Printing and Parenting in Early Modern England  book cover
1st Edition

Printing and Parenting in Early Modern England

Edited By

Douglas A. Brooks

ISBN 9781138274679
Published March 29, 2017 by Routledge
454 Pages

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Book Description

The relation between procreation and authorship, between reproduction and publication, has a long history - indeed, that relationship may well be the very foundation of history itself. The essays in this volume bring into focus a remarkably important and complex phase of this long history. In this volume, some of the most renowned scholars in the field persuasively demonstrate that during the early modern period, the awkward, incomplete transition from manuscript to print brought on by the invention of the printing press temporarily exposed and disturbed the epistemic foundations of English culture. As a result of this cultural upheaval, the discursive field of parenting was profoundly transformed. Through an examination of the literature of the period, this volume illuminates how many important conceptual systems related to gender, sexuality, human reproduction, legitimacy, maternity, kinship, paternity, dynasty, inheritance, and patriarchal authority came to be grounded in a range of anxieties and concerns directly linked to an emergent publishing industry and book trade. In exploring a wide spectrum of historical and cultural artifacts produced during the convergence of human and mechanical reproduction, of parenting and printing, these essays necessarily bring together two of the most vital critical paradigms available to scholars today: gender studies and the history of the book. Not only does this rare interdisciplinary coupling generate fresh and exciting insights into the literary and cultural production of the early modern period but it also greatly enriches the two critical paradigms themselves.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction, Douglas A. Brooks. Part I Reproductive Rhetorics: Imprints: Shakespeare, Gutenberg, and Descartes, Margreta de Grazia; Meaning, 'seeing', printing, Ann Thompson and John O. Thompson. Part II Ink and Kin: A womb of his own: male Renaissance poets in the female body, Katharine Eisaman Maus; Ben Jonson's branded thumb and the imprint of textual paternity, Lynne Dickson Bruckner; All father: Ben Jonson and the psychodynamics of authorship, David Lee Miller. Part III Issues of the Book Trade: The bastard art: woodcut illustration in 16th-century England, James A. Knapp; Promiscuous textualities: the Nashe-Harvey controversy and the unnatural productions of print, Maria Teresa Micaela Prendergast; The birth of advertising, Michael Baird Saenger; Printing bastards: monstrous birth broadsides in early modern England, Aaron W. Kitch; 'Red Incke': reading the bleeding on the early modern page, Bianca F.C. Calabresi. Part IV Parental Authorities: Marginal maternity: reading Lady Anne Clifford's A Mirror for Magistrates, Stephen Orgel; Checking the father: anxious paternity and Jacobean press censorship, Cyndia Susan Clegg; Pater patriae: James I and the imprint of prerogative, Howard Marchitello. Part V Textual Legacies: How many children had Alice Walker?, Laurie E. Maguire; Mothers and authors: Johnson v. Calvert and the new children of our imagination, Mark Rose; In locus parentis, Judith Roof. Afterword, Jennifer Wynne Hellwarth; Bibliography; Index.

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Douglas A. Brooks is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University and the General Editor of Shakespeare Yearbook. He is the author of From Playhouse to Printing House: Drama and Authorship in Early Modern England (Cambridge University Press, 2000).


'The focus of this rich collection of essays on paternity, procreation, and print allows the contributors to concentrate on and relate a variety of important sociocultural issues and topics ... Part of a new wave of scholarship on the history of the book, these chapters broaden the cultural and historical scope of the inquiry, questioning some of the assumptions of such work and adding important nuances that deepen our understanding of the relationship of technological to epistemic and cultural change.' Arthur F. Marotti, Professor of English, Wayne State University 'Printing and Parenting is a wonderfully rich and varied collection, combining sophisticated theoretical work on gender and generation with detailed historical analyses of print culture in early modern England. It opens up exciting new avenues of inquiry on the relations between ideology and material practices.' Peter Stallybrass, Annenberg Professor of the Humanities, University of Pennsylvania 'Individual essays here are both illuminating and a delight to read...' Rare Books Newsletters 'The collection is valuable for its attention not only to great writers and literary texts of the early modern period [...] but also to woodcut illustrations, pamphlets, broadsides, emergent advertising strategies, rubrication, censorship, and propaganda. Ashgate's generosity in printing fifty-one figures, many of them full-page illustrations [...] allows readers to see examples of the print materials under discussion. Each of the essays in the collection benefits in some way from the context and intertextuality provided by the book collection.' Renaissance Quarterly 'In this volume, some of the most renowned scholars in the field persuasively demonstrate that during the early modern period, the awkward, incomplete transition from manuscript to print, brought on by the invention of the printing press, temporarily exposed and disturbed the epistemic foundations of English culture.' Cahiers Elisabéthains ’Anyon