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Designing English: Early Literature on the Page

by Daniel Wakelin Bodleian Library
Pub Date:
01/2018
ISBN:
9781851244751
Format:
Hbk 224 pages
Price:
AU$74.99 NZ$78.25
Product Status: In Stock Now
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Early manuscripts in the English language include religious works, plays, romances, poetry and songs, as well as charms, notebooks, science and medieval medicine. How did scribes choose to arrange the words and images on the page in each manuscript? How did they preserve, clarify and illustrate writing in English? What visual guides were given to early readers of English in how to understand or use their books?


 


Designing English is an overview of eight centuries of graphic design in manuscripts and inscriptions from the Anglo-Saxon to the early Tudor periods. Working beyond the traditions established for Latin, scribes of English needed to be more inventive, so that each book was an opportunity for redesigning. Designing English focuses on the craft, agency and intentions of scribes, painters and engravers in the practical processes of making pages and artefacts. It weighs up the balance of ingenuity and copying, practicality and imagination in their work. It surveys bilingual books, format, ordinatio, decoration and reading aloud, as well as inscriptions on objects, monuments and buildings.


 


With over ninety illustrations, drawn especially from the holdings of the Bodleian Library in Old English and Middle English, Designing English gives a comprehensive overview of English books and other material texts across the Middle Ages.

Contents
Foreword
Acknowledgements

Introduction
1 Making Space for English
2 Making Pages
3 Pages for Reading
4 Decorating Pages
5 Pages for Voicing
6 English in Space

Further Reading
Quotations and References
Notes
Picture Credits
Index of Manuscripts
General Index

'An extremely important survey …the quality of the production is high, pricing very competitive and the many full colour illustrations superbly complement the text. 'Designing English' deserves a wide readership, and not just in academia.'
Daniel Wakelin is Jeremy Griffiths Professor of Medieval English Palaeography in the Faculty of English, University of Oxford.