'Grossly Material Things': Women and Book Production in Early Modern England

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9780199651580: 'Grossly Material Things': Women and Book Production in Early Modern England
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In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf described fictions as 'grossly material things', rooted in their physical and economic contexts. This book takes Woolf's brief hint as its starting point, asking who made the books of the English Renaissance, and what the material circumstances were in which they did so. It charts a new history of making and use, recovering the ways in which women shaped and altered the books of this crucial period, as co-authors, editors, translators, patrons, printers, booksellers, and readers.

Drawing on evidence from a wide range of sources, including court records, letters, diaries, medical texts, and the books themselves, 'Grossly Material Things' moves between the realms of manuscript and print, and tells the stories of literary, political, and religious texts from broadside ballads to plays, monstrous birth pamphlets to editions of the Bible. In uncovering the neglected history of women's textual labours, and the places and spaces in which women went about the business of making, Helen Smith offers a new perspective on the history of books and reading. Where Woolf believed that Shakespeare's sister, had she existed, would have had no opportunity to pursue a literary career, 'Grossly Material Things' paints a compelling picture of Judith Shakespeare's varied job prospects, and promises to reshape our understanding of gendered authorship in the English Renaissance.

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Helen Smith is Lecturer in Renaissance Literature at the University of York. She has published widely on the history of books and reading, and is co-editor (with Louise Wilson) of Renaissance Paratexts (Cambridge, 2011). She is Co-Investigator on the AHRC-funded project, 'Conversion Narratives in Early Modern Europe'.

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"This ambitious well-researched, and timely study sets out to revise our understanding not only on early modern women's roles in book production but also of their myriad contributions to the entire "communications circuit," including the commissioning, manufacture, distrution, and consumption of print publications in England, and between England and the Continent. The book's admirably broad approach is one of its great strengths as is the deep archival research that supports its claims and hte conceptual work it does to demonstrate the stakes of these claims for the broader field." --Journal of British Studies


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English. Brand new Book. In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf described fictions as 'grossly material things', rooted in their physical and economic contexts. This book takes Woolf's brief hint as its starting point, asking who made the books of the English Renaissance, and what the material circumstances were in which they did so. It charts a new history of making and use, recovering the ways in which women shaped and altered the books of this crucial period, as co-authors,editors, translators, patrons, printers, booksellers, and readers. Drawing on evidence from a wide range of sources, including court records, letters, diaries, medical texts, and the books themselves, 'Grossly Material Things' moves between the realms of manuscript and print, and tells the stories of literary, political, and religious texts from broadside ballads to plays, monstrous birth pamphlets to editions of the Bible. In uncovering the neglected history of women's textual labours, and the places and spaces in which women went about the businessof making, Helen Smith offers a new perspective on the history of books and reading. Where Woolf believed that Shakespeare's sister, had she existed, would have had no opportunity to pursue a literary career, 'Grossly Material Things' paints a compelling picture of Judith Shakespeare's varied job prospects,and promises to reshape our understanding of gendered authorship in the English Renaissance. Seller Inventory # BTE9780199651580

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