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Shakespeare’s Lady 8
Abstract

The printers’ ornament that Richard Field originally used on the title pages of Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece brought to Shakespeare’s first publications a meaningful set of associations, and over the next two decades would be affected by Shakespeare’s growing authority. Linked to France and Huguenot print culture, the ornament provides a clue to the aesthetic environment of Shakespeare’s works and the ways in which their heterogeneous content and style pleased his earliest admirers. As what we could call Shakespeare’s “Elizabethan brand,” this ornament offers insight to the cultural, political, and commercial contexts in and through which he was established as an author.

This essay focuses on the attractive printers’ ornament that, gracing the title pages of both Venus and Adonis and Lucrece upon their first publication, helped to announce Shakespeare when he emerged as London’s leading writer in the mid-1590s. Resting atop female names rendered in titling font, and with a female face gazing at the viewer from a virtual thicket of flora, fauna, and supernatural figures, this ornament could be seen as offering a visual correlative of his works’ variety and allegiances. In fact, were we to design something to represent the copious abundance in Shakespeare’s writings, an image able, in Jachimo’s words, to “inventory” his “adornment,” “figures,” “the contents o’ th’ story,” and “natural notes,” we might produce a picture much like this. Yet while this ornament is a familiar feature of these two early Shakespeare publications—one for the “younger sort,” in Gabriel Harvey’s words, the other for “the wiser”—it has never received serious analysis.1 This is not in itself surprising: ornaments of this kind have typically served as forensic evidence for analytical bibliography (testifying, for instance, to the time and place of book production).2 They have less often been read, remaining below the interpretive realm owing to their perceived interchangeability. [End Page 47]

Answering D. F. McKenzie’s call for “fuller understanding of those historical decisions made by authors, designers and craftsmen in deploying the many visual and even tactile languages of book form to help direct their readers’ responses to the verbal language of the text,” the following paragraphs aim to bring close attention to the ornament that decorated the first versions of Venus and Lucrece.3 This ornament, it will be demonstrated, possessed certain resonances owing to its design and, importantly, to the works that various printing houses selected it to adorn. It should be stressed that the argument here concerns the publication of these poems after their composition. While the fortuitous survival of a manuscript note reveals Sir John Harington calling out, to Richard Field, the typography for a section of Orlando Furioso (1591; STC 746), we still know too little about the operations of the Field-Vautrollier printing house to guess how usual it was for even interested authors to offer such input, or be afforded the privilege of doing so.4 Our information about this ornament therefore comes not from an author’s manuscript note, but instead from various imprints on which it, and ornaments like it, appeared before and after the initial publication of Shakespeare’s two narrative poems. This ornament’s style and history of use—including, importantly, when it was borrowed by other printers and which texts it was employed for—help us understand some of its contemporary connotations. As we will see, this ornament brought to Shakespeare’s first publications a [End Page 48] meaningful set of associations, and was in turn affected by its connection with Shakespeare’s growing authority. Among the most immediate of such associations were aristocracy, a luxuriously pagan humanism, and a regal femininity as inflected by the person and court of Elizabeth. Perhaps most remarkable were the ornament’s stylistic links to France, to Calvinism, and to Huguenot print culture. As what we could call Shakespeare’s Elizabethan muse, then, this face and the ornament it anchors provide a clue to the aesthetic environment of his works and to the ways in which their heterogeneous content and style pleased his earliest admirers. As an “Elizabethan Shakespeare brand,” this ornament offers insight into the cultural, political, and commercial contexts in and through which he was “set up” as an author.5

“Lady 8”

The ornament in question appears to have decorated title pages for the first time in 1593 and 1594 with Venus and Adonis (STC 22354) and Lucrece (STC 22345), respectively. Title pages for a 1594 Venus (STC 22355; used here for reasons of legibility) and the 1594 Lucrece are reproduced as Figures 1 and 2.

Measuring approximately 103 × 28 millimeters (or 4 × 1.1 inches) and most likely produced from an engraved metal block or a metal plate nailed to a wooden block, this ornament constitutes a headpiece, what the French (who will take an important place in this ornament’s story) call a bandeau gravé or “engraved band.” Because of its comparatively modest size, this ornament and those of comparable dimensions were typically cut for decorating quartos; they occasionally appeared in larger, folio volumes, where they demarcated sections. Most printers’ ornaments, including the hallmark devices that printers and publishers often used to “sign” their publications (the central anchor images on the title pages above being but one example), appeared within the crucial first few pages of the books they adorned.6 From this liminal position, they could work iconically, as prologues ushering readers into a text while lending it prestige. [End Page 49]

Figure 1. Venus and Adonis (London: Richard Field, 1594), STC 22355, title page.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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Figure 1.

Venus and Adonis (London: Richard Field, 1594), STC 22355, title page.

Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

To distinguish it from others treated here, I refer to this ornament as “Lady 8,” an informal nickname that developed as the research for this essay unfolded. In a foundational article on Richard Field’s career as printer and publisher, A. E. M. Kirwood reproduced nearly two dozen ornaments commonly used by Field, of which the ornament in question is number 8.7 As we will see, Field’s stock of ornaments comprised several other female icons, including a frequently used one that existed in two variants. Even as it recognizes the importance of Kirwood’s scholarship to the present project, therefore, the label “Lady 8” calls attention to the prominence of the female face in [End Page 50] Field’s publications, as well as in the design of this particular headpiece (see Figure 3).8

Figure 2. Lvcrece (London: Richard Field, 1594), title page. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: 22345, copy 1.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 2.

Lvcrece (London: Richard Field, 1594), title page. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: 22345, copy 1.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lady 8 herself is a head situated powerfully at the center of her ornament, a design, like others in its genre, whose halves are balanced but not mirror images. This female visage—one version of a ubiquitous image in sixteenth-century print ornaments—is crowned with a tiara; has braided hair above her temples; and is cloaked by a scarf that, knotted under each ear, drapes beneath her chin. From behind her head and this cloth shoot four of the image’s strands of foliage, long acanthus rinceaux. The two major strands on top blossom first into twin cornucopias, spilling grapes and other fruit. They then continue (from out of [End Page 51] that profusion) to wind and curl and, by curling, to define the four corners of the ornament. Toward the upper left and right of the ornament, midway between the central head and the image’s left and right borders, are two figures blowing horns, from each of which hang cherries or bells. Common in such decoration, these fantastic creatures belong to the large and diverse family that includes such figures as cherubs, putti, satyrs, or a hybrid combination. The left one has a taut and muscular stomach and small horns rising from his forehead; the one on the right is slightly heavier, has smaller and rounder wings, and seems less mischievous. The groins of these figures are strategically covered by a cloth similar to that draped around Lady 8’s cheeks and chin. Close to her, lower and on either side, matched peacocks face each other perched atop two other strands of foliage that emerge downward from behind the folds of the knotted neckerchief. Because peacocks were the birds of Juno in classical mythology, it may be tempting to so identify the female visage here, but she could just as easily strike a viewer as a smiling Venus, Primavera, Abundantia, or any anonymous if regal figure. In fact, we should probably see her as an oddly pacified Gorgon, for various French antecedents of Lady 8 suggest Medusa as her original. Whatever identification one may make (and such connotations were probably fluid during the era itself), what remains noteworthy about her serene gaze and the ornament it centers are the stylistic associations they brought to Shakespeare’s first publications, and the manner in which they became connected with his output.

Figure 3. “Lady 8” (Kirwood’s number 8 in his catalogue of Richard Field’s ornaments), detail from Plutarch, The Liues of the noble Grecians and Romaines (London, 1612), STC 20069, sig. A4r. Enlarged from original 103 × 28 millimeters.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
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Figure 3.

“Lady 8” (Kirwood’s number 8 in his catalogue of Richard Field’s ornaments), detail from Plutarch, The Liues of the noble Grecians and Romaines (London, 1612), STC 20069, sig. A4r. Enlarged from original 103 × 28 millimeters.

Reproduced by permission of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

Shakespeare and the Antike Style

Pagan and beguiling, Lady 8 is nothing if not a Renaissance symbol, a humanist image reflecting even as it advertises the implied classical textures of [End Page 52] Shakespeare’s two narrative poems. One in a family of such ornaments, this headpiece’s busy admixture of materials participates in a larger European genre of intricate decoration that has been identified by many names, including “grotesque,” “fantastic,” and “early mannerist.”9 During the Elizabethan era, this ornament’s style might also have drawn a specific term from Shakespeare’s contemporaries: the “antike.”10 “Antike” is a useful word for understanding the cultural aesthetics of this time in part because it defines Elizabethan art’s familiar attraction to and ability to enfold the delightfully multifarious—the strange and the familiar, the ordered and the disordered, the new and the old. It is also a helpful term through which to conceive Shakespeare’s achievement in particular, for its suggestion of the almost indiscriminately copious points toward the wild heterogeneity of the worlds he made.

The locus classicus of “antike” theory in the English Renaissance actually traces to the moment of its decline in the Jacobean era, when it was possible to look back on the style’s development with an objective eye. In the thirteenth chapter of The Art of Drawing, originally published in 1606 and subsequently in 1607, Henry Peacham defines a style he spells “antique”:

ANTIQVE so called ab antiquitate, because the inuention and vse therof aboue all other kinds among the Graecians especially was most auncient and in greatest request, the Italian calleth it L’antica: it hath the principall vse in plate, clocks, armour, all manner of compartmentes, curious Architecture, borders of maps, &c: Though you shall seldome haue any greate vse of it, yet I woulde haue you know what it is, and what to obserue in it: The forme of it is a generall, and (as I maye say) an vnnaturall or vnorderly composition for delight sake, of me[n], beasts, birds, fishes, flowers, &c without (as wee say) Rime or reason, for the greater variety you shew in your inuention, the more you please, but remembring to obserue a method or continuation of one and the same thing throughout your whole work without change or altering. [End Page 53]

You may, if you list, draw naked boyes riding and playing with their paper-mills or bubble[-]shels vppon Goates, Eagles, Dolphins &c: the bones of a Rammes head hung with strings of beads and Ribands, Satyres, Tritons, apes, Cornu-copia’s, Dogges yoackt &c drawing cowcu[m]mers, cherries & any kind of wild trail or vinet after your owne inuention, with a thousand more such idle toyes, so that heerein you cannot bee too fantastical.11

Perhaps appropriately, Peacham seems of multiple minds when explaining this involved style: crediting its origins to the Greeks, he prefers a Latin spelling while nevertheless giving it a modern habitation in the Italian “L’antica.” Likewise, though he calls the style “vnnaturall or vnorderly,” he is at pains to talk about the natural creatures and plants that populate it, and insists that his artist “obserue a method or continuation of one and the same thing … without change or altering”—nothing if not the definition of an “order.” As if shoring up the diversity of his own explanation, Peacham goes on to inventory the diverse creatures, decorations, fruits, and vegetables this style offers, concluding by assuring his sophisticated reader that “heerein you cannot bee too fantastical.”

This insouciant passage comes closer than any other commentary to defining the fantastic, Pan-European decorative style that one finds both in the Lady 8 ornament and in numerous other objects and illustrations of the period. It seems all the more significant, then, that these remarks appear in the text most dedicated to the question of style, generally conceived, and a text whose title page was itself ornamented with Lady 8 when published in its first two editions (see Figure 4). Was this merely an interesting accident of the print marketplace—a stylish ornament decorating a work itself devoted to the discussion of style in art? The larger contexts associated with this publication suggest that its conjunction of ornament and author may not have been coincidental. For Henry Peacham (1578–1644?) was a talented writer and illustrator with a notable connection to Shakespeare’s works. He is best remembered today for his sketch and quotation of Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus preserved in the Longleat manuscript, a rendering most likely executed around 1594, when Venus and perhaps Lucrece as well had been published with the Lady 8 ornament on their title pages. [End Page 54]

Figure 4. H[enry] Pecham, The art of dravving (London: Richard Braddock, 1607), STC 19500.5, title page. The art of dravving was originally published in 1606 (STC 19500).<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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Figure 4.

H[enry] Pecham, The art of dravving (London: Richard Braddock, 1607), STC 19500.5, title page. The art of dravving was originally published in 1606 (STC 19500).

Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

In a biographical study, Katherine Duncan-Jones begins a chapter on three “early readers” of Shakespeare by focusing on Peacham, whom she labels a “play-goer.”12 This designation is understandable because Peacham almost surely witnessed a performance of Titus Andronicus before executing—with whatever goal of representational fidelity—the tableau we acknowledge as the “unique visual image of one of Shakespeare’s plays in performance in the Elizabethan period.”13 Yet the repetition, after a dozen years’ time, of “Shakespeare’s” ornament from Venus and Lucrece on the title page of the illustrator’s own The Art of Drawing asks us to consider expanding Duncan-Jones’s designation of Peacham as a playgoer. For Peacham may also have been a continuing admirer of Shakespeare’s style, broadly conceived. At the time he made his drawing, Peacham must have thought this style to be elite, classical, and aristocratic. His [End Page 55] landmark illustration asks us to consider the connections among playhouse costumes and properties like the crown and wig on the kneeling queen, London’s market in elite luxury goods of this very sort, and such literary representations of classical subjects as Venus, Lucrece, and Titus.14 As we will see, the ornament that had crowned Shakespeare’s first elite publications seems to have remained a marker of that style into the seventeenth century.15 To understand how and why it may have retained such resonance as Peacham’s book was being readied for the press, and republished, we will need to inquire more into its background.

French Connections

Where did the Lady 8 ornament come from? So little information was recorded about printers’ ornaments during the period—in England and on the Continent alike—that we are likely to learn few hard facts about its provenance: who designed, executed, and sold it, for example, are still mysteries, and may remain so. Owing to the massive disappearance of printed matter from this time, we cannot even be confident that we know all the books it decorated. We may, however, learn something about the ornament from print that has survived—including but not limited to books in which it appeared. For examining ornaments it most resembles helps suggest a general place and time of origin, as well as the kinds of books with which early readers may have associated it. As these opulent ornaments moved over time from classical tomes like those of Thucydides, Herodotus, and Plutarch to vernacular works like those of Shakespeare, readers would have intuited the continuation of their expressive function. Interacting with the titles they preceded—whether the “titles” were of books, parts of books, or aristocratic patrons—they conveyed prestige owing to the boldness of their conception and the intricacy of their execution. As we will see, they also seem to have absorbed significance from the texts and individuals [End Page 56] with which they were associated, effectively accruing meaning from their history of deployment.

It is likely that readers of the era saw the Lady 8 ornament as French in style if not indeed in origin, for it derived from a family of headpieces employed by French printers and publishers across the middle and later parts of the sixteenth century. Thus, it bears witness both to the remarkable flourishing of Parisian typography in the early 1500s and to the scattering of that efflorescence across Europe, and even into England, following the vicious persecutions of the wars of religion. Headpieces in this genre, as noted with the Lady 8 ornament, feature a paradoxical mix of the low and high, comic and serious, grotesque and elite, usually framing a central figure of mythopoetic origins (such as a satyr, a ram or goat, regal lady, or bearded green man) in a balanced but not mirrored arrangement of vines, flowers, cornucopias, and attendant creatures. As inflected in various European printers’ ornaments, this style had its roots in the work and school of the Parisian typographer Geoffroy Tory, whose imaginative designs spurred the development of a family of “antike” headpieces across the middle of the sixteenth century.16 These striking bandeaux gravés would come to adorn the classical-language texts of the Estienne family of printers and publishers—arguably the leading family of French printing during the Renaissance.17 From at least the 1560s onward, we see such headpieces employed for weighty, serious texts in folio, such as the works of classical writers like Herodotus and Thucydides and of church fathers like Eusebius. Many of these texts were printed in Geneva as well as Paris, for religious conflict had led to the exodus from Paris of a large number of fine printers. These included Henri Estienne II and two of his sons, who, like other printers of Calvinist orientation, found safe haven in Geneva. There, as well as in Huguenot strongholds [End Page 57] like La Rochelle, religious exiles would continue the metropolitan traditions of elegant typography, often embellishing their sacred imprints—including the Bible, Calvin’s sermons, and other religious texts—with these sensuously “pagan” ornaments.18

During this period, headpieces based in Tory’s already involved style were further influenced by the so-called school of Fontainebleau. As its name implies, this style characterized the decorative arts of Henri I’s court at the royal Château de Fontainebleau. In the 1530s and after, a group of resident Italian and Flemish artists had worked to produce a “modernized antiquity” that, taking “its inspiration from the epicureanism of the epoch” and “the humanism of the elite,” was “courtly … sumptuous, intentionally gallant, even licentious.”19 This was a total style, confined not to a single form but rather unfolding across a variety of media including stucco, engraving, jewelry, painting, sculpture, and weaving. Its hallmark was sensuous abundance without concern for social decorum. Peacham’s “naked boyes riding and playing with their paper-mills or bubble[-]shels vppon Goates, Eagles, Dolphins &c” are offshoots of the Fontainebleau style, which, adapting Italianate designs and content, can be seen as the master mode behind the “antike.”

The significance of this French style for Renaissance literature in English is perhaps something we need to be reminded of rather than learn, for even though such ornaments were used by English printers later than by their counterparts on the Continent, they were a regular part of fine printing in Elizabethan England. We could take as example the headpiece that decorated a collection of the church father Rufinus’s writings produced by the Parisian humanist printer Michel Sonnius in 1580 (see Figure 5). This majestic headpiece [End Page 58] was evidently widely admired, for it appeared, in various sizes and states, in the books of a number of printers both continental and English.20 It has elements of the “school of Tory” in its liquid representation of bodies and its use of blank space, yet in the abundance issuing from the pedestal supporting the central figure as well as from the pedestal’s scroll finishes one can already see traces of the busy Fontainebleau style. As we have noted with the Lady 8 headpiece, such abundance will be especially characteristic of ornaments in the latter half of the sixteenth century.

Figure 5. Rufinus Aquilejensis. Opuscula quaedam, partim antehac nunquam in lucem edita, partim nuper emendata et castigate (Paris: Michel Sonnius, 1580), 231.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.
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Figure 5.

Rufinus Aquilejensis. Opuscula quaedam, partim antehac nunquam in lucem edita, partim nuper emendata et castigate (Paris: Michel Sonnius, 1580), 231.

Reproduced by permission of the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Vienna.

As a printer, Sonnius excelled in humanistic texts, including those in Latin and Greek. Like London’s judicious Edward Blount, he was also a publisher of both Montaigne and Cervantes.21 In 1623 it was Blount who famously added Shakespeare to this duo, where we are of course familiar with the version of Sonnius’s ornament that William Jaggard used prominently to introduce the First Folio. Of its four appearances in the Folio, three come in its first nineteen pages. It appears, for instance, not only over the joint dedication to Pembroke and Montgomery but also above the table of contents and the first page of The Tempest, as well as with the Epilogue to 2 Henry IV later in the Folio. A brief comparison of Figure 6 to Sonnius’s ornament (Figure 5) reveals that the design used in the [End Page 59] English book has been re-engraved, with additional foliage lending it a busier, more “antike” style than its French original. Indeed, the sparer original form of the Sonnius ornament had appeared in the English books of John Wolfe (who often published texts related to France) not long after its debut on the Continent.22

The progressive adoption of French style is visible in English ornaments during the 1580s and after. We could begin to trace this process by examining two ornaments used to mark the ends of sections and of texts themselves. Figures 7 and 8 present two Gorgon tail-pieces. The first is found in the works of François Estienne, son of the famous Protestant scholar-printer Henri Estienne II (both of whom labored in exile in Geneva). The second (provided for comparison) is Thomas Vautrollier’s favorite icon, used frequently in this Huguenot scholar-printer’s English books. As Kirwood points out, Vautrollier owned two scarcely distinguishable versions of this tail-piece. This example comes from a text printed by Richard Field, who married into Vautrollier’s shop and used many of his ornaments. In this case, the text is actually one written by Henri Estienne II, and translated as A World of Wonders (STC 10553).

The Vautrollier/Field ornament (Figure 8) is clearly related to Estienne’s (Figure 7), though softened somewhat through a less threatening execution of the eyes and mouth. This female visage also found more elaborate expression that left no doubt as to its mythological source. Figure 9, also used by François Estienne, demonstrates that the cornucopias that will ultimately issue from Lady 8’s head began as Medusa’s snakes.23

If this aggressive Medusa icon formed the first stage of the image, then a second comes in the incorporation of the female visage in headpieces like the ones reproduced in Figures 10 and 11. Figure 10 accompanies a French humanist printing of Lipsius. Modeled closely on this ornament (which had appeared in various Rochelais texts throughout the 1580s), Figure 11 here comes from an English publication titled The French Historie, a remarkable poem by Anne Dowriche that chronicles three episodes of Protestant martyrdom [End Page 60] in France.24 Appropriately, it is printed with a French-style ornament. In this page opening (Figure 11), in fact, we see a double employment of the Rochelais Medusa.

Figure 6. Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, &amp; tragedies (London, 1623), sig. A6r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 22273, Fol.1, no. 05.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 6.

Mr. William Shakespeares comedies, histories, & tragedies (London, 1623), sig. A6r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 22273, Fol.1, no. 05.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Like the Rochelais text, Dowriche’s French Historie gives us a Medusa image at the second stage of its development. The serpents, while associated with the female visage, have become detached from it; their tails wind toward and almost seem a part of the flowering cornucopias on each side of the headpiece. Indeed, a third stage has these threatening snakes disappear or metamorphose in an almost Ovidian way into an ornament’s flora itself. For example, Figure 12 presents a headpiece printed by Estienne in Geneva in 1578 in which butterflies replace snakes.

The wax-like central fold of drapery beneath this figure’s chin (Figure 12) reveals the headpiece’s indebtedness to the style of Geoffroy Tory (in whose aesthetic even bodies can seem to “melt” like this). However, the liquid, A-shaped structures through which each of the satyrs leans, as well as the scroll flourishes that turn inward from the central pedestal, are part of the Fontainebleau style. Lady 8 also features these liquid A’s (see Figure 3 for comparison), and has similar, though not identical, detailing in the finish of its drapery. While sharing elements with the French Medusa ornaments, then, this headpiece—decorating a book devoted to an Englishman whose activities were celebrated by the [End Page 61] Protestant community, particularly the Huguenots—constitutes a bridge to the Lady 8 ornament that would first grace books in London in the coming decade.25

Figure 7. François Estienne, printer. Tail-piece from Plutarch, Les oeuvres morales et meslées de Plutarque, vol. 2 (Geneva, 1582), index, final page. Bibliothèque de Genève, Y 19.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Bibliothèque de Genève, Geneva.
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Figure 7.

François Estienne, printer. Tail-piece from Plutarch, Les oeuvres morales et meslées de Plutarque, vol. 2 (Geneva, 1582), index, final page. Bibliothèque de Genève, Y 19.

Reproduced by permission of the Bibliothèque de Genève, Geneva.

Vautrollier-Field: Three Elizabethan Stationers

The story of the Lady 8 ornament includes three printer-publishers in Elizabethan London: Thomas Vautrollier, Jacqueline Vautrollier (his wife), and Richard Field. Thomas Vautrollier was a French Huguenot refugee who had settled in England at the beginning of Elizabeth’s reign, working as a fine bookbinder before attaining success as printer and publisher.26 The Huguenot community to [End Page 62]

Figure 8. Tail-piece from Henri Estienne, A world of wonders (London, 1607), sig. C2r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 10553.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 8.

Tail-piece from Henri Estienne, A world of wonders (London, 1607), sig. C2r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 10553.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

which Vautrollier belonged was as renowned for its skill in arts and crafts as for its faith. Centered in the Blackfriars and celebrated for fine workmanship—with skills that extended from cloth- and papermaking to embroidery, printing, feather craft, and silver—immigrant Huguenots were strongly identified with the trade in luxury goods that made London what F. J. Fisher called a “centre of conspicuous consumption.”27 Solidly Calvinist in theology, many Huguenots nevertheless made their living by producing expensive consumer goods for London’s elite, and bore the brunt of criticism for the apparent hypocrisy of such ungodly efforts. Ben Jonson’s Alchemist gives us a sense of the Blackfriars’s reputation as a shopping district run by puritans when he has Subtle indict Face as “A whoreson upstart apocryphal captain / Whom not a puritan in Blackfriars will trust / So much as for a feather!”28 The image of a puritan retailing feathers was clearly an attractive sidetarget [End Page 63] for Jonson’s satire, not least because it was based in reality. We do not know how Vautrollier managed to make the leaps in his career that he did—not only becoming a member of the Stationers’ Company but also quickly acquiring valuable patents for such writers as Cicero, Ovid, and Ramus (patents that were ultimately challenged by other members of the Company). But it is possible, perhaps even likely, that he was assisted early on by a fellow Huguenot refugee named Pierre Bonneval, a wealthy plumassier (“feather dresser”) who is said to have owned the second largest house in London, and later served as a witness to Vautrollier’s will. Whether this was the case, London benefitted from a thriving business in luxury goods (including books) manufactured by refugee Huguenots. Among these were the Vautrollier and the Mountjoy families—these last, tire-makers and landlords to Shakespeare.

Figure 9. François Estienne, printer. Tail-piece from Plutarch, Les oeuvres morales et meslées de Plutarque, vol. 2. (Geneva, 1582), sig. iij.v.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Bibliothèque de Genève, Geneva.
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Figure 9.

François Estienne, printer. Tail-piece from Plutarch, Les oeuvres morales et meslées de Plutarque, vol. 2. (Geneva, 1582), sig. iij.v.

Reproduced by permission of the Bibliothèque de Genève, Geneva.

A religious refugee in a period of tremendous sectarian violence, Vautrollier had early on dedicated himself to publishing reformist and controversial works, including those of Luther, Calvin, Theodore Beza, Heinrich Bullinger, Peter Martyr Vermigli, and Giordano Bruno. As these names suggest, Vautrollier was interested in thinkers of various nationalities, with an understandable concentration on French culture and politics. Vautrollier was deacon of the French Church on Threadneedle Street, and it was perhaps partly his religious orientation that led him to expand his printing and publishing activities into Calvinist Scotland, where he would briefly produce books from a press in [End Page 64] Edinburgh. Such books included, in 1584 and then again in 1585, The essayes of a prentise, in the diuine art of poesie (STC 14373 and 14374), a short collection of poetry by the young King James VI. And while educational titles formed part of Vautrollier’s catalogue—he had connections to Cambridge University, and published Cicero as well as Ramus—many of his publications were what we could call self-educational, works that provided practical patterns (sometimes quite literally) for disciplined readers to follow. Such books frequently displayed a remarkable technical discipline of their own; this was observable in the presswork of his handwriting manuals, foreign-language grammars, and books of music, many of which entailed painstaking typesetting and elaborate illustrations.29 The combination of beauty and utility—indeed usefulness through the discipline of art—typifies a Vautrollier imprint.

Figure 10. Les six liures des politiques, ou doctrine ciuile de Iustus Lipsius: où il est principalement discouru de ce qui appartient à la Principauté (La Rochelle: Hierosme Haultin, 1590).<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Collections de la Bibliothèque Municipale de Rouen, Rouen.
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Figure 10.

Les six liures des politiques, ou doctrine ciuile de Iustus Lipsius: où il est principalement discouru de ce qui appartient à la Principauté (La Rochelle: Hierosme Haultin, 1590).

Reproduced by permission of the Collections de la Bibliothèque Municipale de Rouen, Rouen.

Scholars usually mention Jacqueline Vautrollier (?–1611) only as a widow who married her late husband’s apprentice, Richard Field, thus giving him access to Vautrollier’s business. Yet she must have been much more than that. As Charles McMorris points out, Thomas Vautrollier worked in Edinburgh for extended periods of time during the 1580s, leaving his printing shop on various occasions “to the very capable supervision of his wife, Jacqueline.”30 Indeed, she completed an imprint of one of Luther’s commentaries that her husband had begun prior to his death in 1587 (STC 16968), and for awhile attempted to continue producing books under her own name (see STC 15412–15414.4) until [End Page 65] the Stationers’ Company forbade her from doing so, “by reason that her husband was noe printer at the time of his decease.”31 Whatever special arrangement had led the Company to tolerate Thomas’s activity as a stationer was thought not to extend to his widow, or, presumably, to any of their four sons (who later were involved in the printing business themselves). Therefore, it was perhaps from a combination of pragmatism and romance that she married Field in January of 1589, a year and a half after Vautrollier’s death. Field assumed at least titular control of Vautrollier’s business, though we may guess that Jacqueline, who lived until 1611, played a large, if typically uncredited, role in that success.32

Figure 11. Anne Dowriche, The French Historie (London, 1589), STC 7159, sigs. A4v–B1r.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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Figure 11.

Anne Dowriche, The French Historie (London, 1589), STC 7159, sigs. A4v–B1r.

Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

[End Page 66]

Figure 12. Antoine Chuppin, publisher. La navigation du capitaine Martin Forbisher Anglois (Geneva, 1578), sig. B1r.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of The Universitätsbibliothek Basel.
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Figure 12.

Antoine Chuppin, publisher. La navigation du capitaine Martin Forbisher Anglois (Geneva, 1578), sig. B1r.

Reproduced by permission of The Universitätsbibliothek Basel.

Indeed, for the remainder of Elizabeth’s reign and almost the entirety of James’s, Field would build on the Vautrolliers’ achievement, making a name for himself as one of London’s more distinguished printers and publishers. Like Thomas Vautrollier, Field associated himself with particular kinds of books. Indeed, Field seems consciously to have imitated Vautrollier’s house style as well as reprinting his successful titles and sustaining, through dedications and publication, lines of affiliation to various patrons (including Lord Burleigh and King James) whom Vautrollier had cultivated. Field took up and extended Vautrollier’s emphasis on French titles, adding new works of French-language learning, politics, history, and culture to those that his master had published. He also branched out significantly into Italian publications and translations. Above all, Field continued Vautrollier’s carefulness as a printer, undertaking [End Page 67] jobs that called for intricate and creative presswork. Although scholars often comment on the remarkably clean presentation of Venus and Adonis (a text with very few printing errors), such attention to detail was actually the rule rather than the exception for Field. Diagrams and complicated typography were common in his books. From the shaped poetry of George Puttenham’s Arte of English Poesie (1589; STC 20519–20519.5) and the lace patterns of Cesare Vecellio’s True perfection of Cutworks (1598; STC 24627a.6) to the mathematical instruments and trajectories illustrated in Thomas Smith’s The art of gunnery (1600; STC 22855.5) and the four-part page (each with different fonts, variously Latin and Hebrew) of William Bedwell’s explication of the book of Obadiah, Prophetia Hhobadyah (1601; STC 2787.7), many Field books—like Vautrollier’s before them—conveyed prestige and value through their meticulous presentation of visual information.33

Field’s most significant addition to the Vautrollier line came in literary titles. Literature had been only a small part of Vautrollier’s publications, and the poetry he published was decidedly Protestant in nature. In addition to the young Scottish king’s Essayes of a prentise, for instance, Vautrollier had brought out the works of the French Huguenot poet Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas (whose Uranie James had translated and included in his Essayes) and, notably, the Calvinist Arthur Golding’s translation of Ovid’s Metaphorphoses. Field’s commitment to literature was decidedly broader, but, like Vautrollier, his taste ran to what could be presented in an elite manner. In addition to the Metamorphoses (one of the literary best sellers of the era), Field printed the works of Horace, Homer, and Virgil. He also published or printed works of contemporary authors, such as John Harington’s translation of Orlando Furioso (1591; STC 746) and his Ajax pamphlets (1596; STC 12771.5, 12772, 12773.5, 12773.7, 12779, 12779.5); Robert Greene’s Pandosto (1592; STC 12286) and Arbasto (1594; STC 12220); Venus and Adonis (1593; STC 22354) and Lucrece (1594; STC 22345); Thomas Campion’s Poemata (1595; STC 4544) and Observations in the art of English poesie (1602; STC 4543); Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene (1596; STC 23082); Petruccio Ubaldini’s Rime (1596; STC 24483); Philip Sidney’s Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia (1598; STC 22541); John Davies’s Hymnes of Astraea, in acrosticke verse (1599; STC 6351) and Nosce teipsum (1599; STC 6355); and, much later, Robert Southwell’s St Peters complainte and Mary Madal[ens funerall] teares (1620; STC 22965). [End Page 68]

It is worth pausing here to point out several of these imprints’ connections with and use of female figures. This was an era of courtly compliment, of course, but the Field publications relating to literature seem to have paid special tribute to resonant female identities. We have already noticed Vautrollier’s habitual use of the Medusa ornament in many of his texts, and also the later, close conjunction of Lady 8 with the two female names, “Venus” and “Lucrece,” on these poems’ initial title pages. A quick glance through the literary titles listed above reveals not only The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia and The Faerie Queene, but also Hymnes of Astraea and Mary Magdalene’s Funeral Tears. Most of these titles originated with other publishers, yet found a home in Field’s printing house. Significantly, the female face would act as prologue to a work from Field’s shop that itself can be seen as having introduced a remarkable decade of literary achievement. That is, various copies of George Puttenham’s Arte (1589) came illustrated not only with the Gorgon’s head device as punctuation to Field’s preface epistle, and a pacified Gorgon within a factotum to end books 1 and 3, but also a special engraving of Queen Elizabeth (see Figure 13).34

Rarely again employed outside this text, this portrait of the Queen may have been elicited by Puttenham’s undeniably forward blazon of his monarch—what Anna Riehl has called “the most encompassing poetical description of the ‘real’ Elizabeth”—quoted in the pages of the Arte as an ostensible illustration of poetic method.35 Puttenham’s “Partheniade written of our soveraigne Lady” treats “her forehead, browes and haire” and includes passages on “her lips … And of her eyes.” As though extending the Medusa theme that we have seen behind the Lady 8 ornament, and which Field would emphasize in his choice of ornaments for the Arte, Puttenham notes that, as a perfect embodiment of all creatures, Elizabeth combines the serpent’s wisdom with an angel’s beauty. His verses make this explicit and locate the combination in the head and face of his queen: “And feately fixt with all good grace, / To Serpents head an Angels face.”36

Wisdom and beauty here merge into an uncanny double of the Medusa image, one of which Field had inherited with his master’s shop, but which he employed in more pointed ways with literary titles like Puttenham’s. Whatever its prompt, then, Field’s portrait of an exceptionally regal woman, printed a year [End Page 69] before the first appearance of the Lady 8 ornament, would articulate the connection between literature and femininity evident in many Field works, a connection that the title pages of both Venus and Lucrece would exploit.37

Figure 13. Portrait of Elizabeth I. [George Puttenham], The arte of english poesie (London: Richard Field, 1589), STC 20519.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.
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Figure 13.

Portrait of Elizabeth I. [George Puttenham], The arte of english poesie (London: Richard Field, 1589), STC 20519.

Reproduced by permission of the Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin.

Field’s carefulness as a printer and publisher is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in his use of ornaments. Kirwood noted this in passing while praising his typography: “There remains a quality about most of Field’s books which seems peculiarly his own. Expressed broadly, this is a general sense of fitness and proportion best exemplified in his choice and arrangement of type for title pages and dedications and his use of ornaments and initials. Many printers seem to have been content with whatever ornament or initial lay nearest to hand; Field nearly always chose with care, paying due regard to the final effect of the printed page.”38 What Kirwood calls “discrimination,” in fact, might better [End Page 70] be termed “decorum”: following Vautrollier’s lead, Field almost always suits the borders and ornaments of his texts to their subject matters. Unlike various Genevan printers and some of his London colleagues, for instance, Field keeps his “pagan” ornaments largely separate from the Christian content of his religious imprints—typically using, for works of a religious nature, nonrepresentational, patterned borders made up of matching “flowers,” or ornaments without mythological or fleshly figures.39

It is important to note that Field used several ornaments for particular dedicatees or topics. In much the way that Vautrollier’s famous “Anchora Spei” device identified a book from his press (and from his wife’s and Field’s after it), several ornaments from this shop would connect particular books and pages with specific themes, communities, and individuals through their patterns of deployment. For example, one particular headpiece—Kirwood’s number 12—was used only with dedications to Elizabeth (see Figure 14). Field used this ornament over dedications to Elizabeth in three editions of Plutarch’s Lives (1595, STC 20067–20067.5; 1603, STC 20068–20068b; 1610/12, STC 20069), and in his edition of Nepos’s Lives (1602; STC 20071). He appears never to have used it other than for dedications to the Queen (“Princesse”).

Another indexical ornament was the phoenix/eagle that Field employed only on the title pages of his Italian publications (see Figure 15). This ornament appears on the Ubaldini book pictured in Figure 15 and on the title pages of Ubaldini, Parte prima delle brevi dimostrationi (1592; STC 24479), Lo stato delle tre corti Altrimenti (1594; STC 24485), Scelta di alcune attioni (1595; STC 24484), La vita di Carlo Magno Imperadore (1599; STC 24487), and nowhere else in Field’s surviving books. Clearly an “Ubaldini” ornament, it flagged this writer’s Italian-language imprints from Field’s house. Taken in the context of Field’s branding anchor device, and his careful decorum of ornament use in relation to religious and secular publications, respectively, the specificity of the Elizabeth and phoenix/eagle ornaments confirms the perdurable identity that ornaments could assume in his print shop. The Lady 8 ornament was not so specifically identified, but nonetheless came to be connected with international Protestantism (specifically, that espoused by the French Huguenots), aristocracy, and William Shakespeare. [End Page 71]

Figure 14. Plutarke, The lives of the noble grecians and romaines (London: Richard Field, 1612), sig. A3r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 20069.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 14.

Plutarke, The lives of the noble grecians and romaines (London: Richard Field, 1612), sig. A3r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 20069.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Lady 8 in Print

The Field shop owned the Lady 8 ornament but, over the course of thirty-six years of printing and publishing, loaned or rented it to two other stationers: Robert Robinson and his successor, Richard Bradock. Such transfers were not uncommon. Pointing out that an attractive decoration like a woodcut compartment “must have been of value, and probably was considered to add greatly to the attractiveness of a book,” R. B. McKerrow suggested that there is “nothing improbable in the idea that printers hired such things from one another.”40 Whatever they were based on, exchanges of ornaments, initials, and devices were frequent, as both McKerrow and Peter W. M. Blayney have shown.41 What motivated such exchanges, however, has not been addressed. We can begin such a project by tracing this particular ornament’s trajectory through print, paying attention to when it was loaned out and which imprints it was used for. The following table charts appearances (known to the author) of the Lady 8 ornament in STC books from 1589 to 1624. [End Page 72]

Figure 15. Petruccio Ubaldini, Militia del gran duca di Thoscana Capitoli (London, 1597), STC 24482.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of The British Library Board.
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Figure 15.

Petruccio Ubaldini, Militia del gran duca di Thoscana Capitoli (London, 1597), STC 24482.

Reproduced by permission of The British Library Board.

Field held the ornament for three-quarters of his career, letting it out of his hands five different times between 1589 and 1624 to Robinson (who appears to have possessed it for a total of three years) and Bradock (who had it for a total of six-and-a-half years) respectively. During this period the Lady 8 ornament appeared in at least twenty-two discrete titles (or twenty-six imprints total), and on thirty-six pages of these twenty-two titles. Of these thirty-six appearances, eleven accompany dedications (usually by “crowning” them), including those to Elizabeth (one), James (two), Burleigh (one), Essex (one), Leicester (one), and Henry of Navarre (one), as well as Sir John Puckering (Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal), William Roe (Lord Mayor of London), Thomas Smith (Essex’s secretary), and John Montfort (a scholar). In one book, Lady 8 appears on a page facing a dedication to the Herbert brothers, Pembroke and Montgomery—the aristocrats to whom the First Folio, as so many other texts, would be dedicated. If not quite a third of the ornament’s appearances come with dedications, nine (or a quarter) grace title pages, with the remaining uses surfacing in section or chapter breaks (eleven), the first page of texts (four), and over an address to the readers (one). It is worth noting some patterns in [End Page 73]

Table 1. Appearance of the Lady 8 ornament in books listed in the Short-Title Catalogue and published 1589–1624.a
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Table 1.

Appearance of the Lady 8 ornament in books listed in the Short-Title Catalogue and published 1589–1624.a

[End Page 76]

Field’s usage. In over 300 imprints, he uses Lady 8 on title pages only twice, for Venus and Lucrece. (For their parts, Robinson and Bradock would do this with other titles.) And although, as we have seen, Field published a number of other vernacular literary texts in the 1590s, he used this ornament only for Shakespeare’s two poems. Field would not employ Lady 8 for a religious publication until 1601 when it appeared with William Bedwell’s ornate, typographically challenging Prophetia Hhobadyah. But the first time he rented or loaned the ornament to Robinson, it quickly graced two works of religious controversy: Philippe Du-Plessis Mornay’s The Trueness of Christian Religion (STC 18150) and Andrew Willet’s Tetrastylon Papisticum (STC 25701). Robinson would use the Lady 8 ornament nine times in Mornay’s text—the most it would appear in any single book, and a full quarter of all the pages it would adorn during Field’s career. In light of the French associations we have noted in Lady 8’s style, it seems significant that Du-Plessis Mornay (1549–1623) was a leading Huguenot; he was called, in fact, “the Huguenot Pope.”42

Two aspects of the texts that the Lady 8 ornament adorned bear mentioning. First, many of these texts are connected with France. If Robinson borrowed the ornament expressly for the Mornay text in 1592, Field would similarly retrieve it from Bradock, fifteen years later, to publish with the work of another Huguenot controversialist, Henri Estienne. We might sense that this was a special occasion, for after Field published Estienne’s World of Wonders, he returned the ornament to Bradock. It seems, then, that Field may have considered the ornament especially appropriate to Estienne’s text, even as Robinson may have sought it out expressly for Mornay’s. What these texts have in common is their connection to Huguenot culture. Significantly, its final use in Field’s lifetime came in 1624, over a dozen years since its prior appearance, in a version of Camden’s Annals in French (see Figure 16).

Related to this French connection is a second important feature of the ornament’s deployment: it often appeared in texts that possessed a strongly Protestant orientation, were dedicated to a figure of forward Protestantism, or, in some cases, both. Here we could notice especially the early 1590s dedications to Leicester, Burleigh, and Essex. Mornay’s Trueness inflects this forward Protestantism with both a continental author and dedicatee, as is shown by its dedication to Henri of Navarre—still, at this date, the hope of Huguenots everywhere (he would nominally renounce Protestantism the following year in July of 1593). In addition to its role in the dedications to King James, the theme of international Protestantism was also picked up by Landgrave of Hessen [End Page 77]

Figure 16. [William] Camden, Annales des choses qvise sont passees en angleterre et irlande soubs le regne de Elizabeth (London: Richard Field, 1624), *2r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 4502.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 16.

[William] Camden, Annales des choses qvise sont passees en angleterre et irlande soubs le regne de Elizabeth (London: Richard Field, 1624), *2r. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 4502.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

(1596). This pamphlet by Edward Monings recounts Sir Henry Clinton’s embassy to the baptism, at Kassel, of the Princess Elizabeth, daughter to the Landgrave Moritz of Hessen. The Princess Elizabeth was the goddaughter of Queen Elizabeth; the Landgrave himself was a powerful ally to the English with a Calvinist orientation.43 Not only did the Calvinist Estienne’s World of [End Page 78] Wonders feature the ornament, but texts by the Italian Protestant Petruccio Ubaldini (circa 1545–99), and French-born Protestant Adrian Saravia (1532–1613)—both of whom lived in England—used it, as did Protestant texts by such English theologians, scholars, and preachers as Andrew Willet, William Bedwell, and Henry Smith, in addition to the Psalter.

These two contexts—French culture and international Protestantism—may seem far afield from the poetic narratives told in Venus and Lucrece, but so consistently were they flagged by the Lady 8 ornament that we can imagine them influencing the horizon of expectations of early book buyers and readers. Of course, Shakespeare dedicated both of his poems to Henry Wriothesley, the third Earl of Southampton (1573–1624), who has traditionally been connected to recusant Catholicism in England.44 And it is possible to read both narrative poems as deeply grounded in issues of the Counter Reformation. John Klause, for example, has demonstrated Shakespeare’s thorough familiarity with the works of the martyred poet, Robert Southwell (1561–95), showing how Shakespeare repeated and refashioned words and phrases of Southwell’s St Peters complainte in his own Roman poem, Lucrece. In Klause’s argument, “a most ‘Catholic’ poem, Lucrece, [was] lifted for [Southampton] by his poet out of the thought-world of a Jesuit.”45 Likewise, Richard Wilson has interpreted St Peters complainte itself as responding to Venus and Adonis; Wilson sees Shakespeare’s poem as expressing an interest, however apologetic, in the English state’s bloody repression of its Catholic subjects.46 If Shakespeare’s religious identifications and commitments remain unknowable, by this point it seems impossible to deny his lifelong interest in the old faith, or the manner in which the language, customs, offices, and settings of Catholicism permeate his works.47 That this interest also [End Page 79] suffuses the works of such forward Protestants as Sidney and Spenser, however, should caution us against underestimating the complexity of authors’ associations during this period.48 Too, we may wish to understand Southwell’s religious marginalization as akin rather than opposed to the marginalization of some Protestants in London—perhaps particularly those, like the Huguenots, who were additionally disenfranchised by their immigrant status, and potentially oppositionalist in their orientations. We need to be aware, further, of the role that print culture can play in the meaning of texts, for the ways in which works are made public do not always square with their authors’ intentions or desired affiliations.

These questions of affiliation seem particularly relevant in the case of the Lady 8 ornament because Field, Robinson, and Bradock all used the Lady 8 ornament from 1589 through at least 1603 in texts connected with the charismatic Earl of Essex and his followers. Essex, a notorious Francophile, was beloved of the Huguenots, who saw in him a figure of heroic opposition to Catholic despotism in Europe. That he attracted similar sentiments from the English recusant community only testified to the hopefulness he inspired in those out of power.49 This pattern commences with the ornament’s first appearance in 1589 in Walter Bigges’s Summarie and True Discourse, both editions of which were dedicated to Essex that year. Because Essex had famously absconded from England in April to join Drake’s Portuguese expedition, the basis of the connection between patron and topic (Drake’s West Indies raids in 1585–86) seems clear—a desire to capitalize on public interest in England’s heroic young favorite.50 A concern with the Essex circle continues in 1593 with Andrew Willet’s Tetrastylon: Willet had dedicated his 1588 emblem book (STC [End Page 80] 25695) to Essex, and dedicated Tetrastylon to Sir John Puckering, a “close ally” of the earl’s.51 In 1596, following the death of Drake, Field republished Bigges’s Summarie and True Discourse, once again using Lady 8 over the work’s dedication to Essex. In 1601, Field would print Bedwell’s Prophetia Hhobadyah dedicated in part to Thomas Smith (Essex’s secretary), with Lady 8 over the dedication, and two years later Bradock printed Essex’s Apologie with the ornament on the title page (see Figure 17).

Elizabeth died on 24 March 1603, making it more comfortable to republish Essex’s Apologie (early on, Essex had, wisely or otherwise, communicated his support to James—a notoriously open secret in England). The accession of James also led to a flurry of publications seeking patronage, two of which featured the Lady 8 ornament. On 11 April that year, eighteen days after the Queen’s death, Francis Herring’s short Latin poem congratulating the new sovereign was registered; when printed, it featured the Lady 8 ornament over its Latin dedication to James himself.

More significant that year from a Shakespearean perspective, however, was Thomas Greene’s A Poet’s Vision and a Prince’s Glory (see Figure 18). A second-rate work lauding the virtues of an anonymous “prince” from the North (obviously James himself), Greene’s poem is clearly a sycophantic bid for patronage of some kind. What makes it significant, however, is not only that Bradock printed it so that its title page resembled those of Venus and Lucrece—the first vernacular literary work to be printed as such since Shakespeare’s narrative poems—but also that Greene (circa 1578–1641) was personally associated with Shakespeare on what must have been an extremely familiar basis.52 Born, like Field and Shakespeare before him, in Stratford-upon-Avon, he matriculated at the Middle Temple before eventually returning to Stratford and becoming town clerk. He clearly knew Shakespeare well, for he referred to the playwright as his “cousin,” lodged with the Shakespeare family at New Place, and named his own children William and Anne. Given such acquaintance and the hometown that he shared with Shakespeare and Field, it seems unlikely that Greene would have been unaware of the similarity between the title page that Bradock constructed for his literary debut and its Shakespeare precedents; indeed, it is tempting to think that Greene played a role in its design. [End Page 81]

Figure 17. Robert Devereux, An apologie of the earle of essex (London: Richard Bradocke, 1603), STC 6788, title page.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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Figure 17.

Robert Devereux, An apologie of the earle of essex (London: Richard Bradocke, 1603), STC 6788, title page.

Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

We might pause here to examine evidence for this possibility from a similar design that Bradock had employed in his first and only Shakespeare publication, the 1600 first quarto of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (see Figure 19). Bradock appears not to have obtained the Lady 8 ornament until the following year, 1601, when he would use it on the first page of the Psalter (STC 2403.3). But when he printed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Thomas Fisher, he used two ornaments on the title page. The first was a device that Fisher—then new to the publishing business, and, like Greene, a member of the Inns of Court—seems to have had designed for his first imprint; this device punningly featured the halcyon, or “king fisher.” The second ornament was a version of the Medusa headpiece that, as we have seen, had been employed by French and Genevan printers for several decades before making its way to England. It is possible that Bradock deployed this headpiece for its resonance with the early imprints of Venus and Lucrece, fronting his Shakespeare quarto with an ornament similar to that which had appeared on Shakespeare’s narrative poems. In any case, Bradock would use the Lady 8 ornament for Greene’s poem in 1603, for the two editions of Peacham’s [End Page 82] Art of Drawing in 1606 and 1607, and on the title page of Henry Smith’s popular sermon, God’s arrow (STC 22667.5), in 1607. Dubbed “silver-tongued Smith,” this famous Elizabethan preacher had died in 1591. Field had published a number of his works, including a collection of his sermons the same year that Venus was first published (STC 22719). Probably because Smith was a religious author, Field did not use a pagan ornament like Lady 8 with his sermons. But Bradock seems to have had different values, and he was also printing Smith’s work at some remove from its date of original composition, in the years that witnessed the rise of Elizabethan nostalgia. Indeed, printing the Lady 8 ornament on the title page of Smith’s most famous sermon may have seemed a good way to suggest to potential buyers its Elizabethan flavor.

Figure 18. Thomas Greene, A poets vision, and a princes glorie (London, 1603), STC 12311, title page.<br/><br/>Courtesy of the Bodleian Library.
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Figure 18.

Thomas Greene, A poets vision, and a princes glorie (London, 1603), STC 12311, title page.

Courtesy of the Bodleian Library.

The last text with which Bradock would use the Lady 8 ornament may also have been an instance where he wished to suggest links to an earlier era; this was the only playbook the ornament would grace: John Day’s Humour out of Breath (see Figure 20). Day was a member of a short-lived syndicate of playwrights who wrote for the Children of the King’s Revels at the Whitefriars from 1607–8. As Mary Bly has shown, the plays of Day and his companions were [End Page 83]

Figure 19. A Midsommer nights dreame (London, 1600), STC 22302, title page.<br/><br/>Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.
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Figure 19.

A Midsommer nights dreame (London, 1600), STC 22302, title page.

Reproduced by permission of the Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

full of bawdy puns delivered by precociously sexualized female characters, a practice she and other critics trace back to Shakespeare’s voluble young heroines.53 Humour out of Breath was Day’s most Shakespearean comedy. Its title actually quotes Shakespeare’s own coterie play, The Comedy of Errors; as Antipholus of Ephesus says, “Fie, now you run this humor out of breath” (4.1.57). Characterizing Day’s drama as “one of the most sunshiny comedies of the period,” S. Schoenbaum points out that “It comes closer to As You Like It than anything else in Jacobean drama; the pastoral setting, the banished Duke, the carefree lovers, the joyous spirit and bright repartee—all remind one of [End Page 84] Shakespeare’s earlier work.”54 Bradock’s decision to print Day’s comedy with Lady 8 may therefore have been influenced by its resemblance to various Shakespeare texts; he may have expected buyers to remember the erotic textures of Venus and Lucrece, for instance, and the more happy romance of As You Like It, and so presented Humour out of Breath as a potentially titillating successor to those works. Even if he intended a design that would suggest merely a late-Elizabethan quality to Day’s comedy, the Lady 8 ornament would have been precisely the right choice.

Figure 20. Iohn Day, Humour out of breath (London, 1608), title page. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 6411.<br/><br/>Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Figure 20.

Iohn Day, Humour out of breath (London, 1608), title page. Folger Shakespeare Library Shelfmark: STC 6411.

Used by permission of the Folger Shakespeare Library under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Conclusion

A skeptical reading of the facts outlined above might maintain that the Lady 8 ornament, like other ornaments of its time, was merely a decoration—its appearance in texts linked with Huguenot culture and forward Protestantism [End Page 85] an accident attributable to Field’s marriage to a Huguenot widow who maintained connections with her people and their causes. A commercial decision, the argument might go, the selection of this headpiece for various texts had nothing to do with, and no implications for, their content: the Lady 8 ornament was merely “some prety knotte,” to use the words Sir John Harington employed when directing Richard Field how to print a section of Orlando Furioso in 1591.

Yet the response to Harington’s directive asks us to doubt this narrative of weightless choice, for on the manuscript where the knot was to appear Field, Jacqueline, or some other member of the establishment wrote in ink the number “51.”55 That is, when the author’s desire for a particular font (“in the same printe that Putnams book ys”) was joined to a much less particular request for a pretty ornament, the printing house responded with a very specific selection: 51, apparently “the number which the ornament bore in his stock.”56 What we see in this correspondence is a book being designed. As with any imprint, among the decisions the printing house needed to make were the font and ornaments (if any) it would use. Harington asked for a particular font for a specific portion of Orlando Furioso; the printing house acquiesced and determined which ornament was best for the page that Harington indicated. The demarcation of exactly which ornament to use (“51”) tells us, if we needed telling, that design was not left to the whim of a compositor reaching into an all-purpose tray for just any “prety knotte,” but was instead something planned out in advance and presumably on the basis of this printer’s deep professional experience.

None of this is particularly surprising when framed in relation to Harington’s notes or Field’s practice. Harington had an interest in bringing out the most impressive book he could; the same held true for the Field printing house, which had an investment of real and institutional capital to protect. Why should anyone think that the elements of style were invisible or inconsequential when it came to print? Far from being accidental, style was of course absolutely central to the period’s market in representations. Thomas Fisher must have planned months in advance for the publication of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; his personalized emblem would have taken time and forethought to devise, contract, and execute. The same must have been true for the Elizabeth portrait that Field printed with Puttenham’s Arte.

As we have seen, these choices can reveal relations as well as commitments. For instance, if it is difficult to imagine an individual closer to the Shakespeare family than Thomas Greene, it is nearly impossible to believe that his initial [End Page 86] foray into poetry was issued with the self-same ornament that Shakespeare’s first two narrative poems were printed with, and by a printer who had borrowed that ornament from their fellow Stratfordian, as the result of coincidence. Likewise, it is hard to explain as accident why this ornament was borrowed for a text by “the Huguenot Pope” (Mornay’s Trueness) and later retrieved by Field specifically for another Huguenot work, Estienne’s World of Wonder, if its connections with this French strain of Protestantism weren’t evident and worth trading on. That its last use by Richard Field’s printing house was, as we saw, in a French translation of Camden’s Annales emphasizes something that had become more than apparent over the years: Lady 8 was an elegant ornament, redolent of a feminine aristocracy and, owing to its stylistic heritage, well suited to such French texts. The putatively “interchangeable” nature of ornaments is called into question, then, precisely when they are circulated, among London’s printers and publishers, for use in specific imprints.

Little of this, it might be objected, redounds on Shakespeare the writer. Along with manuscript, speech, and the visual image, print was only one of four primary modes in which representations were commonly made public in his time.57 And even though the Lady 8 ornament traversed two of these modes (print and the visual image), in no way did it transform Shakespeare’s verbal achievement in Venus or Lucrece into something French, or Protestant. Indeed, the authorial ideology behind and intentions for these poems may have been otherwise, and controverted (rather than extended) by their appearance in print. Yet printed they were, and initially with the Lady 8 ornament. The form these poems acquired when first published connected them not only to each other, but also to a variety of imprints—past, present, and future—that had made and would make use of the Lady 8 ornament. As I have argued, it seems probable that the design of various later imprints was influenced by the prominent appearance of the ornament on Shakespeare’s early publications.

While scholars have long scrutinized Shakespeare’s relation to fellow Stratfordian Richard Field, his involvement with the artisanal community of Huguenots seems a compelling area for further research. Shakespeare’s Huguenot connections doubtless included Jacqueline Vautrollier-Field and her press, interests, and publishing connections, but also Marie and Christopher Mountjoy, his landlords at the corner of Silver and Monkwell Streets in the parish of St. Olave. The Mountjoys were makers of tires and wigs. We might imagine that the hairpieces they made would include some like those worn by [End Page 87] the boy actor in the Peacham drawing; their tires might have resembled the one worn by Lady 8 herself. In any case, this printer’s headpiece asks us to consider Shakespeare’s relation to an industry of luxurious adornment—in print, jewelry, and hairpieces alike—in early modern London. Finally, we could consider the implications of design in the print culture of Shakespeare’s day. Lady 8 was far from being only a space-filling unit of beauty. The ornament was that, of course, and such a function should not be underestimated. But the history of her employment in imprints of the time reveals a durable thematic: publishers and printers seem to have sought her out to decorate, even brand, works associated with France, Protestantism, and aristocracy. While not every publisher and printer was as careful when selecting ornaments as the Fields and their colleagues, the career of Lady 8 in print confirms that print culture during Shakespeare’s time often aspired to, and sometimes achieved, the powerful significations of a speaking picture. [End Page 88]

Douglas Bruster

DOUGLAS BRUSTER is Mody C. Boatright Regents Professor of American and English Literature and Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working on the chronology of Shakespeare’s plays and poems.

Footnotes

This essay has benefited from the helpful commentary of audiences at the Society for Textual Studies and the Renaissance Literature Seminar at the Huntington Library. For their expertise and assistance, I am grateful as well to Christophe Chazalon, Matt Cohen, Francesca Consagra, Paul Dijstelberge, Lukas Erne, Adam Hooks, John Klause, Reed Reibstein, Elizabeth Scala, and multiple anonymous readers for Shakespeare Quarterly. Abiding thanks go to my research assistant, Travis Knoll.

1. Cymbeline, in The Riverside Shakespeare, ed. G. Blakemore Evans, 2nd ed. (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997), 2.2.26–30. Subsequent quotations from Shakespeare follow this edition and will be cited parenthetically. For Gabriel Harvey’s marginalia, see Evans, ed., Riverside, 1965–66, esp. 1965. For analysis of Harvey’s remarks, see Michael J. Hirrel, “When Did Gabriel Harvey Write His Famous Note?” Huntington Library Quarterly 75 (2012): 291–99, esp. 296.

2. Ornaments like headpieces, tail-pieces, and printers’ flowers have sometimes fallen outside of the interest of historians of the book, who have attended more closely to engraved title pages, printers’ devices, and type font. For scholarly discussion of “decorations,” see Ronald B. McKerrow, An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students (New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 1994), 113–17; and Francis Meynell and Stanley Morison, “Printers’ Flowers and Arabesques,” The Fleuron: A Journal of Typography 1 (1923): 1–46. For the best introduction to the process by which these ornaments were produced, see Hugh William Davies, Devices of the Early Printers, 1457–1560 (London: Grafton, 1935), 128–32.

3. D. F. McKenzie, “Typography and Meaning: The Case of William Congreve,” in McKenzie, Making Meaning: “Printers of the Mind” and Other Essays, ed. Peter D. McDonald and Michael F. Suarez (Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 2002), 198–236, esp. 223. For readings sensitive to the symbolic dimensions of early modern typography and mise-en-page, see Juliet Fleming, “How to Look at a Printed Flower,” Word and Image 22 (2006): 165–87; “How Not to Look at a Printed Flower,” Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 38 (2008): 345–371; and “Changed opinions as to flowers,” in Renaissance Paratexts, ed. Helen Smith and Louise Wilson (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2011), 48–64. See also Zachary Lesser, Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2004), 52–80; and Matt Cohen, The Networked Wilderness: Communicating in Early New England (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2010), 65–91.

4. A number of manuscript pages of Harington’s Orlando Furioso survive in British Museum Additional 18920; these are remarkable in that they show an Elizabethan author in close contact with a printer regarding the design of his text in print. This manuscript was first noticed by Charles Hughes, “Puttenham’s ‘Arte of English Poesie,’” Notes and Queries 11th ser., 1 (1910): 404. See also W. W. Greg, “An Elizabethan Printer and his Copy,” The Library 4 (1923): 102–18, rpt. in Collected Papers, ed. J. C. Maxwell (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1966), 95–109; and McKenzie, “Typography and Meaning,” 205, 222–23. On the connections of Shakespeare to the book trade of his time, see Sonia Massai, Shakespeare and the Rise of the Editor (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2007), esp. 91–135; Adam G. Hooks, “Shakespeare at the White Greyhound,” Shakespeare Survey 64 (2011): 260–75; and “Introduction: Shakespeare for Sale,” Philological Quarterly 91 (2012): 139–150; Marta Straznicky, ed. Shakespeare’s Stationers: Studies in Cultural Bibliography (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 2013); and Lukas Erne, Shakespeare and the Book Trade (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013).

5. The phrase “set up” is meant to recall Michael Dobson’s landmark study of the “setting up” of Shakespeare in the eighteenth century. See The Making of the National Poet: Shakespeare, Adaptation, and Authorship, 1660–1769 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992), esp. 1–3. Attention to Shakespeare’s literary reputation has been deepened by a number of critics and works in the past decade. See Lukas Erne, Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist, rev. ed. (2003; Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2013); and Patrick Cheney, Shakespeare’s Literary Authorship (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2008).

6. Although they often appeared on title pages together and jointly contributed to a text’s attractiveness, printers’ devices and ornaments had distinct functions. A printer’s device would mark an imprint as the product of particular shop (an ornament like that of Thomas Fisher, discussed below, could perform the same for a publisher). More generalized ornaments could signal genre as well as announce other aspects connected with the text or dedicatee.

7. A. E. M. Kirwood, “Richard Field, Printer, 1589–1624,” The Library 4th ser., 12.1 (June, 1931): 1–39. Scholarly opinion now endorses the idea that Shakespeare saw his narrative poems “through the press personally” at his fellow Stratfordian’s establishment. See S. Schoenbaum, Shakespeare’s Lives (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1970), 64; and, more recently, Lois Potter, The Life of William Shakespeare: A Critical Biography (Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 123.

8. Field inherited from Thomas Vautrollier two copies of a tail-piece ornament that Kirwood labels 1a and 1b, calling them “Gorgon’s head with cornucopias” and identifying them as the ornament “most frequently used by Field.” See “Richard Field,” 27. One of these copies is reproduced as Figure 8.

9. On this style, see Alain Gruber, ed. The History of Decorative Arts: Classicism and the Baroque in Europe, trans. John Goodman (New York: Abbeville Press, 1996), particularly Johan R. Ter Molen, “The Auricular Style,” 25–91; Ursula Reinhardt, “Acanthus,” 93–155; and Bruno Pons, “Arabesques, or New Grotesques,” 157–223.

10. At this time, the words antike and antique shared significant overlap in meaning, spelling, and pronunciation. See OED Online (Oxford: Oxford UP, December 2014), http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/8519?rskey=BfP1bh&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed January 29, 2015), s.v. “antic, adj. and n.,” A2a, B1a, and B2–4; OED Online, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/8520?rskey=BfP1bh&result=2&isAdvanced=false (accessed January 29, 2015), s.v. “antic, v.,” 1–2; and OED Online, http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/8825?rskey=5bx1sK&result=1&isAdvanced=false (accessed January 29, 2015), s.v. “antique, adj. and n.,” A1–2 and B2. We might see a version of semantic association in Othello’s “antique token” (5.2.216), where the Moor’s qualifier may gesture toward the intricacies of the handkerchief’s embroidery no less than its age. Both words were pronounced with a recessive accent, on the first syllable, making confusion of the two more likely.

11. Henry Peacham, “Of Antique,” in The Art of Dravving (London, 1606), 35–36 (sig. F2r–v). Peacham’s work stands as a valuable introduction to Elizabethan aesthetics but may be supplemented by Nicholas Hilliard, A Treatise Concerning the Arte of Limning, ed. R. K. R. Thornton and T. G. S. Cain (Ashington, UK: Carcanet Press, 1992); John Buxton, Elizabethan Taste (London: Macmillan, 1963); Timothy Mowl, Elizabethan and Jacobean Style (London: Phaidon Press, 1993); and Bruce R. Smith, The Key of Green: Passion and Perception in Renaissance Culture (Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2009).

12. Katherine Duncan-Jones, Shakespeare: Upstart Crow to Sweet Swan, 1592–1623 (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2011), 55–91.

13. Duncan-Jones, Upstart Crow, 55. For a discussion of the Longleat drawing, see Thomas Postlewait, “Eyewitnesses to History: Visual Evidence for Theater in Early Modern England,” in The Oxford Handbook of Early Modern Theatre, ed. Richard Dutton (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009), 575–606, esp. 594–600.

14. On London’s insatiable appetite for “populuxe” goods, see Paul Yachnin, “The Populuxe Theatre,” in Anthony B. Dawson and Paul Yachnin, The Culture of Playgoing in Shakespeare’s England: A Collaborative Debate (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2001), 38–65; and “‘The Perfection of Ten’: Populuxe Art and Artisanal Value in Troilus and Cressida,” Shakespeare Quarterly 56 (2005): 306–27.

15. Peacham’s book was published during the initial wave of nostalgia for Elizabeth’s reign, a period when, as Michael Dobson and Nicola J. Watson put it, “Gloriana revives” in the cultural imagination. See Dobson and Watson, England’s Elizabeth: An Afterlife in Fame and Fantasy (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2002), 43–78. In print as on stage, the late queen was popular again, and for Bradock to print The Art of Drawing with an ornament that had appeared prominently on the title pages of two Elizabethan narrative poems may have been an attempt to capitalize on the stylistic associations of Peacham’s text. In 1607 Bradock would employ the ornament on the title page of another Elizabethan imprint; see Henrie Smith, Gods arrow against atheists (London, 1607), STC 22667.5.

16. For Geoffroy Tory’s influence on the typography of such printers’ ornaments, see Albert Fidelis Butsch, Die Bücherornamentik der Renaissance, 2 vols. (Leipzig: Verlegt von G. Hirth, 1878–80). The second part was originally titled Die Bücherornamentik der Hoch- und Spätrenaissance. Butsch identifies a “School of Tory” in these ornaments and includes such printers as Mathieu David, Charles Perier, Philippe Le Noir, Simon de Colines, and Robert Estienne. See Butsch, 2:7–13 and Tables 1–5, 12, 13, 14, and 17.

17. Members of the Estienne family are worth distinguishing. The patriarch of this family of printers was Henri Estienne I (1470–1520), who had three sons: François I (1502–53), Robert I (1503–59), and Charles I (1504–64). Robert I, like his brothers a printer, was himself father to three printers: Henri II (ca. 1528–98), Robert II (ca. 1530–71), and François II (1540–?). His son Henri II was a philologist, humanist, author, and printer; he was responsible for World of Wonders (1607; STC 10553), discussed in conjunction with Richard Field. For a bibliography of the family’s publications, see Annales de L’Imprimerie des Estienne ou Histoire de la Famille des Estienne et de ses Editions, ed. Antoine-Augustin Renouard (Paris: 1843; rpt. New York: Burt Franklin, 1963). See also Mark Pattison, The Estiennes: A Biographical Essay (San Francisco: Book Club of California, 1949).

18. On the Calvinist publishing community in Geneva, see the foundational work of E. H. Gaullieur, Études sur la typographie genevoise du XVe au XIXe siècles, et sur l’introduction de l’imprimerie en Suisse (Genève: Kessmann, 1855); and Paul Chaix, Recherches sur L’Imprimerie à Genève de 1550 à 1564: Etude bibliographique, économique et littéraire (Paris: Librarie E. Droz, 1954). These printers’ ornamentation have been catalogued and analyzed by Christophe Chazalon, “Les imprimeurs Jean de Laon actifs à Genève dans la seconde moitié du XVIe siècle” (Thèse de doctorat ès Lettres Université de Genève, 2009). See also Chazalon, “Le Luxe Selon la Loi au XVIe Siècle: Post Tenebras Lux(e),” in Donatella Bernardi et al., Post tenebras luxe: le luxe à Genève de la Réforme à nos jours: approches historiques et visuelles autour du Musée Rath (Genève: Labor et Fides, 2009), 13–30. I am grateful to Chazalon for sharing his research with me and for private communications (October 22, 2014) regarding the publishing community in Geneva.

19. Henri Baderou, The School of Fontainebleau (New York: French and European Publications, 1940), n. p. Eugene Albert Carroll explores the multiple manifestations of the Fontainebleau style in his analysis of two designs by Rosso Fiorentino (Giovanni Battista di Jacopo de’ Rossi, 1490–1540) that have links to various decorative works in Fontainebleau. See The Drawings of Rosso Fiorentino, 2 vols. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 1964), 2:409–15.

20. Prior to the Sonnius imprint, for example, the satyr ornament had also appeared in Robert Estienne’s printing of Guy de Faur’s Recueil de la Première Remonstrance faite en la cour de Parlement de Paris (Paris, 1573).

21. Pointing out that Blount “had an unparalleled gift for recognizing new works that would eventually become classics,” Gary Taylor sees the publisher as having had a “profound impact on English cultural life.” “Blount, Edward (bap. 1562, d. in or before 1632),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: OUP, 2004; online edition, 2008), http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/view/article/2686 (accessed January 24, 2015).

22. John Wolfe appears to have obtained a version of this ornament by 1583, for example, as it graces STC 800, 25344, and 5431 for the first time that year. Wolfe was notorious for his continental tastes and printed a number of texts with French or Italian orientation. On Wolfe’s activities in the print marketplace, see Harry R. Hoppe, “John Wolfe, Printer and Publisher, 1579–1601,” The Library 4th ser., 14 (1933): 241–88; and Denis B. Woodfield, Surreptitious Printing in England 1550–1640 (New York: Bibliographical Society of America, 1973), esp. 5–18, 24–33. Woodfield dubs Wolfe “the Innovator” for his “rewarding discovery” of the money to be made “by printing in foreign vernaculars, and using a fictitious imprint” (5–6).

23. On the myth of Medusa, see Marjorie Garber and Nancy J. Vickers, eds., The Medusa Reader (New York: Routledge, 2003), particularly the excerpts from Harington, Bacon, and Drummond, 67–72. For other Elizabethan contexts, see Armelle Sabatier, “‘Thou didst Medusa see, / And should thy selfe, a moving marble bee’: les statues de Méduse dans quelques poèmes élisabéthains,” Anglophonia 13 (2003): 185–94.

24. For an introduction to Dowriche’s text, see Megan Matchinske, “Moral, Method, and History in Anne Dowriche’s The French Historie,” English Literary Renaissance 34 (2004): 176–200.

25. Martin Frobisher (ca. 1535?–94) is perhaps best remembered for his quest to find the Northwest Passage, but had long blended his entrepreneurial activities at sea with support for the beleaguered Huguenot community. See James McDermott, Sir Martin Frobisher: Elizabethan Privateer (New Haven, CT: Yale UP, 2001), 53–54, 64, 85–89.

