Early Modern English Marginalia: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Early Modern English Marginalia

1st Edition

Edited by Katherine Acheson


302 pages

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Hardback: 9780415418850
pub: 2018-12-20
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pub: 2018-12-17
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Marginalia in early modern and medieval texts – printed, handwrit- ten, drawn, scratched, colored, and pasted in – offer a glimpse of how people, as individuals and in groups, interacted with books and manu- scripts over often lengthy periods of time. The chapters in this volume build on earlier scholarship that established marginalia as an intellec- tual method (Grafton and Jardine), as records of reading motivated by cultural, social, theological, and personal inclinations (Brayman [Hackel] and Orgel), and as practices inspired by material affordances particular to the book and the pen (Fleming and Sherman). They further the study of the practices of marginalia as a mode – a set of ways in which material opportunities and practices overlap with intellectual, social, and personal motivations to make meaning in the world. They introduce us to a set of idiosyncratic examples such as the trace marks of objects left in books, deliberately or by accident; cut-and-pasted additions to printed volumes; a marriage depicted through shared book ownership. They reveal to us in case studies the unique value of mar- ginalia as evidence of phenomena as important and diverse as religious change, authorial self-invention, and the history of the literary canon. The chapters of this book go beyond the case study, however, and raise broad historical, cultural, and theoretical questions about the strange, marvelous, metamorphic thing we call the book, and the equally mul- tiplicitous, eccentric, and inscrutable beings who accompany them through history: readers and writers.

Table of Contents

1. Reading Habits and Reading Habitats; Or, Toward an Ecobibliography of Marginalia

Joshua Calhoun

2. Cut-and-Paste Bookmaking: The Private/Public Agency of Robert Nicolson

Jason Scott-Warren

3. Book Marks: Object Traces in Early Modern Books

Adam Smyth

4. The Occupation of the Margins: Writing, Space, and Early Modern Women

Katherine Acheson

5. Praying in the Margins across the Reformation: Readers’ Marks in Early Tudor Books of Hours

Elizabeth Patton

6. Articles of Assent: Clergymen's Subscribed Copies of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England

Austen Saunders

7. Anne Clifford Reads John Selden

Georgianna Ziegler

8. Marital Marginalia: The Seventeenth-Century Library of Thomas and Isabella Hervey

Emma Smith

9. Studied for Redaction? Reading and Writing in the Works of John Higgins

Harriet Archer

10. Vide Supplementum: Early Modern Collation as Play-Reading in the First Folio

Clare Bourne

11. Early Modern Marginalia and #earlymoderntwitter

Sjoerd Levelt


Alan G. Stewart



About the Editor

Katherine Acheson is a Professor of English Language and Literature and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo

About the Series

Material Readings in Early Modern Culture

Material Readings in Early Modern Culture

This series provides a forum for studies that consider the material forms of texts as part of an investigation into early modern English culture. The editors invite proposals of a multi- or interdisciplinary nature, and particularly welcome proposals that combine archival research with an attention to the theoretical models that might illuminate the reading, writing, and making of texts, as well as projects that take innovative approaches to the study of material texts, both in terms the kinds of primary materials under investigation, and in terms of methodologies. What are the questions that have yet to be asked about writing in its various possible embodied forms? Are there varieties of materiality that are critically neglected? How does form mediate and negotiate content? In what ways do the physical features of texts inform how they are read, interpreted and situated? Consideration will be given to both monographs and collections of essays. The range of topics covered in this series includes, but is not limited to:

-History of the book, publishing, the book trade, printing, typography (layout, type, typeface, blank/white space, paratextual apparatus)

-Technologies of the written word: ink, paper, watermarks, pens, presses

-Surprising or neglected material forms of writing

-Print culture


-Manuscript studies

-Social space, context, location of writing

-Social signs, cues, codes imbued within the material forms of texts

-Ownership and the social practices of reading: marginalia, libraries, environments of reading and reception

-Codicology, palaeography and critical bibliography

-Production, transmission, distribution and circulation

-Archiving and the archaeology of knowledge

-Orality and oral culture

-The material text as object or thing

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh