“no meare Reader”: Audiences, Publics, and Poetry in Early Modern England – School of Literature, Art and Media “no meare Reader”: Audiences, Publics, and Poetry in Early Modern England – School of Literature, Art and Media

“no meare Reader”: Audiences, Publics, and Poetry in Early Modern England

“no meare Reader”: Audiences, Publics, and Poetry in Early Modern England
Dr Erin McCarthy (University of Newcastle)

Presented by EMLAC (Early Modern Literature and Culture), in conjunction with the Sydney Digital Humanities Research Group

In early modern England, poetry was not only a literary genre—it was a ubiquitous cultural phenomenon. This talk traces its reach by introducing both the imagined reading public and the documented historical audience for printed poetry books. Poets and publishers alike speculated about the potentially vast unknown reading public for early modern poetry, and they tried to describe and accommodate readers in paratexts, treatises on vernacular poetics, and metapoetic works. These efforts were successful, and poetry was a steady and significant part of the London book trade and of English culture more generally. Indeed, quantitative studies of the print publication of poetry may /understate/ its cultural importance; while some genres quickly moved to print or firmly stayed in manuscript, poetry continued to be valued and circulated in both manuscript and print. Printed poetry books reached audiences, including browsers in bookshops and borrowers, who did not leave any documentary traces in the books they read. They were also read by individuals we can identify using book catalogs and evidence of book ownership and reading in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. By examining the important but neglected evidence in a wide range of printed poetry books, I show that authors, printers, publishers, and other agents involved in the publication of poetry developed a new set of conventions in order to appeal to and guide new readers even as the cultural status of poetry remained in flux.

Venue

Room S226
John Woolley Building (A20), Science Rd
The University of Sydney NSW 2006

Contact
Dr Huw Griffiths

Date

Sep 27 2019
Expired!

Time

1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Cost

Free

Location

John Woolley Building (A20)
University of Sydney NSW 2006

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