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Visual Readers: The Shepheardes Calender Through the Eyes of its Compositors
by Elisabeth Chaghafi

In this scrupulous survey of the mise-en-page of the four quarto reprints of The Shepheardes Calender printed during Spenser’s lifetime, Elisabeth Chaghafi provides us with a view of an early ‘non-reader readership’ of the Calender, as she terms it. Looking beyond the notorious woodcuts, Chaghafi redirects our attention to the layout of the pages, printers’ ornaments, decisions about font size and type, relations between verse and glosses, and much more, to explore a very particular set of interpretations of the Calender as a visual as well as verbal text. The essay shows how criticism that is alive to the mechanics of printing and bibliographical history as well as the literary text can yield especially fruitful results. Read more…


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Cite as:

Elisabeth Chaghafi, "Visual Readers: The Shepheardes Calender Through the Eyes of its Compositors," Spenser Review (Fall 2018). Accessed May 26th, 2019.
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