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Book History
Number of Followers: 142  
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ISSN (Print) 1098-7371 - ISSN (Online) 1529-1499
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press Homepage  [23 journals]
  • Between Autograph and Copy: Writing as Thinking on Papyrus
    • Abstract: The level of engagement of ancient scribes in the material they produced or reproduced is difficult to ascertain. Assessments are plagued by assumptions about the context of production which vary depending on the content under discussion and the model of literacy invoked. Nevertheless from both the literary and papyrological evidence it is apparent that ancient scribes were neither pure vessels for textual transmission, nor the much maligned corruptores of the Early Modern tradition.1 The lack of direct testimony from scribes themselves about the principles according to which they undertook their duties leaves us only with the manuscripts as evidence of scribal practice and aspiration.Recent philosophical accounts ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Pilgrim’s Progress in the Huguenot Diaspora: French Protestants and
           the Transnational Commodification of English Nationalism
    • Abstract: What makes a text “transnational”' Self-identified practitioners of transnational history, despite writing these histories for decades, have never arrived at a clear consensus in their definitions of “transnational.” Although historians have generally agreed that certain themes such as reciprocal exchange are central to the transnational frame, even the six participants in the American Historical Review’s 2006 roundtable on transnational history readily admitted that there was not a clear or consistent distinction between such categories as “global,” “transnational,” “international,” and “world.” This ambiguity was particularly striking because, as the AHR editor-moderator noted, “transnational history” could by ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Marketing Maria Sibylla Merian, 1720–1800: Book Auctions, Gender, and
           Reading Culture in the Dutch Republic
    • Abstract: On May 29, 1798, almost two years after the death of Clara Magdalena Dupeyrou, the widow of a prominent Amsterdam magistrate, a catalogue was drawn up of her library in preparation for selling the books at auction. To her library was added another recently deceased magistrate’s widow, Cornelia Jacoba van Schuylenburch. This is one of only a handful of extant printed auction catalogues recording the contents of a library that had belonged, at least in part, to an eighteenth-century woman,1 and is hence of particular interest for studying women’s access to books. In this article, we address some of the questions suggested by this catalogue and others like it by tracing the reception and circulation of the works of a ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Prehistory of the American Tourist Guidebook
    • Abstract: In 1822, a local printer in the small town of Saratoga Springs, New York, compiled and printed off a cheap, slim volume, almost a pamphlet, to which he gave the rather grand title The Fashionable Tour: or, A Trip to the Springs, Niagara, Quebeck, and Boston, in the Summer of 1821. Gideon Davison, the young printer whose new shop served the equally young village of Saratoga, was at the time engaged in a flurry of promotional activities designed to attract attention to the new settlement and its health-giving mineral springs, in order to bring summer visitors, new development, and ultimately prosperity. The Fashionable Tour was published to encourage pleasure travelers to chart a route that led through Saratoga ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Composition as Explanation of Moby-Dick
    • Abstract: The victorious cause pleased the gods, but the defeated one pleases Cato.Until the fifty-year eclipse of his reputation in the United States after the disastrous publication of Pierre (1852), Melville was a well-regarded, even a celebrated, author in both America and England. But when Moby-Dick appeared in 1851, readers were struck by its “strange conglomeration.”1 Gone were the relatively straightforward narratives of Typee, Omoo, and White-Jacket, and readers—especially American readers—were either puzzled or outright dismissive, not least because the book’s non-narrative materials were often ideologically controversial (or worse). And if one hundred years later we assess the book differently, we do not see it ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Mary Elizabeth Braddon at the Antipodes: Cosmopolitan Cultural Transfers
           and the Restructuring of the Nineteenth-Century Book Industry
    • Abstract: The London-based publisher John Maxwell and his wife (from 1874) Mary Elizabeth Braddon, the successful and prolific author of popular sensation fiction, understood the potential of an expanding mass culture in the 1860s, and devised ways to reach and sometimes create a new public of readers eager for the industrially produced formula of strong sensations that fiction could elicit. To maximise the returns of their forward-looking investments, they also adopted pioneering marketing practices that helped to sell their successful formula globally. In the 1870s, the decade following the enormous success of the new marketing label of the hybrid genre of the “sensation novel,” Braddon continued to conjugate the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Lewis Carroll’s Taxonomy of Reading
    • Abstract: In Lewis Carroll’s best-known fictional works, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1872), the action begins when reading ends. Alice chases the White Rabbit after a book “without pictures or conversations” fails to capture her attention and ventures beyond the comparatively familiar confines of Looking-Glass House when the strange, backwards language of “Jabberwocky” proves “rather hard to understand.”1 In both cases Alice’s rejection of the printed page is framed as an escape: the material text is figured as a hindrance to overcome or leave behind. The informational content gleaned from books and reading is another matter, however. One of the central ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Scholar’s Scrapbook: Reading Shakespeare in the Nineteenth
