Colonial Revivals: The Nineteenth-Century Lives of Early American Books

By Lindsay Dicuirci | Go to book overview

NOTES

INTRODUCTION

1. G.E.E., “Governor Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation,” Christian Examiner and Religious Miscellany 61, no. 1 (1856): 131.

2. The whole account is detailed, at length, in a series of prefatory materials to the 1898 edition of the book, the first edition prepared with the manuscript on U.S. soil and published by Wright and Potter in 1898.

3. The North American Review made brief mention of the manuscript’s publication by the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1856. Interestingly, the reviewer notes its widespread interest as a specimen appealing not only to the “antiquary” but to any reader who traces his or her “descent,” “liberties,” or “spiritual lineage to the Pilgrim stock” (270). “Review of History of Plymouth Plantation,” North American Review 83, no. 172 (1856): 269–270.

4. William Bradford, Bradford’s History of Plimoth Plantation (Boston: Wright and Potter, 1898), xlvi.

5. I use the term “book” throughout Colonial Revivals, rather than “text” or “work.” David Hall’s introduction to A History of the Book in America, vol. 1 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007), offers a helpful and capacious definition of “book,” which includes “the familiar format of the codex, whether in manuscript or print, as well as its intellectual content.” Hall further suggests that we might include printed items like broadsides and newspapers in this definition, as they “had some of the uses of books” (2). I make distinctions between manuscripts and printed books, periodicals, and newspapers when such distinctions in form and format are significant in terms of their production, reception, or circulation. However, “book” will serve as the encompassing term in lieu of something like “text,” which typically denotes the words on the page or screen, not the material volume.

6. Just because the manuscript was not printed does not mean it was not circulated or read. As David Hall has shown, scribal publication was common in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and historians/ministers like Thomas Prince, in whose possession the Bradford manuscript lay for many years, incorporated materials from manuscripts into his own work. David D. Hall, Ways of Writing: The Practice and Politics of Text-Making in SeventeenthCentury New England(Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). However, we must consider the very limited sphere in which the seventeenth-century manuscript circulated when we account for its influence. Following the Revolution, it vanished completely, and so literature of the early national period was not directly informed by this account.

7. David McKitterick, Old Books, New Technologies: The Representations, Conservation and Transformation of Books Since 1700 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013), 207.

-195-

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