A Viewing

In the spring, the library staff at my institution made its usual solicitation for end-of-year purchases, particularly wants of the pricier variety. I approached our departmental liaison with an unusual request: artists’ books. As suggested in some earlier posts (particularly the unfinished “Reading Labs” thread), I have been thinking quite a bit about artists’ books in recent years, and I’ve been looking for ways to introduce them in my teaching. The very-easy-to-refuse offer that I made to the library staff was for the establishment of a small collection of artists’…

Amicable Annotation, Part 9 (Women and Men)

[Image: Marginal remark by Hester Piozzi (a.k.a. “Mrs. Thrale” of Johnson-lore) in a copy of her Observations and reflections made in the course of a journey through France, Italy, and Germany. This annotated copy was given by Piozzi to her friend William Augustus Conway in 1819.] In recent installments in this miniseries (particularly Parts 6 and 8), I have been stressing that book culture in the long eighteenth century could create a more equal context capable of sustaining cross-sex friendship. Yet we must admit that in both of the cases…