History of the Book Seminar: Paper, Pen and Ink: Manuscript Cultures in Early Modern England

Carlo Bajetta will be talking about the editing of early modern manuscripts at the next seminar in this year's Open University Book History Research Group series. The seminar will take place on Monday 17 March at Senate House in London, at 5.30pm. There is no need to book in advance, and everyone is welcome. More details below.

The topic for the series as a whole, which is organised in association with the Institute of English Studies, is Paper, Pen and Ink: Manuscript Cultures in Early Modern England. The complete programme can be downloaded at http://www.open.ac.uk/arts/research/book-history/sites/www.open.ac.uk.arts.research.book-history/files/files/ecms/arts-bh-pr/web-content/paper-pen-ink.pdf

For further information, please contact the series organiser, Jonathan Gibson

Monday 17 March 2014: University of London, Senate House, Room 234 (2nd floor), 5.30-7.00pm

Carlo Bajetta (Università della Valle d’Aosta)
‘Making Sense of Chaos: Analysing Early Modern Manuscripts’

This talk will reconsider analytical and editorial methodology in early modern manuscript studies. After a look at the age-old, but still crucial, problem of how best to deal with the patent mistakes many early modern manuscript texts present (or seem to present), it will suggest a variety of ways in which a modern researcher can get the best out of the analysis of handwritten texts. By means of an examination of specific cases, including some of Elizabeth I’s Italian letters, I will illustrate the advantages of a case-to-case, evidence-based, approach to both editorial emendation and to the analysis of the material features of manuscript volumes.

Professor Carlo M. Bajetta is Professor of English at Università della Valle d’Aosta, Italy. His books include Sir Walter Ralegh (1998), Whole Volumes in Folio (2000), Some Notes on Printing and Publishing in Renaissance Venice (2000), and, with Luisa Camaiora, Shakespearean Readings: Shakespeare, Keats, Shelley (2004). He has edited R.B. McKerrow’s 1928 Sandars Lectures on authors’ manuscripts (Studies in Bibliography, 2000), Wordsworth’s, Shelley’s and Reynold’s 1819 Peter Bell poems (2005) and, in a bilingual edition, Thomas More’s English Poems. He has also published research on the fiction, literary criticism and letters of C.S. Lewis and is currently engaged on an edition of the Italian letters of Elizabeth I.