Elizabethan Publishing and the Makings of Literary Culture explores the influence of the book trade over English literary cultures in the decades following incorporation of the Stationers' Company in 1557. Through an analysis of the often overlooked contributions of bookmen like Thomas Hacket, Richard Smith, and Paul Linley, Kirk Melnikoff tracks the crucial role that bookselling publishers played in transmitting literary texts into print as well as energizing and shaping a new sphere of vernacular literary activity.
The volume provides an overview of the full range of practices that publishers performed, including the acquisition of copy and titles, compiling, alteration to texts, reissuing, and specialization. Four case studies together consider links between translation and the travel narrative; bookselling and authorship; re-issuing and the Ovidian narrative poem; and specialization and professional drama. Works considered include Shakespeare's 'Hamlet', Thévet's 'The new found world', Constable's 'Diana', and Marlowe's 'Dido, Queen of Carthage'. This exciting new book provides both a complement and a counter to recent studies that have turned back to authors and out to buyers and printing houses as makers of vernacular literary culture in the second half of the sixteenth century."--From the dust jacket.
Introduction: Book-trade publishing ; Collaborations, obligations ; The rise of the publishing bookseller ; Literary makings -- 1. Geldings, "prettie inuentions," and "plaine knauery": Elizabethan book-trade publishing practices: Acquiring ; Compiling ; Reissuing ; Altering ; Translating ; Specializing -- 2. Thomas Hacket, translation, and the wonders of the New World travel narrative: The career of Thomas Hacket ; Travelling in the bookstalls ; Moving travel literature -- 3. Richard Smith's browsables: 'A hundredth sundry flowers' (1573), 'The fabulous tales of Aesop' (1577), and 'Diana' (1592, 1594?): 'The career of Richard Smith' ; 'A hundredth sundry flowers' ; 'The fabulous tales of Aesop' ; 'Diana' -- 4. Flasket and Linley's 'The tragedy of Dido Queen of Carthage' (1594): reissuing the Elizabethan epyllion: Publishing at the Black Bear ; Reissuing Ovid -- 5. Reading 'Hamlet' (1603): Nicholas Ling, sententiae, and republicanism: Vending the republic ; Speculating with 'Hamlet' (1603)
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