Scientific article
Open access

“In his old dress”: Packaging Thomas Speght's Chaucer for Renaissance Readers

Published inThe Chaucer review, vol. 51, no. 4, p. 478-502
Publication date2016

This article subjects Thomas Speght's Chaucer editions (1598; 1602) to a consideration of how these books conceive, invite, and influence their readership. Studying the highly wrought forms of the dedicatory epistle to Sir Robert Cecil, the prefatory letter by Francis Beaumont, and the address “To the Readers,” it argues that these paratexts warrant closer attention for their treatment of the entangled relationships between editor, patron, and reader. Where prior work has suggested that Speght's audience for the editions was a socially horizontal group and that he only haltingly sought wider publication, this article suggests that the preliminaries perform a multivocal role, poised to readily receive a diffuse readership of both familiar and newer consumers.

  • Speght
  • Readers
  • Paratexts
  • Thynne
  • Patronage
  • Cecil
  • Chaucer
Citation (ISO format)
SINGH, Devani Mandira. “In his old dress”: Packaging Thomas Speght’s Chaucer for Renaissance Readers. In: The Chaucer review, 2016, vol. 51, n° 4, p. 478–502.
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Article (Submitted version)
  • PID : unige:88361
ISSN of the journal0009-2002

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