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Research at St Andrews

Sixteenth-century readers, fifteenth-century books: continuities of reading in the English Reformation

Research output: Book/ReportBook



This book investigates the reception of medieval manuscripts over a long century, 1470–1585, spanning the reigns of Edward IV to Elizabeth I. Members of the Tudor gentry family who owned these manuscripts had properties in Willesden and professional affiliations in London. These men marked the leaves of their books with signs of use, allowing their engagement with the texts contained there to be reconstructed. Many of these texts were devotional, and a point of special interest is the contrast between these writings produced in a purely Catholic age and the reformed environment of their Tudor readers. Attention is also paid to the varied ways that these readers used their old books: as a repository for family records; as a place to preserve other texts of a favourite or important nature; as a source of practical information for the household; and as a professional manual for the practising lawyer.


Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages316
ISBN (Electronic)9781108652421
ISBN (Print)9781108426770
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2019

Publication series

NameCambridge studies in palaeography and codicology

    Research areas

  • Sixteenth century, Fifteenth century, Medieval manuscripts, Early modern, Book history, Reformation, Reading, Palaeography, Codicology

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ID: 252025240