26. The most extensive account of Vautrollier’s life and activities is that of Charles Horatio McMorris, “Thomas Vautrollier: Huguenot Scholar-Printer” (master’s thesis, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1980). See also W. R. LeFanu, “Thomas Vautrollier, printer and bookseller,” Proceedings of the Huguenot Society 20 (1958–64): 12–25; and Colin Clair, “Thomas Vautrollier,” Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 35 (1960): 223–28; and “Refugee Printers and Publishers in Britain During the Tudor Period,” Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London 22 (1970/76): 115–26.

27. See F. J. Fisher, “The Development of London as a Centre of Conspicuous Consumption in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries” (1948), in London and the English Economy, 1500–1700, ed. D. J. Corfield and N. B. Harte (London: Hambledon Press, 1990), 105–18; and “London as an ‘Engine of Economic Growth’” (1971), in London and the English Economy, 185–98.

28. Ben Jonson, The Alchemist, ed. Peter Holland and William Sherman, in The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Ben Jonson, gen ed. David Bevington, Martin Butler, and Ian Donaldson, vol. 3 (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2012), 1.1.127–29.

29. A Vautrollier title was thus more likely to offer visual variety than those of his contemporaries. A good example of this comes with John De Beau Chesne and John Baildon’s writing manual, A booke containing diuers sortes of hands as well the English as French secretarie with the Italian, Roman, chancelry and court hands (London, 1571), which Vautrollier entered in the Stationers’ Register in 1569–70 and would publish regularly thereafter.

30. McMorris, “Thomas Vautrollier: Huguenot Scholar-Printer,” 28.

31. Qtd. in Robert Dickson and John Philip Edmond, Annals of Scottish Printing from the Introduction of the Art in 1507 to the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge: Macmillan and Bowes, 1890), 382–83. Prior to his death, Vautrollier had come under scrutiny for the unauthorized attempt to print John Knox’s History of the Reformation in Scotland, but this alone seems insufficient to have seen him stripped of his rights as a printer. It seems more likely that their status as an immigrant couple, along with the special nature of Vautrollier’s (now distant) permission to print and publish, worked against Jacqueline’s inheriting the right that went to many other widows.

32. At various moments this essay will attempt to acknowledge the likelihood of Jacqueline’s role in the day-to-day operations of Field’s publishing house, and its success, though the consolidating force of his name on title pages renders this largely guesswork. Discussing the complexities of this case within a larger exploration of women’s agency in the field of print in early modern England, Helen Smith concludes, “women’s labour is one of the material subtexts of the books we have inherited, and should be read alongside those books as a provocation and a challenge to the work of interpretation.” See “Grossly Material Things”: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2012), 111–12, 121–23, esp. 134. On women and the publishing industry, see also Maureen Bell, “Women in the English Book Trade 1557–1700,” Leipziger Jahrbuch zur Buchgeschichte 6 (1996): 13–45.

33. Such carefulness cemented Field’s place in the London publishing world. When, in 1614, William Bedwell would bring out De Numeris Geometricis. (Of the natvre and proprieties of geometricall nvmbers) (London, 1614; STC 21825), he pointed out that other London printers had “seeing in the copie diuers figures and diagrammes, refused to meddle with it” (A3r–v).

34. George Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie (London, 1589), STC 20519.5. For the repeated factotum, see 51 (sig. Iijr) and 258 (sig. Lliijv). Book 2 ends with Field’s Medusa tailpiece (Kirwood number 2); see 113 (sig. Qiijr).

35. Anna Riehl, The Face of Queenship: Early Modern Representations of Elizabeth I (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), 119. As Adam Hooks points out in a private communication (February 24, 2014), Field would employ this Elizabeth woodcut again in A booke, containing the trve portraitvre of the covntenances and attires of the kings of England […] (London, 1597), STC 23626, n. p.

36. Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie, 204 (sig. Ddiiijv).

37. The conjunction of Puttenham’s blazon, the Elizabeth portrait, and the printers’ ornaments in the Arte suggest that the selection of the Lady 8 ornament for Venus may have been guided not only by the poem’s elite ambitions, but also by its opening stanza’s emphasis on the face and head.

38. Kirwood, “Richard Field, Printer,” 20.

39. As is made clear in Table 1, Field twice uses the Lady 8 ornament for theological texts: Bedwell’s Prophetia Hhobadyah (London, 1601; STC 2787.7) and Saravia’s Diversi tractatus (Lond[on], 1611 for 1610; STC 21751). The former use came only after Robert Robinson and Richard Bradock had employed the ornament in religious works in English; the latter squares with Field’s interest in publishing the works of foreign-born Protestants.

40. Ronald B. McKerrow, Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices in England and Scotland, 1485–1640 (London: Chiswick Press, 1913), xlvii.

41. See McKerrow on the transfer of devices in Printers’ and Publishers’ Devices, 164–90; and Peter W. M. Blayney, The Texts of “King Lear” and their Origins, vol. 1: Nicholas Okes and the First Quarto (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1982), esp. Appendix IIID: “Borrowings and Lendings,” 491–97 and 673–76.

42. See Barbara Sher Tinsley, History and Polemics in the French Reformation: Florimond de Raemond: Defender of the Church (Cranbury, NJ: Susquehanna UP, 1992), 37.

43. Monings’s text was one of the books used for the Ireland forgeries; a copy with false notes and signatures by Shakespeare survives in the Warsaw University Library. On this text, Clinton’s disastrous performance, and the Ireland forgery, see the account by Anna Cetera, “History on the Margins: Shakespeare’s Forgery in The Landgrave of Hessen … (1596) by Edward Monings in the Early Printed Books Collection of the Warsaw University Library,” Anglia 125 (2007): 239–65. Cetera points out that Moritz was an aficionado of theater, building the Ottoneum in Kassel and hosting English players. His son Otto visited the Globe and other playhouses in 1611 (248–49 and nn.). See also June Schlueter, “English Actors in Kassel, Germany, During Shakespeare’s Time,” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 10 (1988): 238–61, esp. 250; and “Celebrating Queen Elizabeth’s German Godchild: The Documentary Record,” Medieval and Renaissance Drama in England 13 (2001), 57–81.

44. Richard Wilson sees Southampton, son of England’s leading Catholic, as having been “the great hope of Catholic resistance” in the early 1590s. See Wilson, Secret Shakespeare: Studies in Theatre, Religion and Resistance (Manchester: Manchester UP, 2004), 134. Yet S. L. Adams maintains that “Southampton may have had an impeccable recusant background but his personal religious position was and still remains a highly mysterious one. Politically he held the same views as Essex.” See “The Protestant Cause: Religious Alliance with the West European Calvinist Communities as a Political Issue in England, 1585–1630” (PhD diss., Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1973), 118.

45. John Klause, Shakespeare, the Earl, and the Jesuit (Madison, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson UP, 2008), 91. On Lucrece, Southwell, and Southampton, see esp. 75–108.

46. Richard Wilson, “A Bloody Question: The Politics of Venus and Adonis,” Religion and the Arts 5.3 (2001): 297–316; rev. and rpt. in Wilson, Secret Shakespeare, 126–43.

47. Commentary on Shakespeare’s relation to organized religion and the spiritual generally is considerable. Studies include Jean-Christophe Mayer, Shakespeare’s Hybrid Faith: History, Religion, and the Stage (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007); Alison Shell, Shakespeare and Religion (London: Arden Shakespeare, 2010); and Richard C. McCoy, Faith in Shakespeare (New York: Oxford UP, 2013).

48. See James W. Broaddus, “Spenser’s Redcrosse Knight and the Order of Salvation,” Studies in Philology 108 (2011): 572–604. Harington—one of Field’s authors—facetiously called himself a “protesting Catholicke Puritan.” See Elizabeth Story Donno, ed. Sir John Harington’s “A New Discourse of a Stale Subject, Called The Metamorphosis of Ajax” (New York: Columbia UP, 1962), 263.

49. In his biography of Essex, Robert Lacey provides a contemporary illustration of the Gunpowder Plotters and points out that, of the eight men shown, seven had been involved in the Essex Conspiracy in 1601. Robert, Earl of Essex: An Elizabethan Icarus (New York: Atheneum, 1971), illus. facing 211. We might also take Robert Parsons’s mischievous dedication, to Essex, of 1595’s A Conference abovt the next svccession to the crowne of Ingland ([Antwerp: A. Conincx], STC 19398) as an attempt to publicize the earl’s sympathy to Catholicism.

50. Such topicality would help to explain the special disclaimer published before the work, which insists, with whatever level of persuasiveness, that both the text and dedication had been written prior to the Armada.

51. The phrase “close ally” comes from N. G. Jones, “Puckering, Sir John (1543/4–1596),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford: OUP, 2004; online edition, 2007), http://www.oxforddnb.com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/view/article/22860 (accessed January 24, 2015).

52. For Greene’s biographical details, see Christopher Whitfield, “Thomas Greene: Shakespeare’s Cousin. A Biographical Sketch,” Notes and Queries 11 (1964): 442–55; and Robert Bearman, “Thomas Greene: Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Town Clerk and Shakespeare’s Lodger,” Shakespeare Survey 65 (2012): 290–305.

53. See Mary Bly, “Bawdy puns and lustful virgins: the legacy of Juliet’s desire in comedies of the early 1600s,” Shakespeare Survey 49 (1996): 97–109; and Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans on the Early Modern Stage (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000). Michael Shapiro adds Julia from The Two Gentlemen of Verona to Bly’s list of the Shakespearean erotic virgins behind the Whitefriars style. See his review of Queer Virgins and Virgin Queans on the Early Modern Stage, by Mary Bly, Journal of English and Germanic Philology 102:3 (2003): 427–29, esp. 429.

54. S. Schoenbaum, “John Day and Elizabethan Drama,” Boston Public Library Quarterly 5 (1953): 140–52, esp. 148.

55. See Greg, “An Elizabethan Printer,” 99–100.

56. Greg, “Elizabethan Printer,” 100. The ornament in question is actually the headpiece that Field had placed above the work’s dedication to Elizabeth (cf. Orlando Furioso [1591; STC 746, sigs. i, Mmii]), which Kirwood inventories as number 10.

57. See Helen Smith, “The Publishing Trade in Shakespeare’s Time,” in Andrew Murphy, ed., A Concise Companion to Shakespeare and the Text (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2007), 17–34, esp. 18.