Advertising America: The Printing, Publication, and Promotion of English New World Books, 1553-1600
This thesis explores how the paratexts to and physical features of English Tudor books about the New World presented the books’ content to their original readers. The contribution this thesis makes to knowledge is threefold. First, the field of study of English travel and colonial literature lacks a bibliographically informed account of how the books’ constitutive elements of type and paper affect meaning. Widespread use of modern editions of the few accessible texts effaces the originals’ rich aesthetic, structural and tactile forms and fails to comprehensively historicise the production and intentions of the books. The careful, contextualised examinations of typefounts and composition included in this thesis go beyond what has been previously done and suggest agendas for further, necessary and illuminating bibliographical work. Second, the thesis presents the first comprehensively investigative survey of how the paratextual elements of the books marketed the New World to Tudor England. It goes beyond John Parker’s fifty-year-old _Books to Build an Empire_ (1965) by considering the full range of forty-three editions’ paratextual apparatus, not just prefaces, proems and dedications. It is simultaneously a counterbalance to the narrow focus on Richard Hakluyt’s anthological _Principal Navigations_ (1598-1600). The thesis begins the much-needed recovery of the conceptual and publication histories of both the constitutive texts reprinted in _Principal Navigations_ and those not included in Hakluyt’s anthology that are nontheless relevant to the history of the genre. Third, this survey that challenges a still powerful teleology: that the publications were unequivocally books to build an empire. Many of these books were in fact marketed as recreational reads. As the paratextual, structural and material features of many of the books this thesis looks at are under-explored and under-reported, close examination of multiple exemplars was necessary to ensure that this thesis is a representative and reliable record of the marketing strategies used to promote Tudor books about America.
- PhD