I’ve been posting far less than I would like recently, due to being completely overwhelmed at work at the moment. If I never have to write another strategy, delivery plan or risk register for the rest of my life, it will be too soon… But I am scraping together the time to fit in MA work and one of the books I’ve most enjoyed in the last week or two has been Tessa Watt’s Cheap Print and Popular Piety.
I am ashamed to say that I never read this as an undergraduate, despite spending an entire term doing early modern social history. But I’ve enjoyed catching up. I particularly liked the way in which she reconstructed the networks of middle-men and middle-women involved in the ballad, broadside and woodcut trade. I was also very taken with how she mapped networks of London publishers through connections of marriage, apprenticeship and business partnership. You can see the resultant map here.
My paper for the end of this term’s work will be trying to reconstruct a seventeenth-century pamphlet battle, and Watt has given me plenty of ideas of how to look at the printers and publishers involved. I will try to post more about my research as it progresses.
Anyway a short post for now, normal service and posting frequency will hopefully be resumed at the end of this week!