New Haven: Beinecke Rare Books Library, 2020,
First Edition. quartp, printed boards. 288 pp. Beinecke Rare Books Library, Item #30531
An engaging, accessible introduction to reading and understanding early modern English manuscripts. This engaging book provides an essential introduction to the manuscript in early modern England. From birth to death, parish record to probate inventory, writing framed the lives of the early modern English. The book offers a detailed technical introduction to the handwriting of the period, from “secretary hand” through the “copperplate” that defined the early British Empire. Case studies trace the significance of manuscript to British cultural identity, exploring the intersections of manuscript and print, the roles of manuscript in the bureaucracy of the early modern state, and the complex practices surrounding manuscript in the lives of early modern readers and writers. Exercises offer the opportunity to practice reading and transcription, pointing to examples ranging from John Lydgate through William Wordsworth. Richly illustrated and drawing extensively on Yale University collections, this book opens the study of early modern English manuscript to a new generation of students and scholars. With 313 color illustrations. New.