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Penn State Series in the History of the Book

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Books and Religious Devotion

The Redemptive Reading of an Irishman in Nineteenth-Century New England

Allan F. Westphall

In Books and Religious Devotion, Allan Westphall presents a study of the book-collecting habits and annotation practices of Thomas Connary, an Irish immigrant farmer who lived in New Hampshire in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Connary led a pious life that revolved around the use, annotation, and sharing of religious books: his surviving annotated volumes provide a revealing glimpse into the utility of books for a common reader and into how one remarkable non-elite reader imagined book utilities and the iconic status of religious books. Through a careful excavation of book adaptations and enhancements, Westphall establishes a profile of an eccentric reader-cum-annotator that gives us insight into the range of opportunities provided by the material book for recording and communicating a reader’s religious fervor. The study also investigates the broader nineteenth-century cultural setting, in which books are seen as testimonies of personal faith and come to function as instruments of social interaction in both domestic and public spheres. Underlying Connary’s many and varied interactions with books is a belief that physical objects can materialize belief, and that working in them can be a devout exercise instrumental in human salvation.

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Into Print

Limits and Legacies of the Enlightenment; Essays in Honor of Robert Darnton

Edited by Charles Walton

The famous clash between Edmund Burke and Tom Paine over the Enlightenment’s “evil” or “liberating” potential in the French Revolution finds present-day parallels in the battle between those who see the Enlightenment at the origins of modernity’s many ills, such as imperialism, racism, misogyny, and totalitarianism, and those who see it as having forged an age of democracy, human rights, and freedom. The essays collected by Charles Walton in Into Print paint a more complicated picture. By focusing on print culture—the production, circulation, and reception of Enlightenment thought—they show how the Enlightenment was shaped through practice and reshaped over time. These essays expand upon an approach to the study of the Enlightenment pioneered four decades ago: the social history of ideas. The contributors to Into Print examine how writers, printers, booksellers, regulators, police, readers, rumormongers, policy makers, diplomats, and sovereigns all struggled over that broad range of ideas and values that we now associate with the Enlightenment. They reveal the financial and fiscal stakes of the Enlightenment print industry and, in turn, how Enlightenment ideas shaped that industry during an age of expanding readership. They probe the limits of Enlightenment universalism, showing how demands for religious tolerance clashed with the demands of science and nationalism. They examine the transnational flow of Enlightenment ideas and opinions, exploring its domestic and diplomatic implications. Finally, they show how the culture of the Enlightenment figured in the outbreak and course of the French Revolution. Aside from the editor, the contributors are David A. Bell, Roger Chartier, Tabetha Ewing, Jeffrey Freedman, Carla Hesse, Thomas M. Luckett, Sarah Maza, Renato Pasta, Thierry Rigogne, Leonard N. Rosenband, Shanti Singham, and Will Slauter.

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Lydia Bailey

A Checklist of Her Imprints

By Karen Nipps

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S. Weir Mitchell, 1829–1914

Philadelphia's Literary Physician

By Nancy Cervetti

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