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Elizabeth Barrett Browning
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"The commonplace book was one of the principal means by which the readers, writers, and orators of the English Renaissance managed a rapidly growing body of textual information; and one of the principal tools which guided their compositions, guaranteeing the fullness and order which were the rhetorical ideals of the day.  Renaissance Commonplace Books from the Huntington Library presents, to a broad community of scholars, an extremely valuable sample of such texts. It includes commonplace books which cover the full spectrum of Renaissance culture, from poetry, literature and politics, and from theology to law." 
Dr William H Sherman, Consultant Editor

The 15 volumes which make up this project offer a very rich survey of the types of renaissance commonplace book which survive.  We feature:

  • The exhaustively detailed legal commonplace books prepared by the young Thomas Egerton and used by him as he rose to the positions of Lord Chancellor and Lord Keeper of the Privy Seal;
  • the compilation of the best speeches, poems, and letters of Sir Nicholas Bacon (the Tudor statesman and father to Francis);
  • the devotional commonplace book of Elizabeth Hastings, Countess of Huntington;
  • the notebook and diary of Sir Edward Dering;
  • a number of Tudor and Stuart poetical miscellanies; 
  • a 17th century political notebook, with reading notes, maxims, and aphorisms. 

Editorial introduction
Digital Guide
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