Ancestral Subject Catalogue of Chapbook Themes

By David Harrison. PhD, University of Surrey, 1996.

This web page contains a draft of the Introduction to my thesis. The reader is advised that the text here given differs from the text that would have appeared in the final printed text, and that without the benefit of Adobe Acrobat, HTML has done perfidious things with superscripted text. This is particularly relevant to the citing of page signatures and collations.

The PhD is a bibliographical work containing some 5000 entries relevant to the study of early-modern popular culture. With funding, the ASC would have been published by the Scolar Press in 1997.

Text copyright David Harrison, 1996.

Ancestral Subject Catalogue of Chapbook Themes


The Ancestral Subject Catalogue of Chapbook Themes (ASC) began as an attempt to list all secular chapbooks (small books of sixteen or twenty-four pages, octavo) printed in English before 1700. In the absence of any other pertinent existing resources, it soon became clear that to study adequately these works, the listing had to be extended to cover the bibliographical history of the titles that appeared as chapbooks, wherever possible.

Even then, it seemed that the chapbooks were being studied in a sterile and therefore fraudulent aspect-these were little books that sat on the shelves of bookshops and market stalls, and in the trays of chapmen alongside other works, their history and nature intimately woven into the web of early-modern print culture. To adequately study these chapbooks required a resource that mapped out the print culture of the time, viewed from the perspective of the themes and titles of those chapbooks known or believed to have existed in the early-modern period-in other words, a resource for the investigation of the cultural context surrounding the chapbooks.

Thus was born the ASC, an experimental and idiosyncratic resource for the exploration of the popular culture of the early-modern period, modelled upon a division of themes suggested by an investigation of the chapbooks of the period. The resulting text breaks many of the traditional 'rules' of bibliography, and the reader is advised to read through the introduction to best make use of the catalogue.

The ASC is designed to function as a companion volume to Early-Modern Chapbooks: Text and Context (EMC:T&C), a study of the development of the chapbook to 1700, currently in progress.

Samuel Pepys' Penny Merriments

Samuel Pepys is best known today for his Diary, kept in cipher from 1660 until an unfounded fear of failing eyesight led him to discontinue the work in 1669. [1] He began the diary at the age of 27 whilst living in poverty in Axe Yard, Westminster. Through both ability and the patronage of his father's first cousin, Sir Edward Montagu, Pepys rose to become Secretary to the Admiralty (1672) and President of the Royal Society (1684) residing in a mansion at the bottom of Buckingham Street, Strand. After spending a brief period in the Tower charged with complicity in the Popish Plot, in 1679 he lost his post at the Admiralty temporarily, and then again for good at the Revolution of 1688. He retired to Clapham and died in 1703.

One may assume that he was able to read for as long as five years before he was despatched to the Grammar School at Huntingdon at the age of ten in 1643. [2] Three or four years later, he returned to London to attend St. Paul's School, a few yards from the Cathedral. [3] St. Paul's Churchyard was one of the socio-cultural focii of early-modern London and an important centre for the sale of printed materials. To the north east of the Cathedral stood Paul's Cross, the site of regular public sermons, announcements, and proclamations. Adjacent, to the east lay St. Paul's School. Paul's Gate to the north led to Cheapside and Paternoster Row. [4] To the south of the Cathedral ran the street named St. Paul's Churchyard. To the west was the Atrium, site of the review of the armour belonging to the City companies, and of the lotteries. Pepys must have spent much of his youth in London surrounded by the booksellers and cheap print hawkers whose wares he would come to collect in later years. [5]

Although Pepys left London again for Trinity Hall and Magdalene College, Cambridge, he grew up in London, and spent most of his life living and working there. The confluence of an early experience of the cheap print culture of mid-century London, and a passion for book collecting led Pepys to include within his library (bequeathed with explicit instructions as to its care to Magdalene College) some volumes of popular print unique in their value to the study of the literature and the culture of the day.

Pepys' five volumes of ballads are relatively well known, having been reprinted in facsimile in 1989, and more recently comprehensively catalogued by Helen Weinstein. [6] The other volumes of popular texts are less well known. Other than the ballads, the bound volumes of cheap print in Pepys' library comprise three volumes of 'Penny Merriments' in octavo, one volume of 'Penny Godlinesses' in octavo, and four volumes of the Vulgaria in quarto. [7]

The first two volumes of the 'Penny Merriments' contain 107 short secular works (sixteen or twenty-four pages in length, often with crude woodcut illustrations, and called 'small merry books' or, by the nineteenth century, 'chapbooks'). The third volume of secular material contains 6 longer texts. There are 46 religious chapbooks in the bound volume of 'Penny Godlinesses', and 55 secular works in the four volumes of the Vulgaria.

The ASC began as a working bibliography for the study of the items bound into the two volumes of secular chapbooks, and grew to become a resource for the study of secular chapbook literature before 1700, within both a literary and a cultural context.

Relatively little work has been done on the Pepys chapbooks, necessitating the production of some primary scholarship before a fuller discussion of the material can be attempted. Whilst book collectors have collected these little books, until quite recently serious study of them has only occurred incidentally as an investigation of the rarest remnants of a largely lost corpus of printed ephemera dating back to the production of the first printed books.

In the nineteenth century, an interest in ballad literature led to the collection and cataloguing of chapbooks published in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries by the likes of William Carew Hazlitt, and James Orchard Halliwell-Phillipps. John Ashton's Chapbooks of the Eighteenth Century (1882) reproduced numerous title-pages, and offered brief notes upon a huge range of titles produced in the previous century. Some titles were reprinted from the last remaining copies extant, but the Pepys collection remained largely inaccessible.

Even in 1972, when John L. Gaunt produced his thesis 'A Study of English Popular Literature 1660-1700', the Pepys collection still seemed to elude the grasp of academic study. Partly through the good agencies of Magdalene College, and through the use of the STC and Wing Microfilms, it has finally become possible for scholars to investigate the popular literature collected by Pepys in the 1670s and 1680s. [8]

Roger Thompson published a checklist of the chapbooks, and reprinted a volume of selected material in 1976. In 1981 Margaret Spufford analysed the collection of cheap print from the position of a social historian. Tessa Watt concentrated upon the period 1550-1640 to investigate the early development of cheap religious material in her 1991 study Cheap Print and Popular Piety. [9]

The Pepys' collection of chapbooks being the finest of its type, it is surprising that it should have remained beyond the grasp of the academic profession for quite so long. Professor Spufford concluded her analysis of the range of Pepys' chapbooks by stating that they may be taken 'confidently as a well-balanced, and very high, proportion of the chapbooks in circulation in the 1680s, providing always that the under-representation of the small godly books and the practical guides is remembered'. In association with the collection formed by Anthony _ Wood (now in the Bodleian Library at Oxford) a number of items in the British Library, London, and others scattered throughout institutional libraries in the UK and the United States, it would seem that an extensive study of the secular chapbooks of the period may be attempted.

That the first major study of the Pepys collection was by a social historian perhaps indicates that a literary study of these little books would have to go beyond the boundaries of the text on the page, and recognise the importance of contextual material to be of any value. Unusual procedures are consequently required both in the bibliographical classification of the material, and in the resulting critique of the chapbooks as texts.

Description of the Pepys Secular Chapbooks

The secular chapbooks in the Pepys Library that form the focus of the ASC are bound together in two volumes as a distinct collection, separate from the volumes of longer octavos, religious chapbooks, and quarto Vulgaria. In addition, a broadside advertising sheet printed for perhaps the largest chapbook retailer of the period, William Thackeray, lists some of the texts that appear within these two volumes under the heading 'Small Merry Books'. [10]

This sheet categorises 302 'Ballads', 3 'Broad Sheets', 41 'Small Godly Books', 64 'Small Merry Books', 21 'Double Books', and 23 'Histories', advertised as being 'Printed for and Sold by WILLIAM THACKERAY at the Angel in Duck-Lane, London; where any Chapman may be furnished with them or any other Books at Reasonable Rates'. The grouping of these texts together in these instances legitimises their inclusion in a distinct group for the purposes of investigation.

