Prof. Alan Stewart
(Columbia University / Centre for Editing Lives and Letters)
Writing a life in early modern England: the case of Richard Stonley
Moore Institute Seminar Room (Hardiman Research Building G010)
5pm Tuesday 15 September
In 1972, the Folger Shakespeare Library acquired a diary written between 1581 and 1598 by Richard Stonley, an Exchequer official, who on 12 June 1593 bought ‘the Venus and Adhonay per Shakespere’, the first known purchase of a work by Shakespeare. That entry aside, the diaries have received little critical attention. Disappointingly mute on topical detail, they feature instead daily transcriptions from the Bible, records of Stonley’s financial outgoings, and the thinnest of narratives about his daily activities. This paper asks what Stonley was doing in this diary, one of the earliest English diaries to survive – and how his entries relate to his controversial Exchequer career.
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