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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that relations between poetry and print in this period were uneasy. Poetry looked for freedom and expressivity; the book trade looked for a profit. But the consequence was a wonderfully varied output. Typography could be elaborate or chaste; format varied between the poles of dignity (the illustrated folio) and humility (the freely given-away slip); “topping” booksellers developed alongside the Grub Street trade and provincial rivals or collaborators. It was the period in which English poetry achieved classic status, with a consequent stability and longevity but also with an impetus toward authorial revision.

Keywords: poetry, print culture, typography, format, book trade, canon

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