The chapbooks are made up of either sixteen or twenty-four pages, octavo, but beyond this a typical bibliographical study would find it difficult to regard them as a coherent group of material. They do not all use the black letter typeface (or font) that is common in much of the cheap print of the period. They cover a range of diverse subjects from cookery books, through narrative tales of St. George, to didactic dialogues that bear more than a passing resemblance to the religious chapbooks.

Before considering how much further beyond a catalogue of the Pepys secular chapbooks it may be necessary to go to provide an adequate resource for the study of this material, it is necessary to consider the more basic problems of cataloguing the material, adequately defining the secular chapbooks that comprise the core of the work, and considering how they might best be ordered.

The Problems of Defining and Cataloguing Pepys' Secular Chapbooks.

To define the chapbook as a particular 'type' of text is to use the classification techniques of the literary critic who might typically group texts within the 'Romantic' or 'Metaphysical' traditions, in contrast to the more clinical approach of the bibliographer, dividing and ordering groups of material according to authors, titles, or publishers. The ballad is the most frequently identifiable 'type' of literature defined in bibliographical study, being verse printed on one or both sides of an unfolded sheet (although some ballads were printed and sold on half sheets). The defining of the chapbook 'type' is a more complex business, being closely associated with the function and nature of the text as a merchantable product. The classification of the chapbook in bibliographical terms must go beyond the physical construction of the book, just as the literary study of a chapbook must go beyond the bounds of the text on the page.

The term 'chapbook' itself may be derived from the term 'cheap-book', or perhaps from one of the methods by which these books appear to have been sold, by 'chapmen', who would hawk them around the country, with other small wares. [11]

Margaret Spufford dates the use of the term 'chapbook' from the nineteenth century, although the term 'chapman' has been in use at least since the seventeenth century. Charles Welsh claimed that 'the word chapman is from the Anglo-Saxon ceapan ceapian-to buy-(compare the German word Kauffman, Fl. Koopman)-and it formerly meant, as the German word does, both buyer and seller; but later, it became restricted to the latter only'. [12]

The secular chapbooks in the collection of Samuel Pepys date largely from the 1680s. [13] An investigation of these and other similar material indicates that by the second half of the seventeenth century, the English chapbook appears to have been firmly fixed in a specific form-as sixteen or twenty-four pages, octavo, sold stitched but not bound. [14]

I would suggest that this format alone be termed that of the English chapbook in the early-modern period. [15] The format of these texts is important if they are to be clearly distinguished from other short books. [16]

After 1700, the print market in England alters quite radically. Most of the publishers of late seventeenth century chapbooks retire or die in the period 1690-1705, and the chapbook form that develops in the eighteenth century would appear to be one of twenty-four pages, duodecimo. As the function of chapbooks in a more complex print market-notably with an increasingly thriving market for children's books-alters in the eighteenth century, the ASC concentrates upon titles that appeared in the chapbook format previous to 1700. [17]

The term 'chapbook' is still in common use in the United States to denominate a small book, often produced for children, or by a small independent press (often as an anthology of poems comparable to the 'Garlands' in the Pepys collection). The term is not current in the United Kingdom. However, to celebrate their sixtieth anniversary in 1995, Penguin Books published sixty titles of small paperbacks, selling at 60p each. These 'Penguin 60s' (redactions, selections, and short stories) proved to be extremely popular, the top-selling title of the first series being an edition of the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. A series of 'Penguin 60s Classics', and then a series of works for children, 'Penguin Children's 60s' followed. [18] The 'Sixties' format was emulated in a range of little books similarly designed, and sometimes displayed for sale within the Penguin sales cases, under the Phoenix imprint, a division of Orion Books.

Following the collapse of the Net Book Agreement in late 1995, it was possible to purchase the 60s in sets, and later singly, for 48p each. These little books might justly be termed modern chapbooks.

The Format of Chapbooks

Unfortunately, beyond the bound volumes of the Pepys and Wood collection, it is often difficult to detect other chapbooks. Many pre-1700 chapbooks are often incorrectly listed in Wing and in library catalogues as duodecimos. This may largely stem from their size. Most early octavo chapbooks are physically much smaller than a typical octavo. [19] This is partly due to the attentions of binders. Where chapbooks have survived, it is often within a collection of neatly bound books. Bound together like pamphlets or plays, the binder has often closely cropped the chapbooks (typically cutting away a part of the imprint or title). This may be because the chapbooks were quite roughly printed, with the printed portion of the text not appearing in a uniform position on each sheet from title to title.

Very few chapbooks survive without being cut and bound although an uncut religious chapbook of the period 1633-1636 has recently come to my attention, having been used as binding material. [20] Until this item has been thoroughly investigated, two other possibilities must remain undetermined. The small size of the chapbook may be due to a much larger margin around the printed text (perhaps related to the use and readership of the book) that is cut off when the chapbooks are bound together by collectors, as redundant. Alternatively, smaller sheets of paper may have been used to print the chapbooks. [21] This would offer a cost-saving to the printer and bookseller, and support the fixing of the chapbook's physical make-up, as the smaller sheets came into common use for this purpose.

The consequences of the small size of the chapbook have resulted in their classification in Wing and in library catalogues as octavo, small octavo, or duodecimo. This makes it very difficult to find individual chapbook titles that do not appear in the major collections. The STC lists some of the earlier chapbooks as 12-[superscripted 8.4] (a duodecimo in eights and fours with two signatures). [22]

Without an investigation of the watermarks of these texts, it is impossible to say whether these items are incorrectly catalogued, or whether they represent a development in the make-up of the chapbooks previous to the fixing of the format in octavo. Checking the watermarks of chapbooks, heavily cropped and tightly bound in volumes of up to fifty titles is extremely difficult. I am very grateful to Dr. Marie Axton who examined the Pepys chapbooks for watermarks, and pronounced all of those which she examined to be octavos. This is one area where the STC and Wing microfilms are an insufficient resource, and I would urge libraries possessing early chapbooks to examine carefully the watermarks to determine whether they are octavo or duodecimo, rather than-as has been typical in the past-classifying them by size.

Also, whilst Wing does indicate items having fewer than fifty pages with an asterisk, it is impossible to determine a sixteen or twenty-four page chapbook from such an entry. Cross-referencing with the British Library Catalogue or National Union Catalogue can help, but until more extensive resources are available, items will unavoidably be missed. [23]

It is also important to consider that some chapbooks of twenty-four pages began their shelf-life with a similar title, but more pages. The forty page octavo appears to have been a step along the road to the fixed sixteen page or twenty-four page chapbook, notably in the cases of Tom Thumb and the Gotham Jestbook. It is unwise when dealing with chapbooks to jump to any conclusions even when items have the same title, or would appear from a short title entry to be similar.

Whilst all English chapbooks in the later seventeenth century may be defined as being sixteen page or twenty-four page octavos, not all sixteen page and twenty-four page octavos are chapbooks. The definition of a chapbook extends beyond the make-up of the book, and this format is not enough in itself to define the chapbooks that make up the 'core' of the ASC.

The Price of Chapbooks

The bound volumes in the Pepys collection may be known as the 'Penny Merriments', but chapbooks cannot be identified solely by their price. There is some evidence to suggest that sixteen page chapbooks sold for 1d, and those with twenty-four pages for 2d, although they would have been as subject to the vagaries of market forces as any other mass produced commodity. [24] 'Penny Merriments' sold for pennies, not shillings, but they were neither the only printed works to be sold at this price, nor the cheapest examples of printed material on the market.

Most ballads would seem to have sold for a penny during the seventeenth century, being single sheets printed on one or two sides. I would not think it wise to assume that the costs of paper ('the largest expense that went into making a book' in this period) were quite the determining factor in the establishment of the price of chapbooks, that might be logically supposed upon purely statistical grounds. [25]

Rather, it is important to consider that a chapbook became fixed in one of two formats (sixteen pages or twenty-four pages, octavo) and that the price may have been more typically associated in accordance with a cultural convention related to these formats.

