the Ernst variant, the front matter is the same except that the Verkolje portrait comes after the Typographus Lectori.

1722 edition

In this edition, the earlier explanation, dedication and Typographus Lectori were replaced by an Index Rerum.

28. Epistolae Physiologicae, Letters I-XLVI

The front matter had a four-page dedication to "Carolo" dated December 6, 1717, a few weeks after he wrote the final letter in the volume. It would be the final final piece of writing that he published himself.

29. Opera Omnia Arcana Naturae Microscopiorum

After the two frontispieces and the title page, this volume had a 6-page Carmen Panegyricum, a panegyric poem by J. G. Kerckherde

It was followed by note from the printer to the reader, a 2-page Lectori Typographus, and a 4-page Index Rerum Epistolis that was the same typesetting as in #22 above.