This volume builds upon the widening interest in the connections between culture and communication in medieval and early modern Europe. Focusing on England, it takes a critical look at the scholarly paradigm of the shift from script to print, exploring the possibilities and limitations of these media as vehicles of information and meaning. The essays examine how pen and the press were used in the spheres of religion, law, scholarship, and politics. They assess scribal activity both before and after the advent of printing, illuminating its role in recording and transmitting polemical, literary, antiquarian and utilitarian texts. They also investigate script and print in relation to the spoken word, emphasising the constant interaction and symbiosis of these three media. In sum, this collection will help to refine the boundaries between cultures of speech, manuscript and print, and to reconsider the historical fissures which they have come to represent.
'One of the ... pleasures it brings to light lies precisely in its use of details ... The essays collected here will do much to stimulate further work on the overlapping cultures of speech, manuscript and print.' H. R. Woudhuysen, University College London 'Cambridge University Press is here, as ever, incomparable as a producer of academic books.' CILIP Rare Books Group '... this stimulating collection can be warmly recommended for the range of topics it covers and the lively answers it offers to the many pressing questions raised.' History 'Many boundaries are fruitfully crossed in these essays. They bring together the Middle Ages and the early-modern period at the same time as ranging flexibly over manuscript and printed text and various forms of oral discourse. They look beyond London to regions and localities, and sometimes to continental contexts as well. They confront and explore what have been accepted as authoritative arguments about a number of issues ... and refine or sometimes refute them with recourse to fresh evidence and speculation. With its insights, questions, and comprehensively high standard of writing and scholarship, this is a valuable and illuminating collection.' The Library 'This collection is a stimulating and authoritative guide to the range of relevant and recent literature.' Southern History Society 'The Uses of Script and Print is a stimulating addition to recent debates.' Reformation 'It is an important compilation, not just for what the individual authors have to say, but also for the broader resonances of their ideas. ... a significant set of papers, and definitely a rewarding read.' The Heythrop Journal