Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-century England
* Contains substantial discussions of Donne, Shakespeare, Rochester, and Swift Long after the establishment of printing in England, many writers and composers still preferred to publish their work through handwritten copies. Texts so transmitted included some of the most distinguished poetry and music of the seventeenth century, along with a rich variety of political.scientific, antiquarian, and philosophical writings. While censorship was one reason for this persistence of the older practice, scribal publication remained the norm for texts which were required only in small numbers, or whose authors wished to avoid `the stigma of print'. The present study is thefirst to consider the trade in manuscripts as an important supplement to that in printed books, and to descrice the agencies that met the need for rapid duplication of key texts. By integrating the large body of findings already available concerning particular texts and authors it provides anarresting new perspective on authorship and the communication of ideas.
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