Ephemeral Print Culture in Early Modern England
Title Details

324 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

33 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in the Eighteenth Century

Imprint: Boydell Press

Ephemeral Print Culture in Early Modern England

Sociability, Politics and Collecting

by Tim Somers

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Uses the collections of ephemera popular in the late seventeenth century as a way to understand the reading habits, publishing strategies and thought processes of late Stuart print culture.
'Cheap' genres of print such as ballads, almanacs and playing cards were part of everyday life in seventeenth-century society - ubiquitous and disposable. Toward the end of the century, however, individuals began to preserve, arrange and display articles of cheap print within carefully curated collections. What motivated this sudden urge to preserve the ephemeral? This book answers that question by analysing the social, political and intellectual factors behind the formation of cheap print collections, how these collections were used by their owners, and what this activity can tell us about 'print culture' in the early modern period.

The book's central collector is John Bagford (1650-1715), a shoemaker who became a dealer of prints and other 'curiosities' to important collectors of the time such as Samuel Pepys, Hans Sloane and Robert Harley. Bagford's own rich and largely unstudied collection is afascinating study in its own right and his position at the centre of commercial and intellectual networks opens up a whole world of collecting. This world encompasses later Stuart partisan political culture, when modern parties and the 'public sphere' first emerged; the 'New Science' and 'virtuoso culture' with its milieu of natural philosophers, antiquaries and artisans; the aural and visual landscape of marketplaces, streets and alehouses; and the practices of record-keeping, life-writing and historical writing that were central to later Stuart print culture.
List of Illustrations
Acknowledgements
Note on Conventions
List of Abbreviations

Introduction

1. Tradesmen, Collecting Networks and Curious Ephemera
2. Visual Culture, Medleys and Partisanship
3. Popular Politics, Ballads and the Tragic Revolution
4. Historical Collections, Impartiality and Antiquarian Nostalgia
5. Advertisements, Life-Writing and Scrapbooks

Conclusion

Bibliography
Index

TIM SOMERS is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in History at Newcastle University.

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9781783275496

October 2021

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9781800104013

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9781800104815

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Title Details

324 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

33 b/w. Illustrations

Series: Studies in the Eighteenth Century

Imprint: Boydell Press