Gabriel Harvey and the History of Reading

Essays by Lisa Jardine and others

Edited by Anthony Grafton, Nicholas Popper, and William H. Sherman


ISBN: 9781800081673

Publication: January 08, 2024

Few articles in the humanities have had the impact of Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton’s seminal ‘Studied for Action’ (1990), a study of the reading practices of Elizabethan polymath and prolific annotator Gabriel Harvey. Their excavation of the setting, methods and ambitions of Harvey’s encounters with his books ignited the History of Reading, an interdisciplinary field which quickly became one of the most exciting corners of the scholarly cosmos. A generation inspired by the model of Harvey fanned out across the world’s libraries and archives, seeking to reveal the many creative, unexpected and curious ways that individuals throughout history responded to texts, and how these interpretations in turn illuminate past worlds.

Three decades on, Harvey’s example and Jardine’s work remain central to cutting-edge scholarship in the History of Reading. By uniting ‘Studied for Action’ with published and unpublished studies on Harvey by Jardine, Grafton and the scholars they have influenced, this collection provides a unique lens on the place of marginalia in textual, intellectual and cultural history. The chapters capture subsequent work on Harvey and map the fields opened by Jardine and Grafton’s original article, collectively offering a posthumous tribute to Lisa Jardine and an authoritative overview of the History of Reading.

Anthony Grafton is Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton University.

Nicholas Popper is Associate Professor of History at William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA, and Editor of Books at the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture.

William H. Sherman is Director of the Warburg Institute and Professor of Cultural History in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study.

List of figures
Note on republications
Note on translations

Foreword: Lisa Jardine and UCL’s Centre for Editing Lives and Letters
Robyn Adams and Matthew Symonds
Preface: Lisa Jardine and the History of Reading
Anthony Grafton

Anthony Grafton, Nicholas Popper and William Sherman

1 ‘Studied for action’: How Gabriel Harvey read his Livy
Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton

2 Gabriel Harvey: Exemplary Ramist and pragmatic humanist
Lisa Jardine

3 Purpose-specific political reading with the Leicester circle
Lisa Jardine and William Sherman

4 The English Polydaedali: How Gabriel Harvey read late Tudor London
Nicholas Popper

5 Generative genealogies, reading practices and the transformation of late Renaissance mathematics
Nicholas Popper with Anthony Grafton

6 How Harvey used his Augustine
Arnoud Visser

7 Pragmatic readers: Knowledge transactions and scholarly services in late Elizabethan England
Lisa Jardine and William Sherman

8 Studied for disputation: How Gabriel Harvey read his library
Earle Havens

9 What is an annotator? Renaissance marginalia as a textual for
Sara Miglietti

10 Writing about reading: On early modern annotation practice and the future of book history
Frederic Clark

11 ‘Studied for action’ revisited
Lisa Jardine

Epilogue: From Moore Smith’s Marginalia to the Archaeology of Reading and back
Anthony Grafton
Appendix: Gabriel Harvey’s library of annotated books
Earle Havens


Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 × 34 mm

434 Pages

1 frontispiece and 15 colour photo/halftones

Copyright: © 2024

ISBN: 9781800081673

Publication: January 08, 2024

Scroll to top