Material Moments in Book Cultures

Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser

by Simon Rosenberg (Volume editor) Sandra Simon (Volume editor)
©2015 Others XXIV, 286 Pages


This Festschrift honours the dedicated book historian and medievalist Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. Her wide-ranging scholarly expertise has encouraged and influenced many adepts of the book. The essays in this volume reflect the variety of her interests: The contributions range from Chaucer’s Fürstenspiegel to the value of books in comedy, from the material book to the magical book in religious and literary cultures, from collaborative efforts in manuscript production to the relations of distributors of books across national and ideological boundaries, from the relations between the makers of books to the relation of readers to their books. Covering a period from the Middle Ages to the present, the volume concludes with a look at the future of book history as a field of study.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • Tabula gratulatoria
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Here begynneth the Festschryfte
  • Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser
  • Acknowledgments
  • List of Publications by Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser
  • Books
  • Articles
  • Miscellanies
  • Reviews
  • Prologue: “This litel tretys”: Chaucer’s Mirror for Princes The Tale of Melibee
  • Abstract
  • I. Momenta
  • Books as Objects of Magic in the Late Middle Ages
  • Abstract
  • Signing the Diabolical Pact: Aspects of Supernatural Written Communication in Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, 1692–1693
  • Abstract
  • Forms of Addressing the Educated Reader in Early Printed Paratexts
  • Abstract
  • Setting the Scene
  • Author, Text and Printer
  • Addressing the Educated Reader
  • Juvenile Sunday Reading in Nineteenth-Century England
  • Abstract
  • The Working Classes: Between Worship and Recreation
  • The Middle Classes: Control and Guidance
  • Conclusion
  • Authors, Publishers, and the Literary Agent: An Ideal Literary Trinity?
  • Abstract
  • Book Value Categories in Television Comedy Shows
  • Abstract
  • II. Moments
  • A Tale of Two Odos: The Development of a Lollard Authority
  • Abstract
  • I
  • II
  • III
  • Patterns of Collaboration among the Makers of the Auchinleck Manuscript (National Library of Scotland, Advocates’ MS 19.2.1)
  • Abstract
  • I
  • II
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: The Distribution of Paraphers’ and Scribal Hands in the Auchinleck Manuscript
  • A Mute(d) King: Emotions Inferred in Shakespeare’s Edward III
  • Abstract
  • I Introduction
  • II The Absence of Words
  • III Living Presence or Performing Object?
  • IV Mirrors and Analogies
  • V Emotions and Meta-Emotions
  • VI Conclusion
  • Leiden-German Book-Trade Relations in the Seventeenth Century: The Case of Jacob Marcus
  • Abstract
  • The Printed Acta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechti as a Networking Tool
  • Abstract
  • Huguenot Material in London after the Edict of Fontainebleau: The Vaillant Family
  • Abstract
  • The Publications of 1707
  • The Publications of 1721
  • The Publications of 1740
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix: List of Vaillant Publications, 1707–1740
  • Swift as Bookman: Reader, Collector, and Donor
  • Abstract
  • I
  • II
  • III
  • IV
  • V
  • VI
  • VII
  • VIII
  • IX
  • X
  • XI
  • Class-Related Aspects of Reading in Victorian Autobiographies: Molly Hughes, A London Child of the 1870s, and Hannah Mitchell, The Hard Way Up
  • Abstract
  • Case Studies: Molly Hughes and Hannah Mitchell
  • Marketing Socialism? Sales Strategies for rororo rotfuchs, a Left-Wing Children’s Paperback Series in the 1970s
  • Abstract
  • Epilogue: Book Studies and the Sociology of Text Technologies
  • Abstract
  • Contributors

Here begynneth the Festschryfte intituled and named
Material Moments in Book Cultures

Book gifts play a vital part in the academic career of this Festschrift’s dedicatee, the book historian Professor Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. This is most clearly illustrated by the six-year interdisciplinary project on “Book Gifts in Late Medieval and Early Modern England,” which examined the value of gift-giving, with a particular emphasis on books as gifts, as well as their function in processes of symbolic communication. Not only an expert in book-gift giving, Müller-Oberhäuser combines a wide range of scholarly interests and proficiency with an incredible curiosity and enthusiasm that have encouraged and influenced many adepts of the book either as mentor, colleague or friend. She is a much-loved and respected university professor, who is also known for her devotion to her seminars and students. For these reasons, we cannot think of a better way to celebrate her with a book gift in the form of a Festschrift.

Müller-Oberhäuser is a native of the Rhineland, an area which is said to instil the character-trait of the rheinische Frohnatur (“cheerful nature”). She started her outstanding and wide-ranging academic career with the study of English, sociology and philosophy at the Universität zu Köln. A library traineeship and the second state examination were followed by a position as research assistant at the Institut für Buchwissenschaft in Mainz, the hometown of Johannes Gutenberg. After finishing her PhD on Geoffrey Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde, she came to the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster and worked as Hochschulassistentin for medieval literature (Mediävistin) at the English department. In 1990, she finished her Habilitation on reading in English mysticism and received the venia legendi for English philology and Buchwissenschaft. In 1993, she was summoned to the University of Kiel as professor for English medieval literature. Five years later, when she returned to the University of Münster as professor for Buchwissenschaft, she took over the Institutum Erasmianum, rechristened it Institut für Buchwissenschaft & Textforschung and began teaching English medieval literature and book history. Her main research interests include English literature and culture, historical and modern reading research, book censorship as well as book gifts as a form of symbolic communication.

Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser has been involved in a variety of interdisciplinary and international research projects, the breadth and width of which cannot be described in detail here. However, the three most recent projects deserve to be mentioned: From 2006 to 2012, she managed the Sonderforschungsbereich-project “Book Gifts in Late Medieval and Early Modern England” funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) mentioned above. The Sonderforschungsbereich involved 16 individual projects and covered a range of disciplines including history, art history, Latin philology, law, musicology, ethnology and, of course, ← xv | xvi → book history. Some of the results of Müller-Oberhäuser’s project were presented in the international colloquium “Book Gifts and Cultural Networks from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century” held in Münster on 8–10 February 2010. The Cluster of Excellence-project “The Censorship and Destruction of Books in Late Medieval and Early Modern England: The Example of the Lollard Heresy and the Reformation” followed from 2008 to 2011. This has been continued by the second phase of the Cluster programme with the project “The Book as a Weapon in Religio-Political Conflicts: Discourses of Violence and their Transmission in 15th- and 16th-Century England” since 2013. In almost 80 individual projects, the Cluster of Excellence combines interdisciplinary approaches to questions related to the relationship of religion and politics across different ages and cultures. Discussions in these large scale projects have not only broadened the scope of the field, but have also sharpened the sense of the uniqueness of book history.

Apart from these projects, the history of the Institut für Buchwissenschaft & Textforschung was also positively affected by the regular workshops held in Rothenberge with the master programme Book and Digital Media Studies of Leiden University. The seeds for the Leiden-Münster collaboration were sown by Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser and Adriaan van der Weel around 2000 and the first of the resulting annual workshops took place in 2002. These workshops offer young students from both universities the opportunity to present their current research projects to an international audience and enable a fruitful exchange of ideas. The collaboration especially benefits from the fact that while, traditionally, Münster mainly deals with the history of books, Leiden focuses on digital media change.

Essays in Honour of Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser

The concept of this Festschrift is to combine a representative body of contributors consisting of students, colleagues, assistants and friends, all past and present, who have benefited from Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser’s mentoring, her inquisitiveness and her enthusiasm. The title of this volume, Material Moments in Book Cultures, offers a suitable ambiguity: The term ‘material’ refers to the material aspects of the book, one of the central issues of book studies. However, it also means ‘important,’ ‘significant,’ ‘substantial.’ This enabled the inclusion of essays representing Müller-Oberhäuser’s work in literary studies as well as book studies. The term ‘moments’ encompasses all stages within the life-cycle of the book: production, distribution and reception. Furthermore, it does not limit contributions to a specific period of time. And finally, the plural ‘book cultures’ reflects the different geographical as well as chronological focal points of the individual contributors.

The Festschrift is subdivided into two main parts which are both structured chronologically. The first part, “Momenta,” offers contributions which reflect on momentous issues of book history in more general terms, whereas the second part focuses on case studies and presents significant “Moments” in the study of ← xvi | xvii → books. The two parts are introduced by a prologue with an illuminating contribution by Ulrike Graßnick, Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser’s research assistant in Kiel and Münster and one of her first PhD candidates. In her article, Graßnick argues that the Tale of Melibee is a much underestimated part in Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as she disentangles the elements of a Fürstenspiegel and the function of the narrative context in this particular piece.

