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Book, Text, Medium: Cross Sectional Reading for a Digital Age utilizes codex history, close reading, and language philosophy to assess the transformative arc between medieval books and today's e-books. It examines what happens to the reading experience in the 21st century when the original concept of a book is still held in the mind of a reader, if no longer in the reader's hand. Leading critic Garrett Stewart explores the play of mediation more generally, as the concept of book moves from a manufactured object to simply the language it puts into circulation. Framed by digital poetics, phonorobotics, and the rising popularity of audiobooks, this study sheds new light on both the history of reading and the negation of legible print in conceptual book art.
The printed poetry anthologies first produced in sixteenth-century England have long been understood as instrumental in shaping the history of English poetry. This book offers a fresh approach to this history by turning attention to the recreative properties of these books, both in the sense of making again, of crafting and recrafting, and of poetry as a pleasurable pastime. The model of materiality employed extends from books-as-artefacts to their embodiedness - their crafted, performative, and expressive capacities. Publishers invariably advertised the recreational uses of anthologies, locating these books in early modern performance cultures in which poetry was read, silently and in company, sometimes set to music, and re-crafted into other forms. Engaging with studies of material cultures, including work on craft, households, and soundscapes, Crafting Poetry Anthologies argues for a domestic Renaissance in which anthologies travelled across social classes, shaping recreational cultures that incorporated men and women in literary culture.
Orietta Da Rold provides a detailed analysis of the coming of paper to medieval England, and its influence on the literary and non-literary culture of the period. Looking beyond book production, Da Rold maps out the uses of paper and explains the success of this technology in medieval culture, considering how people interacted with it and how it affected their lives. Offering a nuanced understanding of how affordance influenced societal choices, Paper in Medieval England draws on a multilingual array of sources to investigate how paper circulated, was written upon, and was deployed by people across medieval society, from kings to merchants, to bishops, to clerks and to poets, contributing to an understanding of how medieval paper changed communication and shaped modernity.
Often regarded as trivial and disposable, printed ephemera, such as tickets, playbills and handbills, was essential in the development of eighteenth-century culture. In this original study, richly illustrated with examples from across the period, Gillian Russell examines the emergence of the cultural category of printed ephemera, its relationship with forms of sociability, the history of the book, and ideas of what constituted the boundaries of literature and literary value. Russell explores the role of contemporary collectors such as Sarah Sophia Banks in preserving such material, arguing for 'ephemerology' as a distinctive strand of popular antiquarianism. Multi-disciplinary in scope, The Ephemeral Eighteenth Century reveals new perspectives on the history of theatre, the fiction of Maria Edgeworth and Jane Austen, and on the history of bibliography, as well as highlighting the continuing relevance of the concept of ephemerality to how we connect through social media today.
During the Italian Renaissance, laywomen and nuns could take part in every stage of the circulation of texts of many kinds, old and new, learned and popular. This first in-depth and integrated analysis of Italian women's involvement in the material textual culture of the period shows how they could publish their own works in manuscript and print and how they promoted the first publication of works composed by others, acting as patrons or dedicatees. It describes how they copied manuscripts and helped to make and sell printed books in collaboration with men, how they received books as gifts and borrowed or bought them, how they commissioned manuscripts for themselves and how they might listen to works in spoken or sung performance. Brian Richardson's richly documented study demonstrates the powerful social function of books in the Renaissance: texts-in-motion helped to shape women's lives and sustain their social and spiritual communities.
During the 1820s, British society saw transformations in technology, mobility, and consumerism that accelerated the spread of information. This timely study reveals how bestselling literature, popular theatre, and periodical journalism self-consciously experimented with new media. It presents an age preoccupied with improvisation and speculation – a mode of behaviour that dominated financial and literary markets, generating reflections on risk, agency, and the importance of public opinion. Print and Performance in the 1820s interprets a rich constellation of fictional texts and theatrical productions that gained popularity among middle-class metropolitan audiences through experiments with intersecting fantasy worlds and acutely described real worlds. Providing new contexts for figures such as Byron and Scott, and recovering the work of lesser-known contemporaries including Charles Mathews' character impersonations and the performances of celebrity improvvisatore Tommaso Sgricci, Angela Esterhammer explores the era's influential representations of the way identity is constructed, performed, and perceived.
From telephones and transoceanic telegraphy to typewriters and phonographs, the era of Bell and Edison brought an array of wondrous new technologies for recording and communication. At the same time, print was becoming a mass medium, as works from newspapers to novels exploited new markets and innovations in publishing to address expanded readerships. Amid the accelerated movements of inventions and language, questions about media change became a transatlantic topic, connecting writers from Whitman to Kipling, Mark Twain to Bram Stoker and Marie Corelli. Media multiplicity seemed either to unite societies or bring division and conflict, to emphasize the material nature of communication or its transcendent side, to highlight distinctions between media or to let them be ignored. Literature, Print Culture, and Media Technologies, 1880–1900 analyzes this ferment as an urgent subject as authors sought to understand the places of printed writing in the late nineteenth century's emerging media cultures.
