Recent Studies in Early Modern Reading


  • ELR bibliographic essays are intended to contribute a topical review of research with a reasonably complete bibliography. Scholarship is organized by authors or titles of anonymous works or special topics. Items included represent combined entries listed in the annual bibliographies published by PMLA, YWES, and MHRA from 1971 through, in the present instance, early 2012. The format used here is a modified version of that used in Recent Studies in English Renaissance Drama, ed. Terence P. Logan and Denzel S. Smith, 4 vols. (Univ. of Nebraska, 1973–1978).The ELR series is edited by Elizabeth H. Hageman, Professor of English-Emerita, University of New Hampshire


This essay surveys selected scholarship of early modern reading from 1971 through early 2012 by both literary scholars and historians. It includes studies of reading literacy, as well as examinations of the practices and implications of reading religious, historical, literary, practical, and scientific texts in print and manuscript cultures in early modern England. The bibliography includes work that approaches historical reading practices and male and female readers both through the representation of reading in literary texts and through the archive of reading created by marginalia, commonplace books, inventories, and other handwritten documents. The political dynamics of reading have merited substantial attention, as have its more private, subjective, and physiological outcomes. (E. S.)