The Festschrift continues with essays by Eva Schaten and Matti Peikola, who both combine the supernatural with the physical book. While Schaten discusses books as magical objects between the late Middle Ages and Early Modern times, Peikola analyses the Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt and discloses a vividly imagined written culture in the supernatural realm in late seventeenth-century America. Torsten Wieschen’s contribution, which can be seen as a connecting link between manuscript and print cultures, focuses on the importance of paratexts in early printed humanist material. In a leap towards the nineteenth century, Sarah Ströer discusses Sunday reading in Victorian England, while Sandra Simon questions the role of the emerging literary agent on the book-market at the turn of the century. Simon Rosenberg closes this first part and takes an – albeit light-hearted – look at the role of bookish aspects in contemporary television comedy shows and dissects them with book value categories.

The essay by Anne Hudson opens the second part of Material Moments in Book Cultures and discusses the identity of an authority figure in Wycliffite writings known only as ‘Odo.’ As Hudson elaborates, two authors are likely to be Odo; she focuses on Odo of Chateauroux, who is less known in England. In another study on the production of manuscripts, Jessica Hardenberger argues for a more balanced view concerning the collaboration patterns among the scribes and paraphers of the Auchinleck manuscript. Marga Munkelt enters the stage of Elizabethan theatre and illuminates the dramatic, theatrical and didactic significance of the silent Scottish king in the last scene of Shakespeare’s King Edward III. This is followed up by studies on the networks present in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century book-trade relations. Paul Hoftijzer sheds light on the intensive book-trade connections between the Netherlands and Germany in a revealing case study of the seventeenth-century Leiden bookseller Jacob Marcus; Janika Bischof presents the printed Acta Synodi Nationalis Dordrechti as a networking tool across national boundaries and Mirjam Christmann shows how the French Huguenot bookseller-publishers of the Vaillant family were integrated into London society by way of their publishing strategies. Hermann Josef Real introduces Jonathan Swift not only as reader and collector, but also as donor of books. In a comparison of two Victorian autobiographies, Uta Schleiermacher analyses the reading experiences of two women and asks in how far differences in their reading habits can be related to their social status. This section ends with a study of the German book-market of the 1970s in which Corinna Norrick-Rühl discusses the marketing strategies of the paperback series rororo rotfuchs and elaborates on the irony of achieving higher sales of left-wing ideas with efficient capitalist marketing schemes. The ← xvii | xviii → Festschrift concludes with an epilogue by Adriaan van der Weel, who offers a thought-provoking essay on the future of the discipline book studies.


From its first conception until its final stages of production, the long and winding road of this Festschrift profited from the dedicated support by many people surrounding the editorial team. Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser’s reputation in the field of book history, as well as her warm-hearted and approachable personality has made it easy to find supporters who were eager to contribute essays to this volume. Communication with each and every one of them was always pleasant, constructive and respectful. We wish to express our utmost gratitude as without their help this volume would not have materialized.

We are also grateful for the generous financial support granted by Professor James Carley and Professor Ann Hutchison, Dr Maria Hillebrandt, Dr Marga Munkelt, Dr Corinna Norrick-Rühl, Professor Bernfried Nugel, Dr Matti Peikola, Professor Hermann J. Real and Erika Real-Choisi, as well as the Ehrenpreis Centre for Swift Studies, Münster, Eva Schaten, MA and the English Department of the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster. We would also like to thank Dr Hermann Ühlein and Susanne Hoeves from Peter Lang publishers, who offered continuing assistance and granted us feasible terms and conditions. Professor Real kindly introduced us to Dr Ühlein and provided generous support in a variety of matters.

Moreover, we wish to extend our thanks to those who have supported us in other ways. First of all, Dr Kirsten Juhas shared her expertise on editing a Festschrift and was ready to help promptly and in many ways. Eva Schaten gave intriguing impulses and became our personal IT helpdesk. Dr Kai Elprana offered generous assistance and advice in various forms. Dr Marie-Luise Spieckermann helped us agree on the title, discussed some aspects of the Festschrift and further provided continuous moral support. Furthermore, Birgit Hötker-Bolte, secretary to Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser for over 15 years, not only compiled the “List of Publications” for this volume but also provided motivation, gave advice and lent an ear whenever the editorial team needed it.

