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
-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
Elizabethan Diplomacy and Epistolary Culture
Early Modern English Marginalia
Reading Drama in Tudor England
Singing the News Ballads in Mid-Tudor England
By Hannah August
March 31, 2022
This book is the first comprehensive examination of commercial drama as a reading genre in early modern England. Taking as its focus pre-Restoration printed drama’s most common format, the single-play quarto playbook, it interrogates what the form and content of these playbooks can tell us about ...
By Arthur F. Marotti
May 27, 2021
This study examines the transmission and compilation of poetic texts through manuscripts from the late-Elizabethan era through the mid-seventeenth century, paying attention to the distinctive material, social, and literary features of these documents. The study has two main focuses: the first, ...
By Elizabeth R. Williamson
May 24, 2021
A new account of Elizabethan diplomacy with an original archival foundation, this book examines the world of letters underlying diplomacy and political administration by exploring a material text never before studied in its own right: the diplomatic letter-book. Author Elizabeth R. Williamson ...
By Philip Beeley, Yelda Nasifoglu, Benjamin Wardhaugh
October 21, 2020
Libraries and archives contain many thousands of early modern mathematical books, of which almost equally many bear readers’ marks, ranging from deliberate annotations and accidental blots to corrections and underlinings. Such evidence provides us with the material and intellectual tools for ...
By Carrie Griffin
April 01, 2019
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 ...
By Harry Newman
January 29, 2019
Impressive Shakespeare reassesses Shakespeare’s relationship with "print culture" in light of his plays’ engagement with the language and material culture of three interrelated "impressing technologies": wax sealing, coining, and typographic printing. It analyses the material and rhetorical forms ...
By Alison Wiggins
January 17, 2019
Bess of Hardwick's Letters is the first book-length study of the c. 250 letters to and from the remarkable Elizabethan dynast, matriarch and builder of houses Bess of Hardwick (c. 1527–1608). By surveying the complete correspondence, author Alison Wiggins uncovers the wide range of uses to which ...
By Katherine Acheson
December 20, 2018
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 ...
By Jason Scott-Warren, Andrew Elder Zurcher
August 14, 2018
In early modern culture, eating and reading were entangled acts. Our dead metaphors (swallowed stories, overcooked narratives, digested information) are all that now remains of a rich interplay between text and food, in which every element of dining, from preparation to purgation, had its ...
By Rachel Stenner
June 27, 2018
The typographic imaginary is an aesthetic linking authors from William Caxton to Alexander Pope, this study centrally contends. Early modern English literature engages imaginatively with printing and this book both characterizes that engagement and proposes the typographic imaginary as a framework ...
By Tamara Atkin
April 20, 2018
Reading Drama in Tudor England is about the print invention of drama as a category of text designed for readerly consumption. Arguing that plays were made legible by the printed paratexts that accompanied them, it shows that by the middle of the sixteenth century it was possible to market a play ...
By Jenni Hyde
February 20, 2018
Singing the News is the first study to concentrate on sixteenth-century ballads, when there was no regular and reliable alternative means of finding out news and information. It is a highly readable and accessible account of the important role played by ballads in spreading news during a period ...