The Journal of the Early Book Society for the Study of Manuscripts and Printing History

Journal of the Early Book Society is a journal covering English and continental works produced from 1350 to 1550, including brief notes on manuscripts and early printed books, reviews of recent works in the field, and notes on libraries and collections, published by Pace University in New York, N.Y., for historians, teachers and librarians.

Articles from Vol. 14, Annual

A Record Identifying Thomas Hoccleve's Father
Until now, nothing has been known of the origins of Thomas Hoccleve, poet and clerk of the Office of the Privy Seal from 1387 to 1426. None of his biographers has much to say about his origins, and his most recent biographer, John Burrow, sums up our...
Caxton's Exemplar for the Chronicles of England?
The direct exemplars used by early printers show us much about the printers' working practices--whether and how they "cast off" copy; how they handled space and layout--and about their responses to Middle English literature in the years around 1500--how...
Compilation and Contemplation: Beholding Thomas Hoccleve's Series in Oxford, Bodleian Library, MS Selden Supra 53
Thomas Hoccleve's Series is a sophisticated compilation of texts linked by its narrator's account of making the book that preserves them. (1) The narrator's account of literally making his book is so important to the structure of the Series that John...
Documents and Books: A Case Study of Luket Nantron and Geoffrey Spirleng as Fifteenth-Century Administrators and Textwriters
Upon his return to England in the aftermath of the Hundred Years War, Sir John Fastolf embarked upon a program of property acquisition in East Anglia. Caister Castle, on the coast of Norfolk, was one of the properties he acquired and began to improve...
Julian of Norwich in the Fifteenth Century: The Material Record, Maternal Devotion, and London, Westminster Cathedral Treasury MS4
The relationship between reader and book has long shaped Western culture's imagination of what it means to be a "self." In a literate society, how we read--why we read--and what we think we are doing to ourselves in the process informs our notions...
Lord Rivers and Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms Bodley 264: A Speculum for the Prince of Wales?
The purpose of this essay is to shed light on the possible use of Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Bodley 264 in a rather obscure period of its life. A new hypothesis is here proposed: it involves Anthony Woodville, second Earl Rivers (c. 1440 to 1483)...
Manuscripts of "A Prince out of the North"
"A Prince [or "A King"] out of the North shall come" is a fifty-line verse prophecy about James I and VI, which survives in seventeen manuscripts. Until recently, it was misunderstood as a medieval work, in part because most manuscripts attribute it...
Pre-Fifteenth-Century Scribes Copying Middle English in More Than One Manuscript
One of the most impressive (and potentially significant) current manuscript research projects is that devoted to medieval scribes. This is housed at the University of York and headed by Linne R Mooney and Simon Horobin. (1) In the main dedicated to...
Printing for Purgatory: Indulgences and Related Documents in England, 1476 to 1536
As Peter Stallybrass has recently insisted in no uncertain terms, printers do not print books, they print sheets. What happens to those sheets after they have been printed is none of their concern, unless the printer is also the publisher. Books naturally...
The Middle English Cooking Recipes in New York Public Library Whitney MS 1
New York Public Library, Whitney MS 1 consists of fifteen vellum leaves and contains a selection of Middle English cooking recipes written down in the first half of the fifteenth century, (1) probably c.1425. The first group of recipes on folios 1...
Writing Fame: Epitaph Transcriptions in Renaissance Chaucer Editions and the Construction of Chaucer's Poetic Reputation
While examining two copies of Stow's 1561 Chaucer edition (1) at the Garrett Library Collection of the Sheridan Libraries at Johns Hopkins University, I discovered that each of them contained a manuscript transcription of the verses on Chaucer's tomb,...
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