Finally, we are exceedingly grateful to Professor Müller-Oberhäuser’s family: First of all, we are deeply indebted to Hans-Ulrich Müller-Oberhäuser, whom we infected with our enthusiasm for this project early on and who consequently became our most important conspirator and adviser. We apologize for having forced him to be quiet about this liber amicorum for more than two years and at the same time having requested vital and sensitive material and information that were necessary for the outcome of this publication. Birgit Oberhäuser also deserves special mention for her generous aid in preparing a special book gift.

Above all, we, in the name of all book history aficionados in Münster and elsewhere, would like to emphasize the great debt we owe to Professor Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser for enabling us to experience the great wide world of book ← xviii | xix → history with all its wonders and curiosities. We cannot estimate her dedication, attention to detail and demand for precision highly enough. This Festschrift does not only reflect the extent of research interests and expertise of our dedicatee, but as a book gift it is the most appropriate way to say “Thank You” to a bona fide book historian. We sincerely hope that she, as well as every reader, will not encounter a single dull moment while perusing this volume.

Simon Rosenberg and Sandra Simon

September 2014

← xix | xx → ← xx | xxi →

List of Publications by Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser

Birgit Hötker-Bolte, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität, Münster


Dialogsteuerung und Handlungsmotivierung in Chaucers Troilus and Criseyde. Diss. University of Cologne, 1983; Frankfurt am Main, 1986.

“Buch und Lesen in der englischen Mystik des Spätmittelalters: Studien zum Wertverständnis und zum Wandel der Kommunikationsformen in einer teil-literalen Gesellschaft.” Habilitationsschrift University of Münster, 1990.

Book Gifts and Cultural Networks from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century: Proceedings of the International Colloquium Münster, 8–10 February 2010. Ed. Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. Münster, forthcoming.


“Teilprojekt M: Schriftlichkeit und Verhaltensnormierung: Anstands- und Ratgeberbücher im englischen Spätmittelalter.” Sonderforschungsbereich 231: Träger, Felder, Formen pragmatischer Schriftlichkeit im Mittelalter, 1986–1994. Ed. Christel Meier-Staubach (Münster, 1994), 153–157.

“‘Cynna gemyndig’: Sitte und Etikette in der altenglischen Literatur.” Frühmittelalterliche Studien, 30 (1996), 19–59.

“Buchmarkt und Laienlektüre im englischen Frühdruck: William Caxton und die Tradierung der mittelenglischen Courtesy Books.” Laienlektüre und Buchmarkt im späten Mittelalter. Eds Thomas Kock and Rita Schlusemann (Frankfurt am Main, 1997), 61–108.

“‘Norture newe founde or auncyent’: Zur Tradierung von Höflichkeitsregeln im englischen Spätmittelalter am Beispiel von William Caxtons ‘Book of Courtesy.’” Schriftlichkeit und Lebenspraxis im Mittelalter: Erfassen, Bewahren, Verändern (Akten des Internationalen Kolloquiums 8.-10. Juni 1995). Eds Hagen Keller, Christel Meier and Thomas Scharff (München, 1999), 279–297.

“Buchwissenschaft in Münster.” Buchwissenschaft und Buchwirkungsforschung: VIII, Leipziger Hochschultage für Medien und Kommunikation. Eds Dietrich Kerlen and Inka Kirste (Leipzig, 2000), 57–66.

“Gender, Emotionen und Modelle der Verhaltensregulierung in den mittelenglischen Courtesy Books.Kulturen der Gefühle in Mittelalter und Früher Neuzeit. Eds Ingrid Kasten, Gesa Stedmann and Margarete Zimmermann. Querelles, 7 (Stuttgart, 2002), 27–51. ← xxi | xxii →

“Lesesozialisation und Enkulturation im Viktorianischen England – am Beispiel der Artusliteratur für junge Leser.” Medienkompetenz: Voraussetzungen, Dimensionen, Funktionen. Eds Norbert Groeben and Bettina Hurrelmann (München, 2002), 25–43.

