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Mesoamerican Manuscripts

New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations

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Edited by Maarten Jansen, Virginia M. Lladó-Buisán and Ludo Snijders

Mesoamerican Manuscripts: New Scientific Approaches and Interpretations brings together a wide range of modern approaches to the study of pre-colonial and early colonial Mesoamerican manuscripts. This includes innovative studies of materiality through the application of non-invasive spectroscopy and imaging techniques, as well as new insights into the meaning of these manuscripts and related visual art, stemming from a post-colonial indigenous perspective.

This cross- and interdisciplinary work shows on the one hand the value of collaboration of specialists in different field, but also the multiple viewpoints that are possible when these types of complex cultural expressions are approached from varied cultural and scientific backgrounds.

Contributors are: Omar Aguilar Sánchez, Paul van den Akker, Maria Isabel Álvarez Icaza Longoria, Frances F. Berdan, David Buti, Laura Cartechini, Davide Domenici, Laura Filloy Nadal, Alessia Frassani, Francesca Gabrieli, Maarten E.R.G.N. Jansen, Rosemary A. Joyce, Jorge Gómez Tejada, Chiara Grazia, David Howell, Virginia M. Lladó-Buisán, Leonardo López Luján, Raul Macuil Martínez, Manuel May Castillo, Costanza Miliani, María Olvido Moreno Guzmán, Gabina Aurora Pérez Jiménez, Araceli Rojas, Aldo Romani, Francesca Rosi, Antonio Sgamellotti, Ludo Snijders, and Tim Zaman.

The Book in Mamluk Egypt and Syria (1250-1517)

Scribes, Libraries and Market

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Doris Behrens-Abouseif

This book is the first to date to be dedicated to the circulation of the book as a commodity in the Mamluk sultanate. It discusses the impact of princely patronage on the production of books, the formation and management of libraries in religious institutions, their size and their physical setting. It documents the significance of private collections and their interaction with institutional libraries and the role of charitable endowments ( waqf ) in the life of libraries. The market as a venue of intellectual and commercial exchanges and a production centre is explored with references to prices and fees. The social and professional background of scribes and calligraphers occupies a major place in this study, which also documents the chain of master-calligraphers over the entire Mamluk period. For her study the author relies on biographical dictionaries, chronicles, waqf documents and manuscripts.

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Edited by Carme Font Paz and Nina Geerdink

Economic Imperatives for Women’s Writing in Early Modern Europe delves into the early modern history of women’s authorship and literary production in Europe taking a material turn. The case studies included in the volume represent women writers from various European countries and comparatively reflect the nuances of their participation in a burgeoning commercial market for authors while profiting as much from patronage. From self-representation as professional writers to literary reception, the challenges of reputation, financial hardships, and relationships with editors and colleagues, the essays in this collection show from different theoretical standpoints and linguistic areas that gender biases played a far less limiting role in women’s literary writing than is commonly assumed, while they determined the relationship between moneymaking, self-representation, and publishing strategies.

Early Modern Media and the News in Europe

Perspectives from the Dutch Angle

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Joop W. Koopmans

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Dutch Republic was one of the main centers of media in Europe. These media included newspapers, pamphlets, news digests, and engravings. Early Modern Media and the News in Europe brings together fifteen articles dealing with this early news industry in relation to politics and society, written by Joop W. Koopmans in recent decades. They demonstrate the important Dutch position within early modern news networks in Europe. Moreover, they address a variety of related themes, such as the supply of news during wars and disasters, the speed of early modern news reports, the layout of early newspapers and the news value of their advertisements, and censorship of books and news media.

Communal Creativity in the Making of the 'Beowulf' Manuscript

Towards a History of Reception for the Nowell Codex

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Simon C. Thomson

In Communal Creativity in the Making of the ‘Beowulf’ Manuscript, Simon Thomson analyses details of scribal activity to tell a story about the project that preserved Beowulf as one of a collective, if error-strewn, endeavour and arguing for a date in Cnut’s reign. He presents evidence for the use of more than three exemplars and at least two artists as well as two scribes, making this an intentional and creative re-presentation uniting literature religious and heroic, in poetry and in prose.

