Roundtables on Print and Book History

  • Venue: Please contact for the Zoom details.
  • Start: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 10:30:00 BST
  • End: Fri, 16 Apr 2021 12:00:00 BST



Stationers’ Company and

Medieval & Early Modern Studies Research Group (Newcastle)



Roundtable One

April 16th,   10.30-12pm (GMT)


  • Jason McElligott (Marsh’s Library, Dublin) - ‘Book and Manuscript Theft from Private and Public Libraries’

In this paper I consider where books and manuscripts ended up after they were stolen from private and public libraries.  I posit that we can re-imagine theft as a positive historical act, insofar as it is something that leaves written records from which one may speculate about reader interests and the second-hand market.


  • Romola Nuttall (KCL) - ‘“Handfuls of tragicall speeches”: James Roberts, Nicholas Ling, and their Hamlet Quartos

This paper intervenes in debates surrounding Hamlet’s early publication history. It argues that Q1 Hamlet was not a pirate copy printed without James Roberts’s knowledge by considering his professional relationship to Nicholas Ling, who published Q1, and the wider socio-professional networks which they occupied.


  • Stephen Rose (Royal Holloway) - ‘The Production and Sales of Nicola Cosimi’s Sonata da camera (1702)’

Nicola Cosimi’s Sonata da camera (London, 1702) is a rare example of a music book for which extensive archival documentation exists of its production and sales. Cosimi’s financial diary lists over 50 copies that he sold or presented to English gentry and aristocrats, many of whom then received violin lessons from him. In reconstructing the network of recipients for this book, we can understand how presentations of this luxury item granted him access to households for teaching and private performances.


  • Jennifer Young (Greenwich) - “Early Modern Stationers as Writers”

Studies of the contributions of early modern agents of the book trade continue to reveal examples of increasingly nuanced approaches to marketing and textual interventions/editing. However, these practices stand in contradiction to entrenched New Bibliography ideas of stationers as agents whose less sophisticated understandings of the literary, poetic and thematic elements of the texts could only corrupt the writer’s artistic intentions. I examine how early modern educational practices are visible in the editorial interventions and in the paratextual writing of stationers, re-characterizing ‘artistic’ literacy and language skills as a more common tool of early modern book trade agents than traditionally recognized.


Roundtable Two

May 7th, 3.00-4.30pm (GMT)


  • Joe Black (Massachusetts Amherst) - 'New Author-Corrected Copy: Thomas Nashe's Almond for a Parrat (1590)'

Editorial work connected with the Thomas Nashe project has identified manuscript corrections in the Folger Library copy of Almond for a Parrat (1590) as being in the hand of Thomas Nashe. The identification confirms Nashe's authorship of the pamphlet, and adds to our small store of author-corrected copy for the period. This paper discusses these authorial corrections and their potential implications.


  • Beatrice Fuga (Sorbonne Nouvelle) - ‘Ut pictura, translation: The Cultural Significance of the Printed Image in Renaissance Italian Books in Translation’

I am working on the translation of Italian novellas in English: this involves working on title pages and the under-messages contained in the engravings proposed by the printers. In this paper, I discuss two of Thomas Marshe's editions of W. Painter's The Palace of Pleasure (1566-67) and G. Fenton's Tragicall Discourses (1567).


  • Alex Plane (Newcastle) - ‘Reconstructing the Library of King James VI and I’

My current project is involved with reconstructing the library of James VI and I, primarily using a sixteenth-century booklist of his Scottish library and records of the Old Royal Library at the British Library. In this paper, I discuss some of the key questions/challenges when doing this kind of work and outline what I have discovered about James’s collecting, his relationship with the book trade and his book agents.


  • Beatrice Rouchon (Sorbonne), ‘“Two hedds are better than one": John Heywood and Print Collaboration’

During his long career as a playwright, a poet, and a collector of proverbs in the Tudor era, John Heywood maintained durable work relationships with his three main printers - his brother-in-law William Rastell, Thomas Berthelet, and Thomas Powell. These three collaborations gave different orientations to his presentation as an author in his printed work. My paper addresses the articulation between author and printer, and the issue of self-presentation in print through visual means.




iCal Individual Event Link