Early Modern English Marginalia  book cover
1st Edition

Early Modern English Marginalia

Edited By

Katherine Acheson

ISBN 9780415418850
Published December 20, 2018 by Routledge
318 Pages

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Book Description

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



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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