Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern England by Helen Smith

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

byHelen Smith

Hardcover | June 1, 2012

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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 inwhich 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 balladsto 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 believedthat 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 EnglishRenaissance.

About The Author

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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Details & Specs

Title:Grossly Material Things: Women and Book Production in Early Modern EnglandFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.03 inPublished:June 1, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199651582

ISBN - 13:9780199651580

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Table of Contents

List of abbreviationsList of illustrationsAcknowledgmentsNote to the readerIntroduction: 'Grossly Material Things'1. 'Pen'd with double art': Women at the Scene of Writing2. 'A dame, an owner, a defendresse': Women, Patronage, and Print3. 'A free Stationers wife of this companye': Women and the Stationers4. 'Certaine women brokers and peddlers': Beyond the London Book Trades5. 'No deformitie can abide before the sunne': Imagining Early Modern Women's ReadingBibliography of Works CitedIndex