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Material Readings in Early Modern Culture: Material Readings in Early Modern Culture


About the Series

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

-Bookbinding

-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

27 Series Titles

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Playbooks and their Readers in Early Modern England

Playbooks and their Readers in Early Modern England

1st Edition

Forthcoming

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 ...

The Circulation of Poetry in Manuscript in Early Modern England

The Circulation of Poetry in Manuscript in Early Modern England

1st Edition

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, ...

Elizabethan Diplomacy and Epistolary Culture

Elizabethan Diplomacy and Epistolary Culture

1st Edition

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 ...

Reading Mathematics in Early Modern Europe Studies in the Production, Collection, and Use of Mathematical Books

Reading Mathematics in Early Modern Europe: Studies in the Production, Collection, and Use of Mathematical Books

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Instructional Writing in English, 1350-1650 Materiality and Meaning

Instructional Writing in English, 1350-1650: Materiality and Meaning

1st Edition

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 ...

Impressive Shakespeare Identity, Authority and the Imprint in Shakespearean Drama

Impressive Shakespeare: Identity, Authority and the Imprint in Shakespearean Drama

1st Edition

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 ...

Bess of Hardwick’s Letters Language, Materiality, and Early Modern Epistolary Culture

Bess of Hardwick’s Letters: Language, Materiality, and Early Modern Epistolary Culture

1st Edition

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 ...

Early Modern English Marginalia

Early Modern English Marginalia

1st Edition

Edited 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 ...

Text, Food and the Early Modern Reader Eating Words

Text, Food and the Early Modern Reader: Eating Words

1st Edition

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 ...

The Typographic Imaginary in Early Modern English Literature

The Typographic Imaginary in Early Modern English Literature

1st Edition

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 ...

Reading Drama in Tudor England

Reading Drama in Tudor England

1st Edition

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 ...

Singing the News Ballads in Mid-Tudor England

Singing the News: Ballads in Mid-Tudor England

1st Edition

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 ...

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