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The printed poetry anthologies first produced in sixteenth-century England have long been understood as instrumental in shaping the history of English poetry.
This book offers a fresh approach to this history by turning attention to the recreative properties of these books, both in the sense of making again, of crafting and recrafting, and of poetry as a pleasurable pastime.
The model of materiality employed extends from books-as-artefacts to their embodiedness - their crafted, performative, and expressive capacities.
Publishers invariably advertised the recreational uses of anthologies, locating these books in early modern performance cultures in which poetry was read, silently and in company, sometimes set to music, and re-crafted into other forms.
Engaging with studies of material cultures, including work on craft, households, and soundscapes, Crafting Poetry Anthologies argues for a domestic Renaissance in which anthologies travelled across social classes, shaping recreational cultures that incorporated men and women in literary culture.
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