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Formal mattersReading the materials of English Renaissance literature$
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Allison K. Deutermann and András Kiséry

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780719085536

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719085536.001.0001

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The first English printed commonplace books and the rise of the common reader

The first English printed commonplace books and the rise of the common reader

Chapter:
(p.15) 1 The first English printed commonplace books and the rise of the common reader
Source:
Formal matters
Author(s):

Heather James

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719085536.003.0002

Heather James examines late-sixteenth- and early- seventeenth-century printed commonplace books, a form which played a vital role in elevating the status of English vernacular literature. James shifts our focus from this form’s place in English literary history to its impact on political subjectivity. For James, late-Elizabethan printed commonplace books enabled innovations in the ‘politics of reading’ through their organization of decontextualised sentences grouped together by topic, modelling a form of political conversation on even the most incendiary of subjects (i.e., tyranny)

Keywords:   commonplace, commonplace books, sententiae, republicanism, Humanism

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