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Research at St Andrews

Jacob Baxter

Person

Research overview

I began my PhD at the University of St Andrews in September 2020, under the supervision of Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen. My thesis considers the activity of Sir William Temple in the book world. Temple is best known for his diplomatic excursions and for his authorship of the Observations Upon the United Provinces of the Netherlands (1673), which remains one of the most important books in the study of the Dutch Golden Age today. Yet, what is generally less appreciated, is the fact that Temple engaged with a variety of other genres in his literary career, including memoire, medicine, history, and horticulture. I will be exploring how Temple got these books into print, the contexts behind their publication, and the ways in which they were received, both during Temple’s lifetime and in the centuries following his death. My research is supported by a University of St Andrews Doctoral Tuition Fee Scholarship.

I arrived at St Andrews in 2015, when I began my undergraduate degree in History. I graduated in June 2019 with first class honours. I continued my studies with an MLitt in Book History at the same institution, which I completed in August 2020, achieving a distinction. Within Book History my interests include authorship, bookselling, and how individuals and institutions used print to solve the problems of their day. In addition to my research, I am also an associate of the Universal Short Title Catalogue, where I edit the Preserving the World’s Rarest Books blog.

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