The economics of chapbook production may have operated less around the numbers of pages that might usually be printed for 1d, 2d or 3d, than the cultural expectancy of the purchaser to pay a certain amount for a specific type of chapbook.

However, this was a dynamic market, and fixing a specific price to a type of work over a period of some years is unwise. A 1680 advertisment for the religious chapbooks of John Hart prices them at 3d each, perhaps the authorship of Hart, or a recent (re-)issuing of the titles, increasing the price. [26] 3d was the price asked for some of the shorter secular Vulgaria in quarto. [27] A 'Double Book' consisting of three sheets in quarto (as against a sheet and a half, in octavo) here costing 3d, would seem to yield half the profit of the John Hart chapbooks on paper usage alone. It may be that the price-point for a religious chapbook had gone up a penny. Tess Watt notes an advertisement for seven 2d books and two 3d books on one of John Hart's works, published by John Andrews, a bookseller who issued a large quantity of Hart's works, as a major publisher of religious chapbooks in the 1650s. [28]

It would appear that in general, specific prices were typically charged for the secular chapbooks, with any variation from the norm depending upon sale, competition, and the usual pressures associated with the sale of mass-market commodities.

Certainly Clavel's Term Catalogue suggests that some prices were typically charged for different classes or sizes of book. [29] If books had been produced at any price (1s. 4d, 1s. 5d, 1s. 6d, 1s. 7d, etc) then it would suggest a direct correlation between the number of sheets and the price charged. However, a number of 'price points' appear with regularity in such catalogues as Clavel's suggesting either the production of books to typical lengths, or set price points-both marketing decisions indicating a cultural expectation for certain book prices or lengths.

Additionally, a choice has clearly been made to sell twenty-four page (sheet and a half) chapbooks rather than reducing the size of the typeface and squeezing the text into sixteen pages. At least one twenty-four page chapbook is forced to reduce the size of the typeface on the last pages to squeeze it all into the sheet and a half format, indicating that a smaller typeface was available, but was not typically used. [30]

Rather than relating price (and profit) to the perceived cost per sheet of printed text, I would suggest that the cheap print industry of the period was a complex and advanced economic system whereby bulk purchasing and bulk printing led to cost savings over typical per-sheet costs for books with lower print runs. The profit in the sale of chapbooks lay in the development of a system of mass production (and dissemination) that could print and sell enough copies of a title to ensure that a conventially fixed price might be maintained, whilst retaining a profit margin through the use of volume production methods (perhaps with smaller sheets of paper) and the association of a number of booksellers sharing the printing costs, dissemination overheads, and commercial risk involved in placing a title onto the market.

Whilst it may make statistical sense to produce a twenty-four page chapbook as a single sheet of duodecimo, the market would appear to have demanded a physically larger product-consisting of a sheet and a half of octavo. Until the market matured to the point at which mass production was viable and profitable, the large scale production of secular chapbooks was a commercially risky pursuit. Those publishers with experience of the mature mass market in ballads (the 'ballad partners') were best placed to judge when the market could bear mass produced secular chapbooks, and then were able to use their experience in the production and sale of ballads to sell large numbers of them.

Tessa Watt's ground-breaking study of cheap religious print has noted early issues of religious and secular chapbooks-often produced by the 'ballad partners'-in the first half of the seventeenth century. [31] Entrepreneurial individuals such as John Andrews continued to experiment with the chapbook form in the 1650s, with the market finally maturing in the latter half of the seventeenth century. By the 1670s, booksellers operating in cartels such as that of Thomas Vere, John Wright, William Thackeray, and Thomas Passinger had a market profitable enough to face competition from the cartel of Philip Brooksby, Jonah Deacon, Josiah Blare, and John Back.

It is likely that chapbooks' often 'rough' appearance may have more to do with the pressures of mass-production (involving much wear upon the plates) than their perceived position at the bottom of the print hierarchy. Indeed these books of sixteen and twenty-four pages are more substantial than many pamphlets and tracts produced as a larger but flimsier single sheet of quarto, folded into eight pages, [32] which may suggest that their scarcity today (when they were produced in such great numbers) could have more to do with their use than their physical size. [33]

Margaret Spufford has suggested that large numbers of chapbooks were produced in her investigation of the stocks of chapbooks publishers at their deaths. In 1664, the appraisers of the stock of Charles Tias-a publisher of cheap print-noted 'no fewer than 400 reams of books' ready to go out. [34] This amounts to some 200,000 sheets. [35] Of this, Professor Spufford gives Tias's total chapbook stock (both reams to be made-up, and books ready to go out) as 'around 90,000 books':

If the Tias volume of chapbooks in stock is compared with Gregory King's estimate of the population in 1688, twenty-four years later, this is around one for every fifteen families. [36]

I would add here that Tias was a minor player in the mass market for cheap print, and that this is only a snapshot of his stock. There were nearly a dozen more substantial producers of chapbook material in the Restoration period, notably William Thackeray who came to dominate the market.

In the circumstances, the quantities of material must have been vast, and I would suggest that all current approximations of the amount of chapbook material in print are gross underestimates. The ephemeral nature of chapbooks is indicated by the very few still extant. In each case, where more than one copy of a title with the same imprint still exists, it is likely that there are typographical differences that-rather than separate different editions-may indicate that a plate has been changed through being worn out in the process of mass-production. [37] Unfortunately, in the few cases where similar texts do exist, it is very difficult to compare them visually-again the entries in Wing are too short, and the Wing microfilms usually include only a single example of any title.

Although vast quantities of almanacs were produced, these were often saleable only in the area for which they were calculated (an important and early indication of the localisation of print culture at least by the later sixteenth century) and were current rarely for more than a single year. [38] It is most likely that chapbooks-with titles that often had a longer 'shelf-life' than ballads-were the single greatest productions of the press in the later seventeenth century.

Also, it is worth noting that chapbooks were not the cheapest books available for those who might wish to develop their literacy skills. Although Wing truncates imprints with a vengeance, some texts are noted as being lent or given away without charge. The truth which God hath shewed unto his servant Richard Stafford, a quarto listed as being by Stafford himself, was 'Printed and are to be sold, or lent forth unto those who will receive and read it; this book was finished in the press the last day of the fifth month and was written by me at several times before' in 1689. [39]

A folio of less than 50pp was obtainable without charge as an early form of advertisement describing Mr. George Oldner's invention to preserve ships. Printed by F. Collins in 1698 and 'To be had, gratis, at Mr. George Oldner's, and at Mr. Andrew Prime's; and at Robin's coffee-house'. [40]

One may assume that certain political and religious tracts may have been disseminated by a similar method.

The third impression of An Halfe-penny-worth of Wit, in a Penny-worth of Paper. Or, the Hermites Tale is listed in the STC as a quarto, in verse. [41] Printed for T. Thorp, by the assignment of E. Blount in 1613, this may indicate the successful sale of material having much in common with the contents of a sixteen page secular chapbook, in quarto for the same price of 1d. This text predates the explosion in mass-produced secular chapbooks in the second-half of the seventeenth century, indicating a desire to tap a perceived market, before a fixed format had fully developed to exploit a more coherent and mature market.

When the market and the method of production had developed sufficiently for the volume production of secular chapbooks, a dissemination network already existed to carry them throughout the country-that of the chapmen, pedlars carrying small commodities to the more inaccessible parts of the kingdom. [42]

The advertisements at the rear of chapbooks are usually addressed to chapmen, and so when priced, would these prices be trade prices? It is likely (and there is some evidence to suggest that it is the case) that the price of the chapbook-rarely printed on the item itself in the seventeenth century-would be 1d, 2d or 3d, and that chapmen purchased titles in volume at a discount, perhaps on a sale-or-return basis. This system operated in later centuries for the dissemination of religious tracts, and may be more likely than an attempt to sell the chapbooks individually at a profit, although the sale price to the customer may have increased, the further the chapman had to travel.

