Amicable Annotation, Part 7 (Notes on Jackson’s Marginalia)

[Feature image: Selection from George Crabbe’s The Library (1781); also quoted in Jackson’s Marginalia. Crabbe continues: “Our nicer palates lighter labours seek, / Cloy’d with a Folio-number once a week.” In other words, we’ve got too many books on hand to handle them with our “patient Fathers’” sort of care.] I concluded Part 4 of this miniseries by reflecting on a few striking phrases that H. J. Jackson invents to describe annotatively-enhanced books in her 2001 study Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books (note that publication date: we’ll come back to…

Amicable Annotation, Part 6 (Men and Women)

[Lady Bradshaigh and Samuel Richardson converse in the margins of Clarissa. Full text at the Princeton University Digital Library.] Part 1 of the “amicable annotation” miniseries is here. Or you might begin at the midpoint, Part 5. Enjoy Part 6. In the summer of 1748, the novelist Samuel Richardson received a letter from one “Belfour,” who wrote to prevent a “fatal catastrophe.” “I am pressed, Sir,” the letter begins, “by a multitude of your admirers, to plead in [sic] behalf of your amiable Clarissa.” Yes, the target of Belfour’s intervention…

Amicable Annotation, Part 5 (The Century of Friendship)

[A book that got a whole lot of use in the 18th c. More details at the MCRS Rare Books Blog.] Nota bene, dear reader: in the next few posts of this miniseries, our ground shifts to the eighteenth century. This post does not address annotation directly until some remarks at the end that attempt to lay out what’s ahead. My hope is that this post will convey something of the new atmosphere in which “friendship by the book” occurs in this time period. Happy reading. Part 1 is here.…

Amicable Annotation, Part 4 (Graffiti)

[Image: “Glareanus,” pen-illustration attributed to Hans Holbein the Younger in Oswald Myconius’s copy of the 1515 edition of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium. More on this picture below.] Part 1 is here. Part 2 here. Part 3. Enjoy Part 4. Finally, we come to graffiti. Or maybe we’ve already been looking at it? Scott-Warren invites us to see nearly all book-markings that “do not qualify as annotations” as graffiti. With such markings, we catch “the ‘real’ reader” not in the act of reading “but doing something else entirely, something that appears to…

Amicable Annotation, Part 3 (Marks of Owning and Recording)

[Image: How Gabriel Harvey marked his Livy. Made available through Annotated Books Online. For details, see below.] Part 1 is here. Part 2 here. Enjoy Part 3. My discussion thus far has focused on scholarly annotation as a friendly practice. In order to account for the role of friendship in humanist times, though, we need a broader sense of the variety of ways early moderns marked up their books. Heidi Brayman Hackel’s Reading Material in Early Modern England sorts the period’s handwritten book-marks into three useful types, to which we will…

Amicable Annotation, Part 2 (Scholarly Annotation)

[Image: An Aldine Press edition of Lactantius’s Divine Institutes (image source here)] Part 1 on “amicable annotaiton” is here. Enjoy Part 2. In the first post in this series (“Friendship by the Book: B by F”), I argued that, among other things, humanism represents a revolution in book culture. Books were the necessary instrument of humanist expression (if not, existence). Humanism was, once again, something that one did with books–preferably those designed to humanist specifications. While the humanists transformed much of the physical nature of the book, they paid particular…

Amicable Annotation, Part 1 (Friendship by Book)

[Image: Page from an annotated early sixteenth-century copy of Erasmus’s Moriae Encomium.] Here begins the second post in the series on the reciprocal relation between friendship and the book–the book facilitating the practice of friendship, friendship shaping the materiality of the book–across the modern era. Readers new to the series are strongly encouraged to read the first post (found here), which discusses 1. what I’ve termed “the relational meanings of books” and 2. why friendship offers an ideal starting point for investigation into this dimension of the book’s usefulness. That…

On Anthology

E-advertisements for new anthologies (or other course texts) usually go straight to the trash bin. But I received one recently that included a passage that caught my eye (and stayed my hand as I moved to delete it) in which the editor Don LePan discussed the process of assembling the team behind an anthology: When we began to search for academics willing to join our group of general editors for the anthology, we were certainly looking for outstanding scholars. But we were also looking for scholars who we knew to…

Friendship by the Book: The Book by Friendship

[Image: Jean Grolier’s copy of Baptista Mantuanus‘s Omnia Opera, which features Grolier’s famous inscription “Jo[hanni] Grolierii et amicorum,” meaning “This book belongs to Jean G. and his friends.”] Here begins a series of posts of the “comparative textual media” variety regarding the relationship between friendship and the book, which I hope to intersperse with other threads over the coming months. This post is a two-for-one deal. First, I offer prefatory remarks about what I’ve taken to calling “the relational meanings of books.” These words seek to set up some of the…

An Artifact from Xerox-land

[Image Source: The Linotype Line (ca. 1960)] In Bibliographical Analysis: A Historical Introduction (2009), the great textual critic Thomas Tanselle observes that “books of the past two centuries are particularly resistant to the analysis of the underlying manufacturing procedures because the paper and type to seem to offer few usable clues.” Paper and type quality/style, as Tanselle observes in earlier chapters, represent the most revealing features of books printed in earlier periods due to their particularities, their irregularities. Machine-made paper (which lack, Tanselle laments, tell-tale chain-lines) and the rise of…