This gathering of eighteen essays explores a period in Britain when the world of letters was brought under harness by the political centre as it had never been before or has been since. The importance of royal patronage for authors and printers alike is the subject of several of these studies; others are concerned with the dangers of unorthodox reading in Tudor England. The break-up of monastic libraries is another theme, as witnessed not only in England but also by observers in the Low Countries and Italy. Also included are studies on the post-dissolution movement of medieval books into the universities and into royal and aristocratic collections, aspects of female reading, verse composition, and the act and art of writing by hand, with wome editions of hitherto unprinted texts.
Gathered from different corners of the field of book history, these studies share the common aim of honouring the contribution of James P. Carley. While known chiefly for his work on Tudor bibliographers, on the survival of medieval books in post-dissolution England and the foundation of the royal library, his interests extend to include monastic history and the Arthurian tradition. In all his work he has shown how close readings in the history of the book can open a window on an entire landscape and provide answers where other models of historical enquiry fall short. These essays seek to honour his achievement by offering close readings of their own.
James Willoughby, Introduction
Martyn Percy, Laudatio
Diarmaid MacCulloch, James Carley: An Appreciation
Jeremy Catto, John Stevens and the Gesta Henrici Quinti
David Rundle, The Playpen: Reform, Experimentation and the Memory of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester of the University of Oxford
Vincent Gillespie, Visionary Women and their Books in the Library of the Brethren of Syon
Mark Rankin, Sebastian Brant's Shyp of folys at the Accession of Henry VIII
David R. Carlson, Wolsey's Praises: The Henrician Royal Manuscript Presentation, Ianus
Ágnes Juhász-Ormsby, Commemorating Anne Boleyn's 1533 Entry into London: John Leland and Nicholas Udall's Versis and dities made at the coronation of quene Anne
James Willoughby, Cardinal Marcello Cervini (1501-1555) and English Libraries
Paul Nelles, English Books in Flanders? New Light on John Bale's 'lamentable spoyle'
Anne Hudson, Cataloguing Wyclif: The Contribution of John Bale
M. Anne Overell, Books of Italian Spirituali in Tudor England
Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan, Changing Worlds: Contextualizing Elis Gruffydd's Welsh Miscellany
Ann Dooley, What Lies Beneath: The Weary Scribal Hand of Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 615
Susan Powell, The After-Life of a Late Fourteenth-Century Sermon Collection in Early Modern England
Richard Ovenden, The Manuscript Library of Lord William Howerd of Naworthn (1563-1640)
Elisabeth Leedham-Green, University Street and the Stationers of Sixteenth-Century Cambridge
Richard Rex, Such a Company of Fellows and Scholars: Roger Ascham's Picture of Humanism at St John's College, Cambridge
Joanna Weinberg, A Mélange of Words and Documents: Notes on Some Seventeenth-Century Orientalists
Daniel Woolf, A Late Seventeenth-Century Englishwoman and her History Books: Sarah Cowper (1644-1720) as Reader and Commentator
Ann M. Hutchison, A Bibliography of the Writings of James P. Carley