Cover

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Title

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Copyright

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

List of Illustrations

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pp. ix-x

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Preface

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pp. xi-xx

In 1985, Roger Stoddard published his seminal catalogue, Marks in Books, Illustrated and Explained, and his opening sentences set an agenda that has challenged a generation of scholars, librarians, conservators, and collectors: ‘‘When we handle books sensitively, observing them...

PART I. OF MARKS AND METHODS

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1. Introduction: Used Books

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pp. 3-24

‘‘Mark my words.’’ So the authors, editors, and printers of English Renaissance texts exhorted their readers; and mark they did, in greater numbers than ever before and more actively, perhaps, than at any time...

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2. Toward a History of the Manicule

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pp. 25-52

Readers who mark their books have always tended to develop systems of signs, a visual shorthand for breaking texts down into manageable sections or signaling key subjects and claims at a glance. In 2002 the Levenger Company published a table on itsWeb site to share the techniques...

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3. Reading the Matriarchive

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pp. 53-68

After several decades of innovative and committed feminist scholarship, the voices of women writers from the English Renaissance are more audible than ever before.1 But the women readers of the period remain elusive, and the new methods and materials that have given the history of...

PART II. READING AND RELIGION

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4. ''The Book thus put in every vulgar hand'': Marking the Bible

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pp. 71-86

As we approach the four hundredth anniversary of the publication of the King James (or Authorized) Version, historians of the printing revolution and the Protestant Reformation have put us in an ideal position to appreciate the process by which the Bible became a layperson’s...

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5. An Uncommon Book of Common Prayer

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pp. 87-110

Alice’s question applies not just to Victorian storybooks but also to Elizabethan prayer books, and this chapter offers one of them as an object lesson, a curious devotional volume that not only contains pictures and conversations but raises a series of searching questions about the uses of...

PART III. REMARKABLE READERS

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6. John Dee's Columbian Encounter

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pp. 113-126

On at least two occasions, the Elizabethan polymath John Dee (1527– 1609) encountered the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (ca. 1451–1506). The medium was Columbus’s son Ferdinand, and they met in the margins of Ferdinand’s famous Historie . . . della vita, & de’ fatti...

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7. Sir Julius Caesar's Search Engine

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pp. 127-148

To study readers’ notes is to work at the fringe of the tapestries that weave together books, lives, and events. Most of the threads now come away as single strands, providing us with glimpses of color or texture and the agents who produced them but with little sense of the larger patterns...

PART IV. RENAISSANCE READERS AND MODERN COLLECTORS

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8. Dirty Books? Attitudes Toward Readers' Marks

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pp. 151-178

This book has been concerned with the kinds of marks that Renaissance readers made in and around their books and with the kinds of things we can learn from them. This final section will consider the fate of those marks as they have come down to us today, passing through auction...

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Afterword: The Future of Past Readers

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pp. 179-182

In spring 2006 the National Library of Scotland launched its new magazine, Discover NLS. The photograph on its cover (Figure 36) caught my eye and the image of the young girl—I will call her Miranda—has stayed with me ever since. By now there is nothing particularly unusual about...

List of Abbreviations

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pp. 183-184

Notes

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pp. 185-222

Bibliography

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pp. 223-250

Index

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pp. 251-256

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 257-259

In 1599, when Martı´n Del Rio finally published the Six Books of Investigations into Magic he had started some twenty years earlier, he began with a ‘‘Prologue, explaining why this treatise has been difficult to write, but why it was necessary to do so’’—or, in the more elegant phrasing of the...