Book Collection

Books by Dr. Florence Byham Weinberg

An Award-Winning Historical Writer with Imagination

Author and scholar Dr. Florence Byham Weinberg has authored 11 meticulously researched historical novels, many of which are set in 18th century New Spain (including Texas and New Mexico). Two books are pending publication.  You will find detailed information and links to purchase on this page.  

During her career as a professor of French and Spanish Renaissance literature, Dr. Florence Weinberg also wrote four scholarly books. Two are about François Rabelais, generally thought to be an edgy humorist, a well-known 16th-century author of the five books of Pantagruel and Gargantua. Weinberg’s two books reveal his greater depths—and they are deep indeed. The first book is The Wine and the Will: Rabelais’s Bacchic Christianity, a sustained analysis of the five books. The second book, only available in French, is Rabelais et les leçons du rire (Rabelais and the Lessons of Laughter). This book is a compendium of the learned articles Weinberg published in various professional journals during her teaching career.

A third book, Gargantua in a Convex Mirror: Fischart’s View of Rabelais, examines the work of Johann Fischart, who was born when Rabelais was already a mature writer and physician. Fischart is a near-contemporary but as a native of Strasburg, a product of an entirely different culture and language. Nonetheless, his work gives the lie to those critics who believe that there is no (surviving) contemporary reaction to and evaluation of Rabelais’ work. In this book, Weinberg shows that Fischart understood much of Rabelais’ true meaning—in depth.

The fourth book is The Cave: The Evolution of a Metaphoric Field from Homer to Ariosto. This ground-breaking work investigates the symbolism of the cave in Western literature from its beginning through the Middle Ages. Plato uses the cave as a metaphor for ignorance and spiritual blindness. In Homer’s works, the cave has three functions: it serves as a monster’s lair, a sexual refuge, and a sacred shrine. This trilogy of uses repeats itself throughout the centuries in various works that Weinberg examines in detail. The book was meant to be volume one, to be completed by a projected study of the cave from the Renaissance to the modern literature. That sequel was never written.

Links to Dr. Weinberg's scholarly works on Amazon:

The Wine and the Will: Rabelais’s Bacchic Christianity (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1972)

Gargantua in a Convex Mirror: Fischart’s View of Rabelais (New York and Berne: Peter Lang, 1986)

The Cave: The Evolution of a Metaphoric Field from Homer to Ariosto (New York and Berne: Peter Lang, 1986)

Rabelais et les leçons du rire: paraboles évangéliques et néoplatoniciennes (Orléans: Editions Paradigme, 2000)

The Historical Novels


Winner: NABE Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, 2016

Etienne Dolet (1509-1546), the son of a cloth-seller in Orléans, France, showed great promise as a child. His father paid to have him educated by the eminent humanist, Nicolas Bérault, a specialist in Marcus Tullius Cicero’s thought and writing. Etienne mastered Latin, became a fine scholar of Cicero, and went on to study with Simon Villanovanus at the University of Padua in Italy. After his master’s death, he worked for a time as secretary to Bishop Jean de Langeac in Venice and Limoges, after which he went to the University of Toulouse to study law. The Lutheran reform movement had gained traction in France, and the Gallican branch of the Church of Rome reacted violently. In Toulouse, the Inquisition was particularly active.  Fellow printers were jealous of his success and furious that he took the part of the print-shop workers in their quest for higher wages. They framed him by sending two boxes of heretical books to Paris, boldly labeled with his name. The Inquisition seized him, tried him, condemned him and burned him at the stake on his 37th birthday.

Trade paperback and Ebook available on Amazon.