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Studies in Cultural Bibliography
Recent studies in early modern cultural bibliography have put forth a radically new Shakespeare—a man of keen literary ambition who wrote for page as well as stage. His work thus comes to be viewed as textual property and a material object not only seen theatrically but also bought, read, collected, annotated, copied, and otherwise passed through human hands. This Shakespeare was invented in large part by the stationers—publishers, printers, and booksellers—who produced and distributed his texts in the form of books. Yet Shakespeare's stationers have not received sustained critical attention.
Edited by Marta Straznicky, Shakespeare's Stationers: Studies in Cultural Bibliography shifts Shakespearean textual scholarship toward a new focus on the earliest publishers and booksellers of Shakespeare's texts. This seminal collection is the first to explore the multiple and intersecting forms of agency exercised by Shakespeare's stationers in the design, production, marketing, and dissemination of his printed works. Nine critical studies examine the ways in which commerce intersected with culture and how individual stationers engaged in a range of cultural functions and political movements through their business practices. Two appendices, cataloguing the imprints of Shakespeare's texts to 1640 and providing forty additional stationer profiles, extend the volume's reach well beyond the case studies, offering a foundation for further research.