The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger Ms. V.B. 198

The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger Ms. V.B. 198

The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger Ms. V.B. 198

The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book: Folger Ms. V.B. 198

Excerpt

This edition of Folger MS. V.b.198 is titled The Southwell-Sibthorpe Commonplace Book with the name “Southwell” first because the manuscript is predominantly made up of “The workes of the Lady Ann Sothwell” (fol. 1 ), née Harris, who was born in 1573, married Thomas Southwell in 1593 and, after his death in 1626, Captain Henry Sibthorpe. She died in 1636. The name “Sibthorpe” is joined to that of “Southwell” because he not only gave Lady Anne the folios at the time of their wedding and composed at least two entries (probably fol. 27 and certainly most of fols. 73 and 74), but also critiqued the poetry of the woman he praised effusively. The last phrase of the tide, “commonplace book,” indicates that the collection of poems, letters, aphorisms, inventories, a mini-bestiary, scriptural commentary, and receipts resembles similar collections of the early seventeenth century, called commonplace books, which gentlemen frequently kept. Because Folger MS. V.b.198

According to Sibthorpe’s statement on fol. 74.

See Edwin Wolf, The Textual Importance of Manuscript Commonplace Books of 1620– 1660, An Address before the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Va.: Bibliographical Society of the Univ. of Virginia, 1949), 1. On the importance to a humanist education of keeping a notebook, see R. R. Bolgar, The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1954), 265–75; Sister Joan Marie Lechner, Renaissance Concepts of the Commonplaces (New York: Pageant Press, 1962); Ann Blair, “Humanist Methods in Natural Philosophy: The Commonplace Book,” Journal of the History of Ideas 53:4 (Oct.–Dec. 1992): 541–60; Mary Thomas Crane, Framing Authority: Sayings, Self, and Society in Sixteenth Century England (Prince-

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