By the late 1980s the concept of the work had slipped out of sight, consigned to its last refuge in the library catalogue as concepts of discourse and text took its place. Scholarly editors, who depended on it, found no grounding in literary theory for their practice. But fundamental ideas do not go away, and the work is proving to be one of them. New interest in the activity of the reader in the work has broadened the concept, extending it historically and sweeping away its once-supposed aesthetic objecthood. Concurrently, the advent of digital scholarly editions is recasting the editorial endeavour. The Work and The Reader in Literary Studies tests its argument against a range of book-historically inflected case-studies from Hamlet editions to Romantic poetry archives to the writing practices of Joseph Conrad and D. H. Lawrence. It newly justifies the practice of close reading in the digital age.
Revisions form a natural part of the writing process, but is the concept of revision actually an intrinsic part of the formation of the novel genre? Through the recovery and analysis of material from novel manuscripts and post-publication revisions, Hilary Havens identifies a form of 'networked authorship'. By tracing authors' revisions to their novels, the influence of familial and literary circles, reviewers, and authors' own previous writings can be discerned. Havens focuses on the work of Samuel Richardson, Frances Burney, Jane Austen, and Maria Edgeworth to challenge the individualistic view of authorship that arose during the Romantic period, and argues that networked authorship shaped the composition of eighteenth-century novels. Exploring these themes of collaboration and social networks, as well as engaging with the burgeoning trend towards textual recovery, this work is an important contribution in the study of eighteenth-century novels and their manuscript counterparts.
First taking shape during the seventeenth century, the European encyclopedia was an alphabetical book of knowledge. For the next three centuries, printed encyclopedias in the European tradition were an element of culture and peoples' lives, initially just among Europe's educated elite but ultimately through much of the literate world. Organized around themes such as genre, economics, illustration, and publishing, The European Encyclopedia is the first comprehensive survey of encyclopedias to be written in English in more than fifty years. Engaging with printed encyclopedias, now largely extinct and the object of nostalgia, as well as the global phenomenon of Wikipedia, Jeff Loveland brings together encyclopedias from multiple languages (notably English, French, and German, amongst others). This book will be of interest to anyone, from academics in the humanities to non-academic readers, with an interest in encyclopedias and their history.
European states were overwhelmed with information around 1500. Their agents sought to organize their overflowing archives to provide trustworthy evidence and comprehensive knowledge that was useful in the everyday exercise of power. This detailed comparative study explores cases from Lisbon to Vienna to Berlin in order to understand how changing information technologies and ambitious programs of state-building challenged record-keepers to find new ways to organize and access the information in their archives. From the intriguing details of how clerks invented new ways to index and catalog the expanding world to the evolution of new perspectives on knowledge and power among philologists and historians, this book provides illuminating vignettes and revealing comparisons about a core technology of governance in early modern Europe. Enhanced by perspectives from the history of knowledge and from archival science, this wide-ranging study explores the potential and the limitations of knowledge management as media technologies evolved.
The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain is an authoritative series which surveys the history of publishing, bookselling, authorship and reading in Britain. This seventh and final volume surveys the twentieth and twenty-first centuries from a range of perspectives in order to create a comprehensive guide, from growing professionalisation at the beginning of the twentieth century, to the impact of digital technologies at the end. Its multi-authored focus on the material book and its manufacture broadens to a study of the book's authorship and readership, and its production and dissemination via publishing and bookselling. It examines in detail key market sectors over the course of the period, and concludes with a series of essays concentrating on aspects of book history: the book in wartime; class, democracy and value; books and other media; intellectual property and copyright; and imperialism and post-imperialism.
This Handbook surveys the state of the art in literary authorship studies. Its 27 original contributions by eminent scholars offer a multi-layered account of authorship as a defining element of literature and culture. Covering a vast chronological range, Part I considers the history of authorship from cuneiform writing to contemporary digital publishing; it discusses authorship in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, early Jewish cultures, medieval, Renaissance, modern, postmodern and Chinese literature. The second part focuses on the place of authorship in literary theory, and on challenges to theorizing literary authorship, such as gender and sexuality, postcolonial and indigenous contexts for writing. Finally, Part III investigates practical perspectives on the topic, with a focus on attribution, anonymity and pseudonymity, plagiarism and forgery, copyright and literary property, censorship, publishing and marketing and institutional contexts.
