Abstract

abstract:

How the conventions governing the structure and divisions of codices and the characteristic features of their parts made their way from the scholarly manuscripts of the late medieval period into printed books has been only cursorily examined by scholars. This essay traces the development in English print before 1540 of two paratextual elements, the table of contents and the index, which were at this time not strictly distinguished from one another. How did English printers describe tables of contents and indices, and what can these descriptions tell us about why printers found them worthwhile additions? The essay contends that writers and printers marketed these features as time-saving innovations and—in the case of early Reformation works—valued them as means to shaping and constraining how readers read.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1544-399X
Print ISSN
0018-7895
Pages
pp. 291-313
Launched on MUSE
2018-09-20
Open Access
No
Archive Status
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