Game Reviews: Astrologaster. Nyamyam, 2019. Elsinore. Golden Glitch, 2019.

Digital literature, in which a fictional tale unfolds while a player witnesses but minimally intervenes in its progress, is an obvious example. Two games which invoke early modern England, Elsinore (Golden Flitch, 2019) and Astrologaster (Nyamyam, 2019), and which are both anchored upon the central motif of a book, are especially self-conscious examples of such bookish play – and ones which may challenge SHARP members and their students to see reading and its concurrent activities anew.

Stephen Orgel, Wit’s Treasury: Renaissance England and the Classics.

If there are any preconceived notions of a poet who refrains from sassy defamation of a critic or an academic who manages not to say something controversial, Wit’s Treasury shatters such notions. At the heart of the book is the organic development of the understanding and appreciation of literary classics, many of them appearing as various translations throughout the Jacobean and Elizabethan periods and beyond. The book gives special attention to adaptations of the classics rendered as poetry, dramatic performance, and other written and visual modes of art. Not only were the classics, such as the narrative and philosophical writings of the ancient Greeks and Romans, translated in ever-more-updated editions with plentiful illustrations, produced for the elite and popular culture, but the trappings, the settings, and the aesthetics of “the classics” also rubbed off on the books and plays of the whole Renaissance.

Lesser, Zachary. Ghosts, Holes, Rips and Scrapes: Shakespeare in 1619, Bibliography in the Longue Durée. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2021. 

The central methodological claim of Lesser’s case study is that an attention to the long and disparate lives of each individual copy helps us to better understand the making of the Jaggard Quartos and allows us to complicate the studies conducted by New Bibliographers, whose bibliographic descriptions and attendant explanations of the texts’ extant forms still condition contemporary approaches to bibliography. By carefully studying individual copies across long periods of time, Lesser provides a fuller picture of the material conditions of their production and use.

Benito Rial Costas (ed.), Aldo Manuzio en la España del Renacimiento. Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (csic), 2019. Nueva Roma, Bibliotheca Graeca et Latina Aevi Posterioris 50.

This collective volume is the result of the work of a research seminar assembled in 2015, under the auspices of the Complutense University of Madrid (ucm), commemorating the fifth centenary of the death of the humanist and printer Aldus Manutius the Elder (c. 1450-1515). The overall objective of the text is to reexamine the impact of Manutius in Renaissance Spain by covering different areas and avoiding common places broadly accepted in the traditional historiography, such as the devotion, fame, and prestige around the paradigmatic yet idealized figure of Manutius the Elder.