Instructional Writing in English, 1350-1650: Materiality and Meaning, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Instructional Writing in English, 1350-1650

Materiality and Meaning, 1st Edition

By Carrie Griffin


216 pages

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pub: 2019-04-08
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Exploring the nature of utilitarian texts in English transmitted from the later Middle Ages to c. 1650, this volume considers textual and material strategies for the presentation and organisation of written knowledge and information during the period. In particular, it investigates the relationship between genre and material form in Anglophone written knowledge and information, with specific reference to that which is usually classified as practical or 'utilitarian'. Carrie Griffin examines textual and material evidence to argue for the disentangling of hitherto mixed genres and forms, and the creation of 'new' texts, as unexplored effects of the arrival of the printing press in the late fifteenth century. Griffin interrogates the texts at the level of generic markers, frameworks and structures, and studies transmission and dissemination in print, the nature of and attitudes to printed books, and the audiences they reached, in order to determine shifting attitudes to books and texts. Learning and Information from Manuscript to Print makes a significant contribution to the study of so-called non-literary textual genres and their transmission, circulation and reception in manuscript and in early modern printed books.

Table of Contents


About the Author

Carrie Griffin is Lecturer in English at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

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

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