ISBN : 9780198809067
Voices and Books in the English Renaissance offers a new history of reading that focuses on the oral reader and the voice- or performance-aware silent reader, rather than the historical reader, who is invariably male, silent, and alone. It recovers the vocality of education for boys and girls in Renaissance England, and the importance of training in pronuntiatio (delivery) for oral-aural literary culture. It offers the first attempt to recover the voice-and tones of voice especially-from textual sources. It explores what happens when we bring voice to text, how vocal tone realizes or changes textual meaning, and how the literary writers of the past tried to represent their own and others' voices, as well as manage and exploit their readers' voices.
The volume offers fresh readings of key Tudor authors who anticipated oral readers including Anne Askew, William Baldwin, and Thomas Nashe. It rethinks what a printed book can be by searching the printed page for vocal cues and exploring the neglected role of the voice in the printing process. Renaissance printed books have often been misheard and a preoccupation with their materiality has led to a focus on them as objects. Indeed, Renaissance printed books are alive with possible voices, but we will not understand this while we focus on the silent reader.
Introduction: Voices and Books
Part I. Locating the Voice
1 The Voice on the Page
2 The Voice in the Schoolroom
3 The Voice in the Church
Part II. Voices and Books: Case Studies
4 Talking Books: Bale, Askew, Baldwin
5 Thomas Nashe Off the Page