1st Edition

The Printer as Author in Early Modern English Book History John Day and the Fabrication of a Protestant Memory Art

By William E. Engel Copyright 2022
    232 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    232 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This is the first book to demonstrate how mnemotechnic cultural commonplaces can be used to account for the look, style, and authorized content of some of the most influential books produced in early modern Britain. In his hybrid role as stationer, publisher, entrepreneur, and author, John Day, master printer of England’s Reformation, produced the premier navigation handbook, state-approved catechism and metrical psalms, Book of Martyrs, England’s first printed emblem book, and Queen Elizabeth’s Prayer Book. By virtue of finely honed book trade skills, dogged commitment to evangelical nation-building, and astute business acumen (including going after those who infringed his privileges), Day mobilized the typographical imaginary to establish what amounts to—and still remains—a potent and viable Protestant Memory Art.

    Introduction: Incarnating Ideas

    1 The deluxe design of The Cosmographical Glass (1559)

    2 Renovating the Catechism (1553) and Metrical Psalms (1562)

    3 The grand enterprise of Foxe’s Book of Martyrs (1563)

    4 Underwriting England’s first Protestant emblem book (1568)

    5 The compelling visuality of Queen Elizabeth’s Prayer Book (1569, 1578)

    Conclusion: Making History



    William E. Engel is the Nick B. Williams Professor of English at The University of the South: Sewanee. He has published seven books on literary history and applied emblematics, two previously with Routledge, Chiastic Designs (2016) and Early Modern Poetics (2016), and has contributed chapters to several Routledge volumes, including The Birth and Death of the Author (2020), The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Memory (2017), and Forgetting in Early Modern English Literature and Culture (2004).