As well as living and working in London, Pepys had a 'cousin' (the son of his father's half-brother) called Thomas the Turner, with a shop close to St. Paul's Churchyard, and is just as likely to have purchased his chapbooks from the shops of the booksellers themselves, as from chapmen. [43]

Finally, with the vast numbers of chapbooks that would have constituted the stock of a cheap print seller, and the hazards of a cramped and substantially wooden city made all too apparent in the Great Fire of 1666, and in other conflagrations (particularly on London Bridge, one of the centres of the cheap print trade since the sixteenth century), publishing from within a cartel of booksellers may have provided some degree of insurance against loss, and against other print sellers from cornering the market after a localised blaze. [44]

Professor Spufford noted that some of the cheap print sellers did not appear to be as wealthy as might have been expected. [45] Aside from the effects of fire, particularly upon booksellers working outside of a partnership arrangement, it may be assumed that the trade in cheap print involved low margins and an increased risk over and above that of a bookseller trading in more substantial volumes. The rewards appear to have been greater in the successful production of cheap print, but it is likely that any failures would have been serious and led more speedily to bankruptcy. The cheap end of any industry is usually the most cut-throat. Although no market-least of all that of the printed book-may be said to entirely uphold the dictum of the survival of the fittest, the competitive element is likely to have been so strong in a mature mass market such as existed for the production of chapbooks in the later seventeenth century, for the development of the cheap print trade at this time to be as much evolutionary, as progressive. [46]

Relatively little is known of how this market operated-there is some evidence to suggest that individual traders retained specific chapmen, but other details of this method of retailing are unclear. [47] What margins were maintained? Were loss-leading titles used to pressurise a competitor? Our lack of knowledge should not allow us to simplify in retrospect the operation of the cheap print market at this time, which is most likely to have been as complex and dynamic as any mass market is today.

The Aesthetics of the Chapbook

If chapbooks cannot be uniquely defined as being the only sixteen page or twenty-four page octavos, nor the only secular books costing a penny or two, then further parameters are required for their definition.

Anyone who has seen a volume of chapbooks would have little difficulty in identifying further texts by sight, and chapbooks do appear to have been produced with aesthetic similarities to both shape, and conform to the cultural conventions that would define material of a particular 'type'. This is rather like a range of titles may be produced by a publisher today, with matching elements in their paperback binding and cover design.

Bibliographically, this is difficult to pin down. Some of the chapbooks use the black letter typeface at a time when its use was diminishing beyond the traditional appearance in Acts of Parliament and on title pages. [48] Some chapbooks use a roman (white letter) typeface, and some have a mix of the two typefaces. Chapbooks with dialogue often use roman, black letter, and italicised roman typefaces for each of three speakers.

Although these particular uses have important considerations relating to the perceived market, and to the visual traditions of this type of material, there is no clear reliance upon a single typeface, and although the typeface used is larger than it may be, this too does not define the aesthetics of the chapbook in a clear and unique way.

Chapbooks are notable for their woodcut illustrations, and most have an illustration on the front cover alongside an often detailed description of the contents in 'display' typefaces of differing sizes and types. The overall effect is one of vaguely sensationalised self-advertisement, and this might be assumed to be intentional. It is likely that these texts (sold unbound and stitched) would be expected to sell themselves to their audience much as a modern magazine does, from the bookshelf (or chapman's display). [49]

Some of the chapbooks contain woodcuts, either small figures re-used in a number of texts, allegorical figures, or depictions of scenes from a narrative. These sometimes match those that appear in the ballads (which were often produced by the same printers and booksellers). [50] Some of the chapbook woodcuts contain cut initials of either the printer or publisher, although the exact conventions of ownership are still somewhat obscure.

In EMC:T&C and the Catalogue of the Pepys Penny Merriments and Vulgaria the chapbook woodcuts are categorised on a relative scale of 'small', 'medium', and 'large'. These sizes refer to the main sizes of woodcuts used in the chapbooks. 'Small' cuts are usually no more than an inch or an inch and a half square. 'Large' woodcuts are those which take up more than two-thirds of the page of a text. The woodcuts found in the chapbooks tend to fall into these three categories with some ease-it may be that these rough groups by size might have been used (if not with any determined process of classification) when the texts were originally prepared for the press.

The woodcuts are often rather rough, but differ stylistically from those of the eighteenth century chapbooks which become more finely cut, and more simply drawn. They also differ from those that are found in the quarto Vulgaria. The woodcuts in the quartos-often portraits or battle scenes, are far more detailed, and of a better quality. The recognisable nature of the woodcuts in the chapbooks may owe much to the procedures of mass-production, or to the style of the artist who created them. Of such procedures, and of the artists responsible for carving the woodcut illustrations, very little is known. [51]

Aesthetically, chapbooks may be visually identified-despite the host of differences between them-with few problems, the sum of their parts producing works that thankfully made them 'quaint' enough for book collectors to collect and so preserve. The aesthetic qualities of a text are not, however, typical grounds for the bibliographical identification of a group of texts. The term that might be used to legitimate such a procedure is that of the 'prestructure'. This incorporates the aesthetic elements of a text's make-up, but goes further, and involves the study of the use, status, and function of texts, indivisibly binding bibliography with literary criticism, and the full cultural study of chapbooks.

The Prestructure of the Chapbook

The term 'prestructure' (deriving from the work of Michel Foucault) was developed by Lennard Davies in his Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel (1983) to describe the 'presentational context surrounding the book as an object'. [52] I would extend this to incorporate the function, status, production, sale, dissemination, and use of a book as an object-in short, the full cultural context of a book.

Should a number of texts share some similarity of design, function, or content, I would suggest that these similarities, if consistent and coherent, may define a prestructure. A typical example is the ballad. Although the single sheet format might include a wide range of materials-pictoria, papal bulls, proclamations, and licences-ballads have frequently been catalogued and anthologised separately as a type of literature. [53] Other such types of texts or prestructures include almanacs, and newspapers. Both of these are relatively easy to define without detailed investigation. More subtle prestructures require the confluence of bibliography, literary criticism, and social history (under the collective aegis of cultural studies) to define the prestructure and to determine the parameters for the (primarily bibliographical) resource upon which a full study may be based.

The process is very much a symbiotic one. The bibliographical resource may only be produced as the study of the texts themselves defines the parameters that may usefully be set-up, whilst the study itself requires an extensive catalogue of materials to progress.

With Wing identifying only texts with fewer than fifty pages, little information upon the length of texts in most of the major library catalogues, and the miscataloguing of many of the chapbooks as duodecimos, a knowledge of what sort of title may be a chapbook from an investigation of existing material, the publishers of chapbooks, and the typical content of chapbook literature is vital in the difficult procedure of spotting (often unique) chapbooks in the not insubstantial volumes of the STC and Wing.

It is only possible to produce such a catalogue symbiotically with a study of the origination, development, and cultural context of the chapbook prestructure, and this companion work, Early-Modern Chapbooks: Text and Context (EMC:T&C), was begun alongside the ASC, and is in progress as the latter goes to press.

The Ordering of the ASC

As with other aspects of the ASC, the ordering of texts within it cannot follow the traditional method used by the STC, Wing, and most library catalogues of listing texts alphabetically by author, or title.

Very few secular chapbooks note their author, and in some cases, where chapbooks are redactions of such longer works as Cervantes' Don Quixote or Robert Greene's Pandosto, the use of the author of the original text would be inappropriate. So many of the titles have no known author that an attempt to list them all, in the first case by author, would be chaotic.