“‘With Cortays Speche’: Verbale Höflichkeit in den mittelenglischen Courtesy Books.” Pragmatische Dimensionen mittelalterlicher Schriftkultur. Eds Christel Meier-Staubach, et al. (München, 2002), 211–231.

“Neuere Literaturtheorien.” Ein anglistischer Grundkurs: Einführung in die Literaturwissenschaft. Ed. Bernhard Fabian. 7th ed. (Berlin, 1993), 204–238; 8th ed. (Berlin, 1998), 204–248; 9th ed. (Berlin, 2004), 208–255.

“Buch und Lesen im historischen Wandel.” Englische Sprachwissenschaft und Mediävistik: Standpunkte – Perspektiven – Neue Wege. Ed. Gabriele Knappe (Frankfurt am Main, 2005), 261–276.

“Das Buchgeschenk zwischen largesse und Buchmarkt im spätmittelalterlichen England.” Wertekonflikte – Deutungskonflikte: Internationales Kolloquium des Sonderforschungs-bereichs 496, 18.-20. Mai 2005. Eds Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger and Thomas Weller. Symbolische Kommunikation und gesellschaftliche Wertesysteme. Schriftenreihe des Sonderforschungsbereichs 496, 16 (Münster, 2007), 123–141.

“‘How homly ower Lord was in hyr sowle’: Julian of Norwichs ‘Revelations’ and Margery Kempes ‘Book’ im Kontext weiblicher Frömmigkeitsformen des Spätmittelalters.” Außen und Innen: Räume und ihre Symbolik im Mittelalter. Eds Nikolaus Staubach and Vera Johanterwage (Frankfurt am Main, 2007), 299–331.

“Lesende Mädchen und Frauen im Viktorianischen England: Lesebiographische (Re-) Konstruktionen.” Die lesende Frau. Ed. Gabriela Signori. Wolfenbütteler Forschungen, 121 (Wiesbaden, 2009), 345–383.

“‘A Valiant Jewish Commander’: Morells Libretto des Judas Maccabaeus im Kontext der englischen Literatur.” Gewalt – Bedrohung – Krieg: Interdisziplinäre Studien zu Georg Friedrich Händels Judas Maccabaeus. Eds Dominik Höink and Jürgen Heidrich (Göttingen, 2010), 55–84.

“‘The press ought to be open to all’: Zensur in England im Zeitalter der Aufklärung.” Inquisitionen und Buchzensur im Zeitalter der Aufklärung. Ed. Hubert Wolf. Römische Inquisition und Indexkongregation, 16 (Paderborn, 2011), 111–144.

“‘Wicked, seditious and traiterous books’: Buchzensur im reformatorischen England im Spannungsfeld von Religion und Politik.” Rottenburger Jahrbuch für Kirchengeschichte, 28 (2011), 117–138.

“‘Au Roy Vrayement Chrestien, Edvard’: Book Gifts to Edward VI.” Book Gifts and Cultural Networks from the Fourteenth to the Sixteenth Century: Proceedings of the International Colloquium Münster, 8–10 February 2010. Ed. Gabriele Müller-Oberhäuser. Münster, forthcoming. ← xxii | xxiii →


XXIV, 286
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2014 (November)
Buchkultur Buchproduktion Geschichte des Lesens
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2014. XXIV, 286 pp., 1 coloured fig., 10 b/w fig., 1 table

Biographical notes

Simon Rosenberg (Volume editor) Sandra Simon (Volume editor)


Title: Material Moments in Book Cultures
book preview page numper 1
book preview page numper 2
book preview page numper 3
book preview page numper 4
book preview page numper 5
book preview page numper 6
book preview page numper 7
book preview page numper 8
book preview page numper 9
book preview page numper 10
book preview page numper 11
book preview page numper 12
book preview page numper 13
book preview page numper 14
book preview page numper 15
book preview page numper 16
book preview page numper 17
book preview page numper 18
book preview page numper 19
book preview page numper 20
book preview page numper 21
book preview page numper 22
book preview page numper 23
book preview page numper 24
book preview page numper 25
book preview page numper 26
book preview page numper 27
book preview page numper 28
book preview page numper 29
book preview page numper 30
book preview page numper 31
book preview page numper 32
book preview page numper 33
book preview page numper 34
book preview page numper 35
book preview page numper 36
book preview page numper 37
book preview page numper 38
book preview page numper 39
book preview page numper 40
312 pages