Martyn Lyons’s The Typewriter Century, A Cultural History of Writing Practices takes the machine as a starting point to examine its relationship to work, creative and otherwise and, like Hazzard’s novel, finds a complex network of relationships that it creates or facilitates. This social and literary history is interspersed with reckonings on gender and labour as Lyons considers the technical, personal and even mythical roles that the typewriter played in offices, homes and imaginations for most of the twentieth century.
Lesser, Zachary. Ghosts, Holes, Rips and Scrapes: Shakespeare in 1619, Bibliography in the Longue Durée. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021.
The central methodological claim of Lesser’s case study is that an attention to the long and disparate lives of each individual copy helps us to better understand the making of the Jaggard Quartos and allows us to complicate the studies conducted by New Bibliographers, whose bibliographic descriptions and attendant explanations of the texts’ extant forms still condition contemporary approaches to bibliography. By carefully studying individual copies across long periods of time, Lesser provides a fuller picture of the material conditions of their production and use.
Dennis Duncan. Index, A History of the: A Bookish Adventure from Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age.
he history of the index, it turns out in Duncan’s equally excellent and entertaining historical survey, has much to tell us about the history of how texts were used between the thirteenth century and the present day, and how producers of books have aimed to answer the demands of those developing uses within the confines of the available technologies of their times.
Georgina Colby, Kaja Marczewska, and Leigh Wilson, eds. The Contemporary Small Press: Making Publishing Visible.
Publishing industry news has been rife recently with announcements of mergers and acquisitions instigated by The Big Five publishing companies. As such, industry and arts news outlets are giving attention to the legalities surrounding some of these deals, including articles in Quill and Quire and Publishers Weekly. With multinational conglomerates continuing to increase the gap between themselves and independent publishers—both small and mid-size—it is important to pay tribute to and appreciate the work that smaller independent publishers do for their communities of authors and readers. This multi-authored collection about small presses does just that.
Recchio, Thomas. The Novels of Frances Hodgson Burnett: In “the World of Actual Literature.” New York: Anthem Press, 2020.
Upon closing the final pages of The Novels of Frances Hodgson Burnett In ‘the World of Actual Literature,” I am spellbound. As a reader of Burnett’s children’s works, Recchio brings so many dimensions of her adult writing, thus broadening the scope. Recchio, Professor of English, Emeritus at University of Connecticut, attempts to place the author, best known for her children’s literature such as The Secret Garden and Little Lord Fauntleroy, solidly in the realm of serious women writers of adult fiction. With his extensive academic knowledge and publications on the Victorian literature on the writings of Elizabeth Gaskell, he builds well-documented arguments worth reading within the five chapters of the book.