Neither would there be any point in listing all of the chapbooks alphabetically by title. A part of the prestructural element of the secular chapbook is the frequent use of a long title beginning with some selection of the terms 'Merry', 'Pleasant', 'Delightful', and 'Excellent'. Chapbooks are also often referred to as 'pleasant histories' with good reason, as such a phrase often appears in the title. The precise title of a text may well change, even if the actual text is reprinted verbatim, and finding a text given as 'Tom Stitch' in the Stationers' Register, or in a nineteenth century study is rendered hopeless without knowing that the title was printed as Wanton Tom, or The Merry History of Tom Stitch. Sequels are also a problem for an alphabetical listing, as The Wonderful Adventures And Happy Success of Young Shon ap Morgan, would not then be listed directly after The Life and Death of Sheffery ap Morgan (where it belongs).

An additional problem is the use of second titles, often on the recto of the second leaf. If the first leaf becomes detached, the item is often erroneously catalogued under the second title. The answer to these problems may seem to be the use of 'keywords', or the first significant word in the title, although this still creates a relatively chaotic listing, separating 'Wanton' Tom Stitch from all the other narrative tales of Toms that appear in the chapbooks.

The solution again lies in the symbiotic relationship between the cultural study of the prestructure of the chapbook, and the listing of the texts themselves in the ASC. As the study of the chapbooks and the ASC are designed as companion volumes, the section by section ordering of the texts used in this volume matches the chapter by chapter discussion of the texts in EMC:T&C.

Thus, the chapbooks are classified into groups by 'type' in the order that they are studied. Such a classification procedure groups works that are culturally similar together for the convenience of the researcher, and is the most intuitive method for locating individual texts within the catalogue.

Broadly, the texts are listed from the narrative through the didactic, and the poetic, to the informative. The earlier sections of narratives move from the romance to the 'non-romance' (such as the jest biographies) and on to the morally didactic and the exemplary. This mirrors the divisions that occur in EMC:T&C, in which a study of the texts made most sense when so ordered. Each section may include one or more chapbooks, and is numbered in direct correlation with the pertinent discursive chapter in the companion study.

Within each section, the chapbooks are few enough to be listed alphabetically by significant defining terms according to the needs of EMC:T&C on a title by title basis. Thus, Wanton Tom may be classified as Wanton Tom (Tom Stitch the Tailor) and still be grouped within a small enough list to be associated with the other Toms, without confusion.

Generally a chapbook has an entry to itself. In a small number of cases (such as that of the chapbooks of Christmas Carols) it seems more intuitive to list a number of chapbooks in a single entry. Occasionally, a 'cumulative' entry may repeat previous single entries to give a better appreciation of the publication history of a group of texts.

Within each entry, texts are ordered by date. This presents a number of difficulties, primarily the lack of a date in the imprint of many popular works. Although much work has been done upon the periods of activity of those booksellers and printers involved in the production of cheap print at the end of the seventeenth century, for this edition of the ASC I have retained the square-bracketed suggestions of the revised edition of Wing. [54] Whenever other sources have been used, such as Robert Thomson's dating of some of the cheap print publishers of the 1690's in his 1974 thesis, it has been noted. [55]

Any attempt to develop this work requires an extensive investigation of 'long' imprints (these being truncated in the STC, Wing, and most library catalogues) to correlate the signs of premises given in dated texts (of which there may be very few) with the imprints of texts with signs but no dates. [56] At the time of writing I have begun to attempt this, but to physically see, record, and cross-reference enough data requires more extensive resources than are currently at my disposal.

All dates in the ASC are given in a bold font, for clarity. The entries in each section include data from texts with 'year' dates (ie. 1632), from undated texts with suggestions from the STC and Wing in square brackets, and from entries in the Term Catalogue or Stationers' Register that give dates in full (ie. 24 August 1632). In each case items with full dates for any year are listed before items with only a year date. Texts printed with a full date (such as in the early fifteenth century, and in the broadsheet relations of the progress of James Hind's trial) are also listed before any items with 'year' dates.

Where an approximate date is given, it is included at an appropriate point in the entry, in an order such as: 1670, [1670-1671], 1671, [1671-1684], 1672... etc. [c.1670] and 1670 are treated equally. With various types of data from different sources listed together, the most intuitive ordering has been attempted. [57]

So many of the chapbooks are undated, the use of a dated order may seem odd, but the entries from the Stationers' Register and the Term Catalogue offer a useful structure for each entry, and the ability to look at an ordered list (particularly when dealing with the development of the publishing industry over time) is very useful.

The reader should be aware that the methods of entrance for the (private) stock of the Ballad Partners suggest that it had a status somewhere between that of the official 'English Stock' and the more typical (private) entrance of copies in the Stationers' Register. There are a number of substantial entries that are effective notifications of the ownership of 'stock' held by the Ballad Partners, initially of ballads, but by 1675, of ballads and chapbooks. [58] At other times, individual ballads have been licensed over a period of a year, and then entered at the end of that period by a member of the Ballad Partners, the ballad's ownership by the Partners being noted in the entry. [59] Members of the Ballad Partners-or the whole cartel-would also enter one or more ballads in the usual manner.

This complicated matters of dating. In many cases a ballad (or chapbook) given as dating from [1664-1668] has been dated from the period when the booksellers named in the imprint were known to have operated in a specific cartel from a study of dated texts. The item may well have been in print throughout this period, reprinted as and when necessary, with no date on the imprint.

Generally, when different sources suggest different dates for the same undated item, the STC or Wing is given priority. In some cases the alternative date may have equal merit and will be noted. In a few cases of clear error, a correction is made and noted.

Beyond the Core Listing: Contextual Entries in the ASC

The ASC is a resource not so much for the study of chapbooks, as for the study of the chapbook prestructure. As such it must offer enough information for an investigation to be made into the cultural context of the chapbook, including such contextual aspects as the mechanisms of production and dissemination, and the readership, as well as the bibliographical history of both individual texts, and texts with similar themes or functions.

If the problems of simply defining chapbooks complicate the task of producing a basic bibliographical resource, consider the effect of such an apparent lack of coherence in subject matter for a literary study of two texts within a defined group of material, one a guide to astrological prediction, the other a short tale of a randy apprentice. Clearly, if the ASC is to function as a thorough resource for the study of texts in their cultural context across the full range of the chapbook prestructure, then it must be designed to answer specific questions beyond the boundaries of the development of an individual title from its entry in the Stationers' Register to its appearance in two or three editions in print. How chapbooks relate to other works with similar subject matter that are not chapbooks, how they relate to the development of the production of all printed texts, and how chapbooks develop over time are all valid questions that must be considered in the construction of the ASC, and the inclusion of texts beyond those known to be chapbooks.

The ASC must therefore be a dynamic analytical tool, designed to answer the needs of the researcher as those needs become clear. Certainly, such a work must include the antecedents of individual chapbooks, as well as material of contextual value, illustrating the works that sat on the metaphorical shelf next to the chapbooks as alternative titles containing similar subject matter-for in the difference between these two texts, and between the authors, readers, and booksellers of these two texts, may lie some explanation of the nature, development, and function of the chapbooks of the period.

There are limitations. A comprehensive subject catalogue for the material that appears in chapbooks would require substantial resources. Should too much information be included, the resulting work will lose functionality, clarity and coherence in a printed catalogue. The STC is comprehensive for its period, but it is designed as a 'primary' bibliography. It gives equal weight to each item, only expanding an entry for the purposes of bibliographical delineation. If the work has a 'secondary' or analytical function, it is for bibliographers.

Whilst listing known chapbooks (as a 'primary' bibliography would) the ASC must operate as a 'secondary' bibliography, offering an analytical facility inherent in its construction, for the investigation of any aspect of the cultural contexts of the chapbook prestructure. The balance between inclusivity and clarity determines the success or failure of the work, and so the parameters for including contextual material, and the extent of the material included for such items are of considerable importance.

Inclusion Policy: Contextual Material

The choice of contextual material (that is material not directly related to the development of individual chapbook titles) is made upon both an entry-by-entry and a section-by-section basis, where it is deemed appropriate, from the study of the chapbooks in their cultural contexts for EMC:T&C. The ASC here operates as a working bibliographical resource for the widest-ranging study of liteary, social, bibliographical, and cultural aspects of titles appearing within the chapbook prestructure before 1700. In short, if it was necessary to investigate a particular group of material for the study of the chapbooks in EMC:T&C, then such a group would be included in the ASC. Again, the symbiosis between the study and the resource would appear to offer the most appropriate solution.

