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Month: April 2017

James Daybell and Andrew Gordon, eds. Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain

James Daybell and Andrew Gordon, eds. Cultures of Correspondence in Early Modern Britain. Philadelphia: University of Philadelphia Press, 2016. x., 336p. 36 ill. ISBN 9780812248258. USD 69.95 (hardcover).

In this exemplary collection of essays, James Daybell and Andrew Gordon provide an astute, comprehensive, and intellectually stimulating view on the early modern culture of correspondence. As the authors clarify in the introduction, “a fundamental aim of the book is the reconstruction of the material conditions and practices of the early modern letter” (8), which includes close readings of its content, careful analyses of its materiality, attention to its carrier networks, consideration of the relationships between writers and recipients, and explorations of the early modern letter’s classification and archival practices.

John Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors, revised and enlarged by Nicolas Barker and Simran Thadani

John Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors, revised and enlarged by Nicolas Barker and Simran Thadani, 9th edition. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2016. 264p., 32 illus. (22 colour and 10 halftones). ISBN 9781584563525. US $29.95 (hardcover).

John Carter’s ABC for Book Collectors is without question a book that all serious book historians must read and a book that almost everyone with a genuine interest in books should own. It typically sits nicely on our reference shelves with such staple volumes that remain in the affordable range for all book-aficionados and bibliophiles as Philip Gaskell’s A New Introduction to Bibliography (1972, latest 1995), Fredson Bowers’s Principles of Bibliographical Description (1949, latest 2012), and one or more generalist or specialist study, such as D. C. Greetham’s Textual Scholarship: An Introduction (1992) or David Pearson’s Provenance Research in Book History: A Handbook (1994). Probably, the very serious book historian will own more than one edition of the Carter, as early prints are to be had very easily at book fairs, even at a price agreeable to those of us “poor scholars” (Alan Thomas’s turn of phrase, 86) on a modest income.