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Kentish Book Culture

Writers, Archives, Libraries and Sociability 1400-1660

Edited By Claire Bartram

This volume explores the writing practices and book collections of a range of individuals in early modern Kent including monks, a mariner and an apothecary as well as members of the gentry and clergy and urban administrators. In a county with ready access to metropolitan, courtly and continental influences, a vibrant provincial book culture flourished, in which literacy was prized and book ownership widespread. Reinforcing the important social role played by the literate and revealing something of their creative potential, the essays gathered here also uncover an appetite for debate, reflected in the books owned, lent, written and published by the Kentish in the period covered. Underpinning all of this is an enduring culture of sociability, centred around the book as an object to be shared.

Interdisciplinary in approach, this collection brings together specialists in the history of the book, literary scholars, social historians and librarians to explore the nature of authorship and the dynamics of the market for print and manuscript books outside London. It demonstrates the rich potential of regional archival study to extend our understanding of medieval and early modern literature.

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Figure 1.1. CCCC, MS 417 John Stone’s Chronicle f. 4r. Reproduced courtesy of the Master and Fellows of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.

Figure 1.2. CCA Cawston Lit.Ms D1   2 f. 25v Death of William Glastonbury recorded at the foot of first column. Reproduced courtesy of The Chapter of Canterbury.

Figure 2.1. KHLC: EKA-Sa/AC 1 f. 61r Sandwich Town Year Book showing Serle’s pen-flourishes. Reproduced Courtesy of Kent County Council Libraries Registration & Archives.

Figure 3.1. CCL Elham 46 The Second Edition of Holinshed’s Chronicle (1588), p. 1422 [mispaginated as 1491], showing the beginning of Scot’s account. Reproduced courtesy of The Chapter of Canterbury.

Figure 3.2. BL Add MS 12514 f. 41v showing bridging text and the beginning of the ‘Dialogue between Opynion and Reasone.’ Reproduced by permission of the British Library.

Figure 5.1. KHLC U47/3/E2 f. 46v–47r Henry Oxinden’s Loans List. Reproduced courtesy of Kent County Council Libraries Registration & Archives, and Kent Archaeological Society.

Figure 7.1. Map of the Urban Settlements Forming the Cinque Ports Confederation Around Romney Marsh. Reproduced courtesy of Pre-Construct Archaeology.

Figure 7.2. KHLC:NR/JB6 ff. 215–16 The First of the Romney Players’ Recognisances of 1555. Reproduced courtesy of Kent County Council Libraries Registration & Archives and New Romney Town Council.

Figure 7.3. KHLC:NR/JB6 ff. 215–16 Transcription of the Romney Players’ Recognisance (second, lower part).

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