He goes on to set it in the broader context of manuscript production in late Anglo-Saxon England as one example among many of communities using old literature in new ways, and of scribes working together, making mistakes, and learning.

Lost Books and Printing in London, 1557-1640

An Analysis of the Stationers' Company Register

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Alexandra Hill

Lost Books and Printing in London, 1557-1640 is the first attempt to analyse systematically the entries relating to lost books in the Stationers’ Company Register. Books played a fundamental role in early modern society and are key sources for our comprehension of the political, religious, economic and cultural aspects of the age. Over time, the loss of these books has presented a significant barrier to our understanding of the past. The monopoly of the Stationers’ Company centralised book production in England to London with printing jobs carried out by members documented in a Register. Using modern digital approaches to bibliography, Alexandra Hill uses the Register to reclaim knowledge of the English book trade and print culture that would otherwise be lost.

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Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila

Khwadāynāmag. The Middle Persian Book of Kings by Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila analyses the lost sixth-century historiographical work of the Sasanians, drawing on a large number of Middle Persian, Greek, Arabic, and Classical Persian sources.

The Khwadāynāmag is often conceived of as a large book of stories, comparable to Firdawsī's Shāhnāme, but Hämeen-Anttila convincingly shows that it was a concise and dry chronicle. He also studies the lost Arabic translations of the book, which turn out to be fewer than hitherto thought, as well as the sources of Firdawsī's Shāhnāme, showing that the latter was only remotely related to the Khwadāynāmag. It also becomes clear that there were no separate "priestly" and "royal" Khwadāynāmags.

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Edited by Siv Gøril Brandtzæg, Paul Goring and Christine Watson

Travelling Chronicles presents fourteen episodes in the history of news, written by some of the leading scholars in the rapidly developing fields of news and newspaper studies. Ranging across eastern and western Europe and beyond, the chapters look back to the early modern period and into the eighteenth century to consider how the news of the past was gathered and spread, how news outlets gained respect and influence, how news functioned as a business, and also how the historiography of news can be conducted with the resources available to scholars today. Travelling Chronicles offers a timely analysis of early news, at a moment when historical newspaper archives are being widely digitalised and as the truth value of news in our own time undergoes intense scrutiny.

Johann Froben, Printer of Basel

A Biographical Profile and Catalogue of His Editions

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Valentina Sebastiani

In Johann Froben, Printer of Basel, Valentina Sebastiani offers a comprehensive account of the life and printing production of Froben, a major representative of early modern Europe’s most refined printing traditions. Some five centuries after they first appeared in print, Sebastiani provides a bibliography of the 329 Froben editions published in Basel between 1491 and 1527 (including an analysis of some 2,500 copies held in more than twenty-five libraries worldwide), listing the paratextual and visual elements that distinguish Froben’s books as well as economic, technical, and editorial details related to their production and distribution. Sebastiani’s study sheds new light on Froben’s family and career, his involvement in the editing and publication of Erasmus’ works, and the strategies he adopted to market them successfully.

K. Hoogendoorn

In this bibliography of the exact sciences in the Low Countries, Klaas Hoogendoorn gives a detailed analytical description by autopsy of all printed books published by scientists associated with the Low Countries from ca. 1470 to the Golden Age (1700). The books' locations are given, along with secondary bibliographical sources and concise biographies of the authors. Includes indexes of the editions by subject, printer/publisher and person.
Along with books on subjects including mathematics, physics, military science and navigation, the second part describes all known almanacs and prognostications for the period, providing the most complete survey yet available. It is a thoroughly revised and expanded update of D. Bierens de Haan’s Bibliographie néerlandaise historique-scientifique … (Rome, 1883) up to about 1700.