Book Ownership in Stuart England: Women and books in the seventeenth century

David Pearson, Lyell Reader in Bibliography 2017-18
Event date
Event time
17:00 - 18:00
The Weston Library
Broad Street
Venue details

Weston Lecture Theatre, main entrance on Broad Street

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Disabled access?
Booking required

This lecture series will explore seventeenth-century personal book ownership, looking not only at book acquisition patterns but also investigating motives and collecting cultures. A key theme will be the use of material evidence from books themselves to help to enhance our understanding of seventeenth-century values.

Lists of seventeenth-century private libraries, compiled from the evidence of sales, bookplates, bequests or inventories, tend to be dominated by men, a reflection of societal and legal traditions of the time. We increasingly recognise that women were readers and book owners too, with a growing literature on the subject and some well-known names like Anne Clifford and Frances Wolfreston. This lecture will ask how far we can go beyond those familiar exemplars to build a fuller picture of the extent of female book ownership at that time, and the kinds of books they had.