The textual sociology of the Stationers' Registers, 1554-1605

Waring, K (2022) The textual sociology of the Stationers' Registers, 1554-1605. PhD thesis, Bath Spa University.

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Abstract

The Stationers’ Registers are paradoxical objects. The Stationers’ Company is well-known amongst early modern scholars and the Stationers’ Registers are frequently cited; together, they played a significant role in the narratives of book history that emerge throughout this period. However, given that the Stationers’ Registers are such important texts there have been very few studies concerned solely with them. This thesis, as an individual study of the Stationers’ Registers between 1554 and 1605, aims to redress this absence from the established work in this field. Its fundamental purpose is to explore the textual sociology of the Stationers’ Registers in order to examine its position as a cultural artefact in its own right, with particular emphasis placed upon the social dynamics that were instrumental in shaping the narratives and discourses that surround the registers. Chapters One and Two consider the ways in which concepts of ‘text’ and ‘authorship’ inform and fashion the material and social constructs of the Stationers’ Registers. Very little is known of the procedural aspect of the Company’s record-keeping systems during this period, so Chapter Three is an investigation of the daily procedural and cultural environment of the Stationers’ Company. Chapter Four examines the social function of the Stationers’ Registers, and their role as social documents. For the London book trades the registers had a value beyond that of the commercial, a worth that extended into cultural, social, and political spheres; and in Chapter Five I explore what the registers tell us about the values ascribed to texts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Stationers' Registers, Stationers' Company, early modern England, book history, publishing industry, textual sociology, cultural history, economic history, authorship, record-keeping, London book trade
Divisions: School of Writing, Publishing and the Humanities
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 12:28
Last Modified: 13 Jul 2022 12:26
URI / Page ID: http://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/14868
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