‘An Unreported Chaucer Epitaph in English’, Notes and Queries 68.1 (2021), 56-9.
This note reports on the existence of a brief text to be considered in the body of epitaphic verses on Chaucer. In its presentation of English verses as ‘Chausers Epitaphe’, however, it is unique amongst all previously reported memorial verses on the poet. The text has been copied by a contemporary hand into Durham, Palace Green Library, Bamburgh Select.8, a copy of the c. 1550 Thynne edition of Chaucer’s Workes. The note identifies the annotator as Edmund Southerne, the author of A treatise concerning the right vse and ordering of bees (1593).
‘Dedications, Epistles to the Reader, and Prefatory Custom in Printed English Playbooks, 1559-1642’, The Review of English Studies 72, issue 304 (2021), 280-300.
The essay presents a bibliometric survey of dedications and addresses to the reader in plays printed between 1559 and 1642, and compares their rates of occurrence in plays from the professional theatres with those from nonprofessional contexts. Contrary to the critical commonplace that the establishment of early modern literary culture saw the decline of patronage and the rise of the figure of the reader, the rates of publication of dedications and addresses to readers suggest the opposite. The essay documents a striking absence of attention to readers in the preliminaries of playbooks and finds that the dedication was the more popular form of prefatory address for both professional and nonprofessional plays.
‘The Progeny of Print: Manuscript Adaptations of John Speed’s Chaucer Engraving’, Digital Philology: A Journal of Medieval Cultures 9.2 (Fall 2020), 177-98.
This essay is part of a special issue of Digital Philology edited by Sonja Drimmer and titled ‘Manual Impressions: Visualizing Print in Manuscript, Europe c.1450-c.1850’. The piece tracks the movement of John Speed’s 1598 portrait of Chaucer across the permeable boundaries of print and manuscript, as it was removed from printed editions and reappeared in other Chaucerian books, and in manuscript replicas. The essay argues for the role of print culture in the portrait’s dissemination and as the cause of its eventual re-appropriation into hand-drawn and painted forms.
Bel-vedére or The Garden of the Muses: An Early Modern Printed Commonplace Book (Cambridge University Press, 2020) [ed., with Lukas Erne].
This is the first critical edition of the early modern printed commonplace book Bel-vedére (1600), a collection of 4,482 one- or two-line passages of decasyllabic verse selected and arranged under topical headings by John Bodenham. Though a facsimile reprint was produced in 1875, the book had never received a modern editorial treatment before the 2020 Cambridge edition. For more information, see here.
‘Newly Discovered Shakespeare Passages in Bel-vedére or The Garden of the Muses (1600)’, Shakespeare 16.1 (2020) [with Lukas Erne].
This article is an offshoot of work towards an edition of Bel-vedére, a printed commonplace book published in 1600. A comprehensive analysis of the origins of the 4,482 one- or two-line passages resulted in the discovery of thirteen hitherto untraced passages that are based on Shakespeare. These passages and their Shakespearean source texts in Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Richard II, Richard III, Venus and Adonis, and The Rape of Lucrece are discussed here.
‘Bel-vedére (1600) and the Dates of Thomas Combe’s Theater of Fine Devices and Dunstan Gale’s Pyramus and Thisbe’, Notes and Queries 66.3 (2019), 467-69 [with Lukas Erne].
This note shows that presence of passages from Thomas Combe’s Theater of Fine Devices in the commonplace book Bel-vedére (1600) makes it reasonable to conclude that a pre-1600 edition of The Theater of Fine Deuices existed. Similarly, a passage from Pyramus and Thisbe in Bel-vedére corroborates the case for a pre-1600 date for Gale’s poem.
Shakespeare in Geneva: Early Modern English Books at the Martin Bodmer Foundation, c. 1475-1623 (Paris: Ithaque, 2018) [with Lukas Erne].
This book is a companion volume to the newly digitised collections of the Fondation Bodmer, introducing and presenting bibliographical information for 174 early modern printed books. The book’s introduction foregrounds the history of Martin Bodmer’s library while its catalogue pays close attention to all English books in the collection by supplying a complete bibliographical profile, including physical descriptions, provenance, and annotations for each copy.
‘Caxton and his Readers: Histories of Book Use in a copy of The Canterbury Tales (c. 1483)’, Journal of the Early Book Society 20 (2017), 233-49.
At the Fondation Martin Bodmer in Cologny, Switzerland, is a little known annotated copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, the first illustrated edition published by Caxton around 1483. This copy, Inc. B. 70, bears the physical marks of a long history of use, and this essay accounts for what is known of the book’s provenance between its origins in Westminster and its arrival in Switzerland in the early 1940s. The article reads the book’s marginalia, damages, repairs, signatures, and binding as the signs of the individuals and institutions that read, revered, rejected, and coveted it across centuries.
‘“in his old dress”: Packaging Thomas Speght’s Chaucer for Renaissance Readers.’ Chaucer Review 51.4 (2016): 478-502.
This article subjects Thomas Speght’s Chaucer editions (1598; 1602) to a consideration of how these books conceive, invite, and influence their readership. Studying the highly wrought forms of the dedicatory epistle to Sir Robert Cecil, the prefatory letter by Francis Beaumont, and the address “To the Readers,” it argues that these paratexts warrant closer attention for their treatment of the entangled relationships between editor, patron, and reader.
‘“alle his fetures folȝande, in forme þat he hade”: Recovering the Body and Saving the Soul in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.’ The Lancaster Luminary: Textual Bodies 2 (2010): 47-55.
This essay maps the correspondences between corporeal integrity and spiritual wholeness in the fourteenth-century poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. It discusses the protagonist’s body in relation to that of the otherworldly Green Knight, as well as the varying degrees and forms of protection offered by his armour, bedclothes, and the poem’s green girdle.