Reading Continuities in an Age of Change: Some 15th Century Manuscripts and their Tudor Owners
Thursday, 21 January 2016 | 18:15 | Trinity Long Room Hub
A public lecture by Dr Margaret Connolly (University of St Andrews) during her term as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Trinity Long Room Hub in collaboration with the School of English.
Bio: Dr Margaret Connolly is an Honorary Research Fellow in the School of English at the University of St Andrews. Dr Connolly’s field of study is medieval English literature, with a particular emphasis on the manuscript contexts in which Middle English texts survive. She has worked on both scribal production and reader reception, and has edited and catalogued medieval texts.
Abstract: This lecture will consider ways in which early modern readers continued to use old medieval books, taking as its focus a group of eight fifteenth-century manuscripts owned by a single English gentry family in the sixteenth century. Although these volumes were used in various ways (as a repository for family records; as a safe place to preserve important material; as a source of practical household information; and as a professional lawyer’s manual), primarily, Dr Connolly will argue, they were used quite simply as books, that is, that they were read. Many of the original texts in these manuscripts are of a devotional nature, and a special point of interest is the disjunction between these textual products of a wholly Catholic age and the reformist religious environment that their Tudor readers inhabited, especially after the 1530s. The lecture will consider evidence of annotations, comments, and other markings (and also places left unmarked), in order to try to interpret the nature of these later readers’ engagement with their old medieval books.