The extent of material included differs for each entry upon the basis of scholarly need. The entry for the chapbook life of St. George includes all printed texts (in English) of the life of St. George to 1700, later scholarly editions of early works, references to folk plays, and some other items mentioned in EMC:T&C, or considered relevant. [60]

A listing of all identifiable saints' lives from the STC is included for this entry, displaying the pattern of publication of such works (clearly affected by the Reformation) to compare them with the lives of St. George (as the nation's Patron Saint), and the popular editions of The Seven Champions of Christendom. Very clear patterns appear here, and warranted a full search of the STC to produce a comprehensive listing, but this is rare. A selection of titles from Wing is also given.

Too many such comprehensive listings as that of saint's lives from the STC would swell the ASC to unmanageable proportions, and the amount of work required to check the subject matter of items with heavily truncated short titles in Wing would render the task impossible. However, when displaying data to give a visual indication of the development of types of print in each entry, it would be all too easy to give a biassed view from the incautious inclusion of too many texts from any period or author, or in any format. The passage of time has already damaged our view of the relative quantitive issues of the press, through the likelier loss of ephemeral titles such as chapbooks and almanacs.

It is therefore necessary to make do with the information that remains of the patterns of production of types of texts in the period, and offer as illustrative an account as possible for each contextual entry, within the specific parameters for each entry. This is absolutely vital for such larger contextual entries as those for medicine, or for texts concerning gender issues.

To this end, the items included in contextual entries have been chosen to give an illustrative picture of the production of each type of text within each entry. This is based upon a study of the print market as we know it, from the titles that remain listed in the STC and Wing, and from those titles listed in the Stationers' Register, and the Term Catalogue.

This is not an exact science, but an attempt has been made to illustrate the shape and development of the print market including texts perceived as important today, formulaic works, ephemeral titles, and obscure or esoteric works. Each source has its own bias. Wing and the STC are biassed against works which have not survived the passage of time being the most ephemeral or least collected (such as sheet almanacs, blank documents, pictoria for hanging upon walls, advertisements, and schoolbooks).

The Stationers' Register excludes illicitly produced material (such as saint's lives printed abroad after the Reformation and smuggled into the country) and becomes much less comprehensive during the Civil Wars and towards the end of the seventeenth century. The Register does however include valuable information upon lost copies-notably early editions of some chapbooks. Although an entry in the Register does not always correspond to a printed edition with an imprint of the stated owner of the copy of each entrance or assignment over of rights, used with care these volumes are particularly important in the study of early chapbooks.

Occassionally, a chapbook entrance is noted as being for 'a little book', 'a sheet and a half', or 'a pamphlet'. Different fees were payable for the entrance of books and (single sheet) ballads, and it would appear that the prestructure of the chapbook may have caused some problems of definition. [61] A Strange and Wonderful Relation of an Old Woman that was Drowned at Ratcliff Highway was a chapbook of sixteen pages printed with no date in the imprint, for William Thackeray. Two copies exist dating from before 1700, one sold by Josiah Blare on London Bridge. The title was entered in the Register as 'a sheet of paper' on 7 March 1660 by Richard Harper. Clearly a great deal of the publishing history of this text has been lost, and the Register entry is of great value.

The tale of Argalus and Parthenia is assigned over from Thomas Vere to John Clarke, Senior as containing '1 sheete & [half]' on 5 September 1681. No chapbook edition of the title is known before 1700, but the item is given a core listing as a chapbook upon the basis of this entrance (a twenty-four page chapbook consists of a sheet and a half of octavo).

The Term Catalogue (although including items costing as little as 2d) was not often used for the advertisement of cheap print. [62] Although they are particularly detailed, they only include certain texts, and present the danger of offering a biassing fullness of information when placed alongside other sources. For this reason, full entries are rarely given, references in Wing to a Term Catalogue entry being included in such cases.

Using these sources, and working with the image of the print market that the research for EMC:T&C has given, I have attempted to offer an illustrative sample over a period of up to two hundred years, for each of the contextual entries included in the ASC.

The Focus Upon Central Texts

Taking data from a large number of sources of variable accuracy over a vast range of subject matter has its drawbacks. It is vital to include as much information as possible about the core chapbook texts. It is neither necessary, nor advisable to include the same level of information for each and every other item listed in the ASC. In many cases, 'long' titles may only be obtained by visiting individual libraries, requiring considerable time and financial resources. Furthermore, to include such a consistently thorough amount of information for each item would make the entries harder to delineate as illustrative samples of a developing market, and would obscure the focus of the ASC upon the chapbook prestructure.

Whilst a traditional 'primary' bibliography would seek to offer a carefully prescribed and consistent amount of information upon each item, the ASC (as a 'secondary' bibliography) includes more information upon items of the most immediate value to the study of the cultural context of the chapbook prestructure, through to noting simply the existence of some texts, of little relevance to the study of the chapbooks, but relevant to the illustration of the development of the print market.

Again, the parameters for the inclusion of information (here for each item) are determined by the importance of the item in the production of the companion study, EMC:T&C. If a text is of importance in the cultural, bibliographical, or economic development of the chapbook prestructure, then it will have a more detailed entry in the ASC, should such information have been available. Decisions upon the parameters for inclusion have been taken on an entry-by-entry basis, in the interests of flexibility, and so as to deny nothing an appearance in the catalogue by any generalised exclusion policy.

Where a title has been reprinted a number of times, expanding just one entry to give a 'long title' is generally deemed sufficient. Repeated occurrences of any item in any entry are given, and cross-referenced. [63] It is vital for the visual presentation of the development of the print market that where a title has been reprinted a large number of times this is clear-to give only the first appearance of the title would badly distort the illustration of the prevalence of the text upon the market, and consequently its cultural significance at the time. Every effort has been made to bridge the '1640' gap whereby a text that is listed in the STC disappears through being catalogued differently in Wing. The re-titling and re-issuing of texts is often carefully described in the STC, but rarely so in Wing, and some confusion in the listing of some post-1640 texts that have been reprinted with a different title may be unavoidable. [64]

A degree of randomness may appear in some of the choices for inclusion, particularly for post-1700 items. These are included in accordance with their appearance in EMC:T&C, usually to show the continued existence or development of a title after 1700. It is often easier to determine the direction a developing title is taking, when the form it eventually appears in is known. Such a policy ensures that the ASC also operates as an adequate bibliography for EMC:T&C rather than excluding odd items here and there.

Some critical editions of core texts (such as John Henry Jones' recent edition of the English Faust Book) are listed within entries, but studies of subjects or themes are not listed as items within entries in the body of the ASC. [65] A select few works, mainly bibliographies or seminal studies, are listed at the beginning of some sections where it was deemed appropriate.

Most unusually, the ASC includes lists of films for such stories as King Arthur and Robin Hood. The production (and re-production) of such films-alongside culturally comparable contemporary titles such as Dracula and Frankenstein-offers perhaps the finest comparative model for the (re-)production of chapbook and ballad material in the early-modern period. These are discussed in EMC:T&C, and for this reason are included in the ASC. [66]

The Creation of the ASC: Sources and Methods

Dealing with so much information, and reducing it to the size of a manageable and useful volume is not an exact science. The symbiotic and dynamic development of the ASC with EMC:T&C inevitably demanded the inclusion of chapbooks, contextual items, and even entire contextual entries at a late stage in the production of the work. This is unavoidable, and the price that must be paid for something so non-standard in bibliographical terms as the ASC. The consistency that most bibliographers rely upon as a benchmark for any 'primary' bibliography has been sacrificed in the pursuit of an analytical resource that attempts to open up the study of a complex and neglected prestructure. In the circumstances, it is necessary to document the process of creation of the ASC, and so to note the likely omissions from the published text.

