By William H. Sherman
In a contemporary sale catalog, one bookseller apologized for the of a sixteenth-century quantity as "rather dirty by way of use." while the publication used to be displayed the following yr, the exhibition catalogue defined it as "well and piously used [with] marginal notations in an Elizabethan hand [that] convey to lifestyles an early and earnest owner"; and the book's client, for his half, thought of it to be "enlivened through the marginal notes and comments." For this collector, as for a growing number of cultural historians and historians of the e-book, a marked-up reproduction used to be extra fascinating than one in pristine condition.
William H. Sherman recovers a tradition that took the word "mark my phrases" really actually. Books from the 1st centuries of printing are jam-packed with marginalia and different indicators of engagement and use, reminiscent of custom-made bindings, lines of food and drinks, penmanship workouts, and doodles. those marks supply an unlimited archive of knowledge concerning the lives of books and their position within the lives in their readers.
Based on a survey of hundreds of thousands of early revealed books, Used Books describes what readers wrote in and round their books and what we will be able to research from those marks through the use of the instruments of archaeologists in addition to historians and literary critics. The chapters tackle where of book-marking in colleges and church buildings, using the "manicule" (the ubiquitous hand-with-pointing-finger symbol), the position performed by means of girls in info administration, the extreme ordinary publication used for almost sixty years by way of Renaissance England's maximum lawyer-statesman, and the attitudes towards annotated books between creditors and librarians from the center a while to the present.
This wide-ranging, realized, and infrequently amazing booklet will make the marks of Renaissance readers extra noticeable and legible to students, creditors, and bibliophiles.
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Extra resources for Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England
Brought to you by | Cambridge University Library Authenticated Download Date | 10/28/16 5:55 PM History of the Manicule 27 Greek alphabet and geometrical figures; and he left a tabular key to the system in a copy of the Bible—rediscovered in the twentieth century at the Bibliothe`que Municipale in Lyons—where each symbol is accompanied by a set of references to the Bible, the Church Fathers, and other writers. Its purpose, according to R. W. Hunt, was ‘‘clearly to build up a theological subject index.
24 I have now found no fewer than fifteen English names for what I prefer to follow the manuscript specialists in calling the manicule: hand, hand director, pointing hand, pointing finger, pointer, digit, fist, mutton fist, bishop’s fist, index, indicator, indicule, maniple, and pilcrow. The last two terms are outright mistakes. ‘‘Maniple’’ may simply be a misapplication of the technical term for the cloth draped over the arm by a priest during communion, but I suspect that the word ‘‘manicule’’ is being fused with ‘‘manciple’’ (since the example occurs in a study of Chaucer, one of whose Canterbury Tales is delivered by a manciple).
There is something to be said, to be sure, for standardized terminology. A shared vocabulary is not only useful for research but to some extent necessary for all communication—particularly for that basic task (traditionally performed by titles and indexes in scholarly writing) of ensuring that your reader or auditor knows what it is that you will be discussing. And common terms are important, perhaps even essential, for the process of discipline formation: ‘‘marginalia’’ has played a central role in establishing the emerging field of the history of reading as a legitimate pursuit, with shared objects of study.
Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance England by William H. Sherman