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K. Tonry
Agency and Intention in English Print, 1476–1526

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XV+241 p., 15 b/w ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2016
ISBN: 978-2-503-53576-0
Languages: English, Middle English, Latin
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Retail price: EUR 75,00 excl. tax
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Online content: http://www.brepolsonline.net/action/showBook?doi=10.1484/M.TT-EB.5.107209
An innovative study bringing together the intellectual and material traditions of England’s early press, from William Caxton to Thomas Berthelet.

This volume offers a new intellectual framework for early print that bridges divisions between the study of print and the study of literature, between manuscripts and printed books, and between pre- and post-1500 textual cultures. Through an extensive focus on medieval texts and ideas, it is demonstrated here that in the half-century before the Reformation, English print was part of a highly energetic tradition of late medieval textual production. Central to this tradition was the expression of ethical agency, or moral ‘entente’, through the creation of texts and books. This insight reveals how the first English printed books expressed the deliberate moral and cultural commitments of individual printers.

By following early print across a range of genres (history writing, religious instruction, hagiography, law books, and translation), this study also sheds light on the contexts within which the agencies of early printers mattered, including mercantile politics, civic and statute law, and theological economics.

The volume, which treats the pre-Reformation press as a whole, is based in particular on the bibliographical evidence provided in editions by William Caxton, Wynkyn de Worde, Richard Pynson, John Rastell, and Thomas Berthelet, as well as on close readings of texts and contextual materials. The questions raised here, however, are about more than old books and early printers: ultimately, this study argues that the history of the material book is an intellectual history of agency and textual production.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Agencies

Chapter 1. The Personality of Print

Chapter 2. Usurers and Printed Books: The Mercantile Contexts of Intention in Late Medieval London

Chapter 3. The Uses of Religious Printing by Merchants, for Merchants

Chapter 4. Print’s Experiments with Readerly Agency in Historical Writing.

Coda

Interest Classification:
Book History, Manuscript Studies & Palaeography
Objects of writing & related topics
Hand-printed books, 1501-1830
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : local & regional history
British Isles
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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