Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade by Zachary LesserRenaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade by Zachary Lesser

Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book Trade

byZachary Lesser

Paperback | August 6, 2007

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Shifting our focus from author to publisher and from first performance to first edition, Zachary Lesser offers a new vantage point on the drama of Shakespeare, Marlowe, Webster, and their contemporaries. Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication re-imagines the reception and meaning of plays by reading them through the eyes of their earliest publishers. Since success in the book trade required specialization, locating a play within its publisher's output allows us to see how the publisher read it and speculated that customers would read it. Their readings often differ radically from our own and so revise our views of the drama?s engagement with early modern culture. By reading the 1633 Jew of Malta as a part of Nicholas Vavasour's Laudian specialty, for example, or the 1622 Othello in the context of Thomas Walkley's trade in parliamentary news, Lesser's groundbreaking study reveals the politics of these publications - for early modern readers and for us.
Zachary Lesser teaches Shakespeare and early modern drama at the University of Pennsylvania. He has published widely on Renaissance drama and the history of the book in journals such as ELH, English Literary Renaissance, and Shakespeare Quarterly.
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Title:Renaissance Drama and the Politics of Publication: Readings in the English Book TradeFormat:PaperbackDimensions:260 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.59 inPublished:August 6, 2007Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521039991

ISBN - 13:9780521039994

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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction: from text to book; 1. Speculation in the book trade; 2. The cultural uses of typography in early modern England: Walter Burre's The Knight of the Burning Pestle; 3. Marlowe's Jew goes to church: Nicholas Vavasour and the creation of Laudian drama; 4. Insatiate, roaring devils and outlandish cups: Thomas Archer's dialogic publishing in the querelle des femmes; 5. 'Courtier's merchandise': Thomas Walkley and the paradoxes of domestic policy; Epilogue: readings then and now; Index.

Editorial Reviews

"By making the publisher his agent and the publisher's specialty his backdrop, Lesser creates a new canon of literature for investigation and a new method for recovering early reader response. He also destabilizes many foundational principles of print history and literary criticism--that the author is the source of a text's meaning, that the print industry is a passive if unreliable conduit of meaning, and that the political culture that informs a text is the one in place when the text was composed." -Shakespeare Studies