What has fifteenth-century England to do with the Renaissance? By challenging accepted notions of 'medieval' and 'early modern' David Rundle proposes a new understanding of English engagement with the Renaissance. He does so by focussing on one central element of the humanist agenda - the reform of the script and of the book more generally - to demonstrate a tradition of engagement from the 1430s into the early sixteenth century. Introducing a cast-list of scribes and collectors who are not only English and Italian but also Scottish, Dutch and German, this study sheds light on the cosmopolitanism central to the success of the humanist agenda. Questioning accepted narratives of the slow spread of the Renaissance from Italy to other parts of Europe, Rundle suggests new possibilities for the fields of manuscript studies and the study of Renaissance humanism.
This collection of essays takes a fresh look at the important role of illustration in Romantic literature. The late eighteenth century saw an explosion of illustrated editions of literary classics and the emergence of a new culture of literary art, including the innovative literary galleries. The impact of these developments on the reading and viewing of literary texts is explored in a series of case studies covering poetry, historical texts, drama, painting, reproductive prints, magazines and ephemera. Romanticism and Illustration argues for a more detailed study of illustration which includes the context of a wider circulation of images across different media. The modern understanding of the word 'illustration' fails to convey the complex relationship between the artist, the engraver, the publisher, the text and the audience in Romantic Britain. In teasing out the implications of this dynamic cultural matrix, this book opens up a new field of Romantic studies.
The period between c.1750 and c.1840 is popularly known for the rise of the novel, yet historical works by Enlightenment writers, including David Hume, Edward Gibbon and William Robertson, were some of its most commercially successful books. Moving beyond the range of previous studies that have sought to explain this success by focussing on publishers, writers and their ideas, Mark Towsey's study is the first to focus on the reading audiences themselves. Drawing on a variety of sources including marginalia, letters, diaries and commonplace books, this lively book reveals why histories were so widely read, and shows how they were used by readers across the English-speaking world to make sense of social upheaval at home and revolution abroad. In doing so, it marks a major addition to the history of reading, shedding fascinating new light on how readers interpreted books in the past.
This innovative study investigates the reception of medieval manuscripts over a long century, 1470–1585, spanning the reigns of Edward IV to Elizabeth I. Members of the Tudor gentry family who owned these manuscripts had properties in Willesden and professional affiliations in London. These men marked the leaves of their books with signs of use, allowing their engagement with the texts contained there to be reconstructed. Through detailed research, Margaret Connolly reveals the various uses of these old books: as a repository for family records; as a place to preserve other texts of a favourite or important nature; as a source of practical information for the household; and as a professional manual for the practising lawyer. Investigation of these family-owned books reveals an unexpectedly strong interest in works of the past, and the continuing intellectual and domestic importance of medieval manuscripts in an age of print.
Musical notation has not always existed: in the West, musical traditions have often depended on transmission from mouth to ear, and ear to mouth. Although the Ancient Greeks had a form of musical notation, it was not passed on to the medieval Latin West. This comprehensive study investigates the breadth of use of musical notation in Carolingian Europe, including many examples previously unknown in studies of notation, to deliver a crucial foundational model for the understanding of later Western notations. An overview of the study of neumatic notations from the French monastic scholar Dom Jean Mabillon (1632–1707) up to the present day precedes an examination of the function and potential of writing in support of a musical practice which continued to depend on trained memory. Later chapters examine passages of notation to reveal those ways in which scripts were shaped by contemporary rationalizations of musical sound. Finally, the new scripts are situated in the cultural and social contexts in which they emerged.
The 2004 announcement that Chaucer's scribe had been discovered resulted in a paradigm shift in medieval studies. Adam Pynkhurst dominated the classroom, became a fictional character, and led to suggestions that this identification should prompt the abandonment of our understanding of the development of London English and acceptance that the clerks of the Guildhall were promoting vernacular literature as part of a concerted political program. In this meticulously researched study, Lawrence Warner challenges the narratives and conclusions of recent scholarship. In place of the accepted story, Warner provides a fresh, more nuanced one in which many more scribes, anonymous ones, worked in conditions we are only beginning to understand. Bringing to light new information, not least, hundreds of documents in the hand of one of the most important fifteenth-century scribes of Chaucer and Langland, this book represents an important intervention in the field of Middle English studies.
Who were Shakespeare's first readers and what did they think of his works? Offering the first dedicated account of the ways in which Shakespeare's texts were read in the centuries during which they were originally produced, Jean-Christophe Mayer reconsiders the role of readers in the history of Shakespeare's rise to fame and in the history of canon formation. Addressing an essential formative 'moment' when Shakespeare became a literary dramatist, this book explores six crucial fields: literacy; reading and life-writing; editing Shakespeare's text; marking Shakespeare for the theatre; commonplacing; and passing judgement. Through close examination of rare material, some of which has never been published before, and covering both the marks left by readers in their books and early manuscript extracts of Shakespeare, Mayer demonstrates how the worlds of print and performance overlapped at a time when Shakespeare offered a communal text, the ownership of which was essentially undecided.