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Herbals “Grete” and Small: Commodifying Botany in Early Modern England

Thursday, March 11 @ 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

New date: Thursday, March 11, 4:30 PM CST



Over the course of the sixteenth century, herbals grew from compact, unadorned volumes to giant, lavishly illustrated ones, and their contents shifted from reprints of anonymous medieval works to commissioned authorial tomes. To explain the broader context in which English botanical science developed, Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University Sarah Neville will reveal the sophisticated and nuanced calculus performed by members of the London book trade who invested capital to manufacture these popular printed books. By exploring the relationship between readers’ responses to printed herbals and the activities of the book trade that catered to them, she will show how publishers navigated the financial risk that herbal publication increasingly required of them, and ultimately, how the early commercial practices of English printers shaped both popular reading habits and the development of scholarly and botanical authority.

Two ways to watch
This program will be live-streamed on the Ransom Center Facebook page and YouTube channel. Be sure to like or subscribe for notifications when we go live. Have a question or comment for one of our speakers? Simply post them in the comments section.

Sarah Neville is an Assistant Professor of English at The Ohio State University with a courtesy appointment in Theatre. She is an assistant editor of the New Oxford Shakespeare (2016-17) as well as an associate coordinating editor of the Digital Renaissance Editions. Her essays on book history, Renaissance drama, textual scholarship, and digital editing have appeared in Shakespeare, Shakespearean International Yearbook, Variants, Textual Cultures, Notes and Queries, and edited collections. Her forthcoming monograph, Early Modern Herbals and the Book Trade: English Stationers and the Commodification of English Botany, demonstrates the ways that printers and booksellers enabled the construction of scientific and medical authority in early modern England.


Come visit us at:

Harry Ransom Center

The University of Texas at Austin

300 West 21st Street

Austin, TX78712



Thursday, March 11
4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Event Category:


University of Texas at Austin


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