The ASC is built primarily upon a core listing of the secular chapbooks in the Pepys collection, and the investigation of those titles in the initial stages of researching EMC:T&C. The Pepys chapbooks provided a guide to the typical titles, publishers, subject matter, physical make-up, and contents of the chapbook prestructure. The consequent search for other secular chapbooks would then have been biassed towards this type of material. [67] Every attempt has therefore been made to counteract this bias in the pursuit of odd or idiosyncratic productions, printed for publishers who were merely dipping an investigative toe into the waters of cheap print. No doubt there are pre-1700 secular chapbooks that are not included in the ASC. Current bibliographical reference works upon which this work must in the end be largely based, are simply inadequate for the comprehensive determination of whether any extant text is a chapbook or not.

Every effort has been made to identify as many possible pre-1700 secular chapbooks to determine whether they conform to the chapbook prestructure within the terms in which it had become fixed by the later seventeenth century, particularly for texts published before 1640. I would be very pleased to receive any information upon any chapbooks omitted from the ASC, and indeed further information upon any chapbook that I have been unable to examine physically, and which consequently has a foreshortened entry.

For the shape of the print market, from which illustrative entries have been developed, I read through the Stationers' Register, the STC, and Wing from cover to cover to pick up the relative appearances of different types of printed texts in different periods. This can offer a more detailed image of the development of the print industry than either the use of statistics, or existing studies of particular subjects (as they may not have been based upon a comprehensive search of these resources). This is admittedly not a scientific procedure, but is perhaps the only viable option in the circumstances.

The initial use of the Stationers' Register produced items for ASC inclusion throughout much of the period under investigation, from the mid-sixteenth century through to the substantial cheap print entry of Charles Brown and Thomas Norris in September 1712. [68] Items later cited from the STC are cross-referenced in that work to the Register, and their entrances are consequently listed in the ASC. [69] Items included from Wing at a later stage of the work are not cross-referenced to any entries or assignments in the Register. This is an unfortunate omission, but unavoidable given finite resources and the extent of the ASC.

It is important to note that the printed edition of the Stationers' Register is incomplete. [70] This is particularly unfortunate in some cases where the earliest appearance of a chapbook in the Register is an assignment, rather than an initial entry (although an initial entry may not exist in the Register itself). The Register is available on microfilm in the original long-hand, and awaits full and comprehensive transcription. To search for any single items in these microfilms would have compromised the viability of the ASC.

Given the problems of identifying chapbooks in current bibliographical and library catalogues, a full search of the STC and Wing was necessary simply to find all known editions of the Pepys titles. This search was used to form an image of the development of the print trade in terms of the types of books and ballads printed, their formats, their subjects, and their periods of popularity. From this search, the titles that have been included in contextual entries were taken in accordance with the inclusion policy described above.

Known chapbook authors were pursued, as were the cheap print publishers. However, I have not followed the methods of Tessa Watt, who searched for early religious chapbooks by pursuing the ownership of the rights of known chapbook texts from publisher to publisher, and then sought out the micofilms of all of the productions of those publishers to determine which were chapbooks. [71]

Such a method becomes impossible when dealing with material produced after 1640, and would bias any results in favour of a known group of publishers. The print market from its inception is notable for commercial rivalry. When one publisher produced a title that sold well, it is likely that another publisher would have pirated, copied, or aped such a work. [72] Additionally, I have attempted to exclude as many self-limiting parameters within the construction of the ASC, preferring to exclude nothing of interest, at the expense of consistency and coherence in the final work. I would not wish to focus upon the coherent patterns of publication where they arise at the expense of, and by misrepresenting the chaos of the marketplace. The two methods are designed for two different scholarly approaches each with different aims, and each in their own way is perfectly valid.

Other sources that have been of particular value have included the often neglected works of numerous nineteenth century bibliographers, philologists, antiquarians, and book collectors. For much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, it has only been through the good offices of these individuals that chapbooks and ballads have survived at all, and some of the texts they refer to and list have since been lost. The works of Hazlitt, Halliwell-Phillipps, Laurence George Gomme (who edited critical editions of a number of early chapbooks in the Chap-Books and Folk-Lore Tracts Series for the Villon Society), and even-with care-the works of John Payne Collier, have all been very useful.

John Ashton's remarkable volume upon the chapbooks of the eighteenth century has been noted, whilst the twentieth century has seen the development of the study of popular literature in the United States through the work of Harry Weiss (1930s and 1940s) and Charles Mish (1960s and 1970s; Mish supervised Gaunt's thesis in 1972). Victor Neuburg developed the field in the United Kingdom with his Select Handlist (1952), Chapbook Bibliography (1964) and his critical anthology The Penny Histories (1968) in an academic climate often unsympathetic to the more ephemeral production of the early-modern press. Continued interest in popular literature culminated in the publication of Margaret Spufford's Small Books and Pleasant Histories (1981; based upon the Pepys chapbooks) and Tessa Watt's PhD and book (1991) on early cheap religious print, together marking a watershed in the academic acceptance of the study of early-modern popular texts in the United Kingdom. Mention ought also to be made acknowledging the debt of gratitude owed by those working in the field to the pioneering establishment of the study of popular culture at Bowling Green University in the United States, publishers of the Journal of Popular Culture. Francis James Child's ballad catalogue and Hyder E. Rollins' guide to the entries of ballads in the Stationers' Register are now supplemented by the work of Carole Rose Livingston and Helen Weinstein. The reprints of the ballads in the Pepys and Euing collections were models for the republication of ephemeral texts before the 'DTP revolution' and the production of printed-to-order volumes from texts digitised and held as individual files on CD-ROM. Walter Greg's detailed catalogue of early plays is a magnificent resource, as is the transcription of Henslowe's Diary (or rather account book) edited by R. A. Foakes and R. T. Rickert. This offers valuable information upon the path of many plays to performance, which would often appear to vary greatly from the path to publication of printed editions. I would also note the access that I have kindly been given to Professor Margaret Spufford's own manuscript notes and materials gathered in the production of Small Books and Pleasant Histories, the work that introduced me to the Pepys chapbooks. [73]

The researching of the ASC and EMC:T&C began at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge in a two and a half year period from 1989 to 1991 funded by the British Academy, and later by the college itself. The Cambridge English Faculty is perhaps not the most receptive of institutions to the value of the interdisciplinary study of the cultural contexts of popular literature, and the project ceased in mid-1991. With no grant and in poor health, no further work was undertaken until a book contract was signed with the Scolar Press in November 1994, for the submission of camera-ready copy of the ASC in the summer of 1996. The work could not however progress until mid-1995 when a grant was obtained for the completion of the ASC as a PhD thesis at the Roehampton Institute, London under the moderation of the University of Surrey. A copy of the STC was then purchased, and much of the work as it stands was undertaken in the year to June 1996. The preparation of this work for publication has only been made possible by the understanding approach of the English Department at Roehampton.

Clearly, as EMC:T&C is unfinished, the procedures of inclusion are dynamic, and whilst the ASC will be fixed in print in 1997, the working copy of the catalogue will be continually updated as the research progresses. The decision to publish at that point will be in accordance with the contract between myself and the Scolar Press, and will lead to the production of a fully functional stand-alone edition of the ASC before the completion of EMC:T&C. The subsequent issue of EMC:T&C may lead to the production of a second edition of the ASC (possibly on CD-ROM).

The Structure of Entries.

The structure of the entries of individual items in the ASC is relatively simple. Every entry is preceded by a 't' or by 'ref'. The 't' indicates a text in the wider sense of the word, and may indicate a song in a garland, an entrance in the Stationers' Register, or the appearance of a text in an advertisement. A 'ref' is a reference to a subject or theme.

If the 't' is italicised, then the individual item cannot be physically examined-it is not an extant work known to be held in a library or collection. If the 't' is in a bold font, then the item is a chapbook (or an entrance or advertisement of one). Cross-referencing between editions of the same text occurs within each section, with texts numbered t1, t2, t3. A dated list of such items is included at the start of each section. Typical entries are explained below, others following a similar pattern:

Note: These appear in this html document in an incorrectly formatted state.

