Studies in Ephemera

Kevin D. Murphy and Sally O'Driscoll (Eds.)

Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print

318 pages
ISBN 9781611484946

Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print brings together established and emerging scholars of early modern print culture to explore the dynamic relationships between words and illustrations in a wide variety of popular cheap print from the seventeenth to the early nineteenth century. While ephemera was ubiquitous in the period, it is scarcely visible to us now, because only a handful of the thousands of examples once in existence have been preserved. Nonetheless, single-sheet printed works, as well as pamphlets and chapbooks, constituted a central part of visual and literary culture, and were eagerly consumed by rich and poor alike in Great Britain, North America, and on the Continent. Displayed in homes, posted in taverns and other public spaces, or visible in shop windows on city streets, ephemeral works used sensational means to address themes of great topicality. The English broadside ballad, of central concern in this volume, grew out of oral culture; the genre addressed issues of nationality, history, gender and sexuality, economics, and more.

Richly illustrated and well researched, Studies in Ephemera offers interdisciplinary perspectives into how ephemeral works reached their audiences through visual and textual means. It also includes essays that describe how collections of ephemera are categorized in digital and conventional archives, and how our understanding of these works is shaped by their organization into collections. This timely and fascinating book will appeal to archivists, and students and scholars in many fields, including art history, comparative literature, social and economic history, and English literature.

Contributors: Georgia Barnhill, Theodore Barrow, Tara Burk, Adam Fox, Alexandra Franklin, Patricia Fumerton, Paula McDowell, Kevin D. Murphy, Sally O'Driscoll, Ruth Perry

"O'Driscoll concludes with a stimulating consideration of print culture and the macaroni, who provided "the most exaggerated and highly developed version of effeminate male self-representation in the eighteenth century"...these essays survey rich resources which allow us to glimpse a world of rapid publishing and jobbing printing that rarely appear in surveys of eighteenth-century literature."
-James Raven, University of Essex; The Times Literary Supplement; (Fall 2015)

About the editors:

Kevin D. Murphy is professor and executive officer in the PhD Program in Art History at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of Jonathan Fisher of Blue Hill, Maine: Commerce, Culture, and Community on the Eastern Frontier (2010), as well as articles on nineteenth- and twentieth-century subjects in the Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, the Winterthur Portfolio, and the Journal of Urban History.

Sall O'Driscoll is associate professor of English at Fairfield University. Her work on eighteenth-century literature and culture has appeared in such journals as Signs, Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, and Eighteenth-Century: Theory and Interpretation.

Also available in paperback, ISBN: 978-1-61148-661-2, Price: $48.99


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