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Jeake's annotated library catalogue sheds light on 17c book-ownership and availability.The library owned by Samuel Jeake of Rye, nonconformist and local activist, was one of the most remarkable of its time. It is of particular importance in that relatively little information has hitherto been available about the ownership of books in the English provinces, or the reading habits of intellectuals who like Jeake were outside London and university circles from which most surviving libraries have come down to us. The collection of some 1500 volumes includes an extraordinary assemblage of radical pamphlets from the English Revolution alongside works of theology, literature, scholarship and science. Other books reflect astrological and magical interests, and the collection also includes a medical library. Jeake's library catalogue, published here, gives much information about titles that are now lost, about the penetration of foreign books into provincial England, and about book prices. The introduction places Jeake's collection in context, and makes a significant contribution to the history of the book in the early modern period; appendices list surviving volumes from the library and give a complete list of the Jeake manuscripts now in Rye Museum.MICHAEL HUNTER is Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London; GILES MANDELBROTE is a Curator, British Collections 1501-1800, at the British Library; RICHARD OVENDEN is Deputy Head, Rare Books Division of the National Library of Scotland; NIGEL SMITH is Reader in English at the University of Oxford.
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