Books and Bookmen in Early Modern Britain: Essays Presented to James P. Carley

Edited by
James Willoughby and Jeremy Catto

Papers in Mediaeval Studies 30. 2018. xxvi, 450 pp. ISBN 978-0-88844-830-9 • Cloth • $95

This gathering of eighteen essays explores a period in Britain when the world of letters was brought under harness by the political centre as it had never been before or has been since. The importance of royal patronage for authors and printers alike is the subject of several of these studies; others are concerned with the dangers of unorthodox reading in Tudor England. The break-up of monastic libraries is another theme, as witnessed not only in England but also by observers in the Low Countries and Italy. Also included are studies on the post-dissolution movement of medieval books into the universities and into royal and aristocratic collections, aspects of female reading, verse composition, and the act and art of writing by hand, with some editions of hitherto unprinted texts.

Gathered from different corners of the field of book history, these studies share the common aim of honouring the contribution of James P. Carley. While known chiefly for his work on Tudor bibliographers, on the survival of medieval books in post-dissolution England and the foundation of the royal library, his interests extend to include monastic history and the Arthurian tradition. In all his work he has shown how close readings in the history of the book can open a window on an entire landscape and provide answers where other modes of historical enquiry fall short. These essays seek to honour his achievement by offering close readings of their own.


Abbreviations • ix

James Willoughby • Introduction • xiii
Martyn Percy • Laudatio • xix
Diarmaid MacCulloch • James Carley: An Appreciation • xxiii

Jeremy Catto • John Stevens and the Gesta Henrici Quinti • 1
David Rundle • The Playpen: Reform, Experimentation and the Memory of Humfrey, Duke of Gloucester in the Registry of the University of Oxford • 17
Vincent Gillespie • Visionary Women and their Books in the Library of the Brethren of Syon • 40
Mark Rankin • Sebastian Brant’s Shyp of folys at the Accession of Henry VIII • 64
David R. Carlson • Wolsey’s Praises: The Henrician Royal Manuscript Presentation, Ianus • 80
Ágnes Juhász-Ormsby • Commemorating Anne Boleyn’s 1533 Entry into London: John Leland and Nicholas Udall’s Versis and dities made at the coronation of quene Anne • 100
James Willoughby • Cardinal Marcello Cervini (1501–1555) and English Libraries • 119
Paul Nelles • English Books in Flanders? New Light on John Bale’s ‘lamentable spoyle’ • 150
Anne Hudson • Cataloguing Wyclif: The Contribution of John Bale • 155
M. Anne Overell • Books of Italian Spirituali in Tudor England • 199
Ceridwen Lloyd-Morgan • Changing Worlds: Contextualizing Elis Gruffydd’s Welsh Miscellany • 217
Ann Dooley • What Lies Beneath: The Weary Scribal Hand of Bodleian Library, MS Laud Misc. 615 • 238
Susan Powell • The After-Life of a Late Fourteenth-Century Sermon Collection in Early Modern England • 261
Richard Ovenden • The Manuscript Library of Lord William Howard of Naworth (1563–1640) • 278
Elisabeth Leedham-Green • University Street and the Stationers of Sixteenth-Century Cambridge • 319
Richard Rex • Such a Company of Fellows and Scholars: Roger Ascham’s Picture of Humanism at St John’s College, Cambridge • 335
Joanna Weinberg • A Mélange of Words and Documents: Notes on Some Seventeenth-Century Orientalists • 352
Daniel Woolf • A Late Seventeenth-Century Englishwoman and her History Books: Sarah Cowper (1644–1720) as Reader and Commentator • 362

Ann M. Hutchison • A Bibliography of the Writings of James P. Carley • 386

Contributors • 393

Index of Manuscripts • 395
Indexes of Printed Books • 401
Index of Authors and Works • 416
General Index • 428


James Willoughby is a Research Fellow of New College in the University of Oxford, with research interests in medieval books and libraries as an approach to learning in the middle ages. He is a General Editor of the PIMS series British Writers of the Middle Ages and the Early Modern Period. Editions, Translations, and Studies, and for the British Academy series Corpus of British Medieval Library Catalogues, to which he has contributed several volumes. He is Co-Editor of the journal of the Bibliographical Society, The Library.

Jeremy Catto (1939–2018) was Fellow Emeritus of Oriel College in the University of Oxford. A late medievalist with research interests in the history of scholarship, universities, heresy and orthodoxy, he was editor of The Early Oxford Schools (1984) and co-editor (with Ralph Evans) of Late Medieval Oxford (1992), the first and second volumes of The History of the University of Oxford. His published essays range in subject from the political thought of Aquinas to the theology of Wyclif, and also touch on patronage, preaching, and law, as well as ‘practical Latin’ and formal English.


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