    • Abstract: Around the year 1857, James Orchard Halliwell took some of the first photographs of archival material; then he destroyed the negatives.1 This act of destruction was not unique. Over the course of his prestigious scholarly career, Halliwell cut up countless rare books and manuscripts from early England to paste into his personal scrapbooks. At the time of his death, he left behind more than three hundred books filled with what he called “Literary Scraps” and “Shakespeareana,” stuffed with priceless antiquarian artifacts torn from books and manuscripts.2 Surprisingly, he claimed to do all this to support future scholars, who, like him, would use archival material to learn more about Shakespeare and the world he ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Photographs, Pens, and Print: William Morris and the Technologies of
    • Abstract: The origin story of William Morris’s typefaces for the Kelmscott Press has an almost mythic status. In November of 1888, the influential printer and engraver Emery Walker (1851–1933) gave a lecture on historical typefaces to the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, an event that compelled Morris to try his hand at type design. Morris had long been interested in letterforms and was a practicing calligrapher, but until this point he had not designed any cast type himself. Walker’s lecture featured lantern slide enlargements of early printed typographic examples and, although Morris owned many incunabula and manuscripts, according to May Morris, “the sight of the finely proportioned letters so enormously enlarged, and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Some Assembly Required: Suspending and Extending the Book with
           Cavafy’s Collections
    • Abstract: The poems of Constantine Cavafy are difficult to pin down. By 2013, the 150th anniversary of the poet’s birth, they were seemingly everywhere, being re-assembled and circulated through the most unexpected of media. In Athens, you might have found his words on the side of any number of public buses or, having transferred to the metro, you could have shared a train with entire stanzas of his poems, laminated on the backs of the seats and walls. But Cavafy’s circulations were by no means limited to public transport in Athens: in cities as far-flung as Istanbul,1 Cairo,2 and New York,3 through forms as divergent as editorials (written by, among others, Orhan Pamuk), choreographic poems (such as Dimitris Papaioannou’s ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Dreiser’s Paper and the Bureaucratization of Identity
    • Abstract: After the holograph manuscript of Sister Carrie sat on Theodore Dreiser’s bookshelf for several years and was eventually moved to a storage vault, the author gave it to H.L. Mencken in 1914.1 Mencken was thrilled, writing that he would “esteem it more than the gift of a young virgin.”2 Having experience with its preservation of his own works, Mencken donated the manuscript to the New York Public Library in 1937 and saw it in person in October of 1943 after it was bound. He wrote to Dreiser about the “magnificent job” that head librarian Harry Miller Lydenberg did in mounting the manuscript onto Japanese paper and binding it in brown leather.3 “It is kept,” Mencken wrote, “in the manuscript vault under the city ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Publishing Jews at Knopf
    • Abstract: It is, by now, an acknowledged phenomenon of United States cultural history in the twentieth century that the involvement of Jews in a particular area of cultural production could have far-reaching consequences. Seminal and widely discussed works of American Studies scholarship, as well as key contributions to the histories of Hollywood, journalism, and popular music have centered on the question of how individual Jews, having attained positions of influence in the production and circulation of American culture, balanced personal, complicated feelings about their Jewishness with the demands of their media forms, audiences, and markets. While ranging widely in methodology and focus, such studies have treaded lightly ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • Reading Online: Updating the State of the Discipline
    • Abstract: In an affecting passage in the second volume of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s monumental six-part novel-cum-memoir My Struggle (2014, [2009]), the narrator recalls a particularly memorable Christmas visiting his uncle Kjartan. Then an adolescent, the author recounts that his maternal uncle worked the family farm in rural Norway, as well as being employed offsite as a ship’s plumber, undertaking backbreaking manual labour all day before returning home to care for his elderly parents. Somehow, in the midst of this constellation of unceasing demands, he has developed a passion for reading Heidegger, despite the inconvenient fact that “no one within a radius of several kilometres had even heard of Heidegger, and no one wanted ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
  • The History of the Textbook: The State of the Discipline
    • Abstract: In a 2004 issue of the journal History of Education, John Issitt expressed dismay concerning the lack of enthusiasm for the study of textbooks. He wrote, “the negativity surrounding textbooks in terms of use and status as both literary objects and vehicles for pedagogy is profound.” The sentiment was, and remains, prevalent throughout the academy despite the fact that the wide use of the books in classrooms is “easily confirmed by examination of school budgets as well as by cursory observations of school and university life.” Textbooks, Issitt said, are particularly hated by academics “who feel that they reflect no creative input” and authoring the books is “the last thing that leading-edge intellectuals engaged in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2018-12-06T00:00:00-05:00
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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