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Reading material in early modern England: print, gender, and literacy

Reading material in early modern England: print, gender, and literacy

Brayman Hackel, Heidi

A study of the literature and its readership of the early modern period

Hardback, Book. English.
Published Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005
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Available: Newton Park

  • Newton Park – One available in Main Collection 820.9003/HAC

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    00258216 Main Collection 820.9003/HAC Standard Available


Statement of responsibility: Heidi Brayman Hackel
ISBN: 0521842514, 9780521842518
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Subject: English literature Early modern, 1500-1700 History and criticism.; Printing England History 16th century.; Authors and readers England History 17th century.; Literacy England History 17th century.; Books and reading England History 16th century.; Printing England History 17th century.; 16th century; HISTORY(X); 17th century; Books and reading England History 17th century.; Literacy England History 16th century.; Literature; Authors and readers England History 16th century.; Great Britain


  1. Towards a material history of reading
  2. Impressions from a 'scribbling age': Gestures and habits of reading
  3. Framing 'gentle readers' in preliminaries and margins
  4. Noting readers of the Arcadia in marginalia and commonplace books
  5. Consuming readers: Ladies, lapdogs and libraries; Epilogue; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.


"Thoroughly researched, carefully crafted and lucidly written, this fine study reviews and extends our knowledge and understanding of the materialities and rhetorics of books and the conditions and practices of readers --- especially female readers --- in early modern England."
Kevin Sharpe, author of Reading Revolutions and editor with Steven N. Zwicker of Reading, Society and Politics, Queen Mary, University of London||" impressive study focusing on the material traces left by actual readers in books... Hackel's book significantly advances our knowledge of the reading practices by women and ordinary readers."
SEL: Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900||"With Reading Material, Brayman Hackel makes a major contribution to our knowledge of the reading and writing practices of many forgotten, underrepresented, or misunderstood book owners. [Hackel] has produced a study that is essential to our understanding of early modern reading and writing practices."
Early Modern Literary Studies||"Heidi Brayman Hackel's book is ambitious and wide ranging in scope, elegantly conceived, and lucidly written." Andrew Cambers, Oxford Brookes University, Sixteenth Century Journal||"This is a book that early modern studies has needed and been struggling toward since at least the early 1980s. As scholarly inquiry has moved toward a more material understanding of Shakespearean and Jacobean England, we have been frustrated and stymied by simple questions...Hackel's extremely well-researched and comprehensive study attempts to answer some of these questions..." - Constance C. Relihan, Auburn U.||"In this study of early modern manuscripts and printed books and their readers, Heidi Brayman Hackel shifts the parameters of reader-response criticism to include the material artifacts of book production. her discussion of what constitutes literacy in the period is especially illuminating...Hackel's book offers a considerable contribution to the emerging fields of New Textualism and the more established theories of reader-response criticism. Her analysis is thoughtful and often inclined to original insights with regard to reading evidence as a genre of literature in itself." - Seventeenth-Century News, Lissa Beauchamp, St. Francis Xavier University||"Especially valuable features of Brayman Hackel's book are the illustrations, appendix, extensive bibliographic notes and bibliography, and index" Phyllis R. Brown, Santa Clara University