Stationers' Register entries

t4 Ffortune's tennis ball, or, the most excellent and delightfull history of Dorastus & Fawnia rendred in delightfull Engl verse by S. S. Gent. Master Thomas Vere. 25 March 1656. 'a little pamphlett'. [Source: Eyre II, 42]

Text number 4 in the section, an entry for a chapbook, but not a text that may be physically examined. The text is entered to Thomas Vere on 25 March 1656 (the date is given in a bold font). The entry is notable as being 'a little pamphlett' (information that would not be included in the ASC should the entrance be merely for a book or a ballad with a known format). Should the entry in the register involve further details, or an assignment over from another holder of the rights, that would then be given here in square brackets. Finally, the source of the entry is given as George Eyre and Henry Plomer's edition of the Stationers' Register.

STC entries

t1 Pandosto. The triumph of time. By Robert Greene. Printed by T. P[urfoot] for F. Faulkener, Southwarke. 1629. 4to. (STC: Omits prelim. epistles. A3r has catchword: 'tue-' and line 8 of text ends: 'who'.) [Loc. O] [Source: STC 12290]

Text number 1 in the section, an entry for a text that may be physically examined, but which is not a chapbook. The title, author, and imprint information is given as it appears in the STC, although the phrase 'Printed by' is included for readability. The date of publication is given (in a bold font). The format is noted, and any further information given in the STC is noted and sourced. All locations of the text are then given using the conventional abbreviations of the STC. Finally the source of the entry is given. Should further information be included from another source, such as a longer title or imprint, the source will be noted at the conclusion of the entry. The titles of texts given in the STC are not capitalised beyond the first letter and proper nouns. Should capitalisation appear in the entry, this will be from another source, and will be noted. Should another source offer a longer title but be of doubtful accuracy, square brackets are used.

Wing entries

t A soveraigne salve to cure the blind. By J. M. Printed by T. P. and M. S. 1643. 4to. Under 50pp. [Loc. LT. O. C. BR. DT; CH. MH. NU. TU. WF. Y] [Source: Wing M47B]

A contextual entry-generally clear from the indentation of the listing from the left margin. A single appearance of a non-chapbook title. No attempt may have been made to find a Stationers' Register entry for this title, but inclusion was merited to indicate the development of the print market with significance (in this case) to the use of the concept of 'blindness'. The title is taken directly from Wing, which (as with the STC) generally does not capitalise the title. The author is noted (in this case only initials are known) and the usually truncated imprint from Wing is given. The date (in a bold font) and the format are then given. An asterisk in a Wing entry denotes an item of less than fifty pages and this is always noted. Locations are given according to the conventions of abbreviations used in Wing, and the source of the information-the Wing number-concludes the entry.

Chapbook entries.

t3 The Delightful HISTORY of Dorastus and Fawnia. Wherein is declared The Cruelty of Pandosto to his fair Bellaria; and how the Child Fawnia was put into a Boat to be Drown'd, but was taken up by the Sea-side cut of the Boat, by a Shepherd: and how he brought up the fair Fawnia to keep Sheep; and how Dorastus fell in Love with the fair Fawnia, &c. [Printed for C. Dennisson... (cropt).] [1680?] 8vo. 24pp. Mainly BL. Prose narrative in 7 chapters. Includes all of main plot of original text. 2 woodcuts. [Loc. CM PM I, 17. pp.377-400. (Pepys C23)] [Source: Text; Wing G1827bA]

Text number 3 in the section-an extant chapbook. The long-title is given, together with the 'long' imprint (here cropped from the text in the binding of the item). With no date given, the date suggested by Wing is given in square brackets in a bold font. Any second title would be given here, and the signature of the page upon which it appeared would be noted. The text is a twenty-four page chapbook printed mainly in Black Letter. Where possible, chapbooks are noted as being printed wholly or mainly in BL (Black Letter) or RN (Roman) typefaces, or as including a roughly equal mixture of the two. This text is a prose narrative-some details of the contents of any examined chapbooks will be given as will the number of woodcuts.

The full location of the Pepys chapbooks are given as CM (Magdalene College, Cambridge), PM (Penny Merriments), I (Volume 1), 17 (Item 17), pp.377-400 (the pages are numbered in an early hand in each volume). Pepys C23 refers to the Catalogue of the Pepys Penny Merriments and Vulgaria currently in progress. This catalogues each of the items in the three volumes of secular 'Merriments', and in the volumes known as the Vulgaria. C indicates a secular chapbook, M a longer octavo, and V one of the Vulgaria. A handlist of this catalogue is included in the appendices of this work. The source of the entry is the text itself and the Wing entry. In every case, an examined text will take precedence over a bibliographical entry.

Term Catalogue entries

t A Satyr against Women; and against Wo[o]ing. Both written by Robert Gould. Quarto. Price 1s. [Printed for R. Wellington at the Dolphin and Crown in St. Paul's Churchyard.] [Easter. [May] 1703. Poems, plays. Item 2.] [Source: T.C. III, 348]

This entry of a contextual item is of an advertisement (hence the italicised 't'). The entry is given verbatim from the Term Catalogue. The imprint information is in square brackets as the item is one in a list all printed for R. Wellington. The catalogue dates from the Easter term 1703 (ie. May 1703), and the entry appears categorised as a poem or play. It is the second item in the category and is taken from the third volume of the reprint of the Term Catalogue, p.348.

Errors and Omissions

No doubt much material that might have been included in the ASC has been omitted, and there will undoubtedly be errors either in the original sources used, or in the procedures of transcribing. This is unavoidable in a work of some considerable size, produced over a period of years, collating pieces of information from a wide range of sources, and with limited resources.

Colour printing might have made clearer the delineation of the chapbooks or indiviual titles in any entry. This is not however a viable option for a printed edition. I would certainly have hoped to have included more long-titles, and long-imprints, and physically examined more chapbooks. [74] In a number of these cases, texts that are likely to be chapbooks but have not been physically examined are noted as such. [75]

The on-going development of the ASC -as research for EMC:T&C-demanding the late inclusion of whole sections of contextual material-has not helped, but is an inevitable side-effect of a dynamic procedure, marrying the resources offered by a bibliographical catalogue to the needs of a study of a particular prestructure. The whole work is essentially experimental, and whatever its failings, ought to function both as a resource for the study of the cultural contexts of the prestructure of the chapbook (and other aspects of cheap print and popular culture), and as an example of a 'secondary' bibliography developed as a dynamic analytical tool to answer specific and complex research needs.

In short, the ASC (and EMC:T&C) might be regarded as an example of the integration of the traditionally separate fields of bibliography, literary criticism, and cultural studies, for the more comprehensive study of a complex cultural phenomenon-in this case the prestructure of the chapbook-beyond the individual self-limiting parameters of any single field of inquiry.

The Separation of the Cataloguing and Study of Texts

Whilst I would not suggest that the bibliographical cataloguing of texts does not involve some study of those texts, it is clear that the field of bibliography has been regarded for many years as relatively distinct from that of literary criticism, or the wider cultural study of texts. This is unfortunate but understandable, having much to do with the development of literary criticism (the dominant discipline concerned with the study of the texts catalogued by bibliographers) throughout the twentieth century.

Hazlitt and Halliwell-Phillipps would have been content both to catalogue the physical attributes of the small books they collected and preserved, and to offer critiques of the prose and verse they found within them. Bibliography and literary criticism effectively co-existed if not always without some degree of disagreement and discord, as occurs in all fields.

The fight for the study of English Literature as a university subject was a difficult and bruising one, and may be said to be behind something of a breach between the cataloguing of texts, and the investigation of the matter within them. Philologists and antiquarians may have been as content to investigate the delights of Tom Hickathrift as they were to peruse the plays of Shakespeare, but such eclecticism had to be sacrificed for the subject of 'English Literature' to be admitted as fit for academic study.

To elevate a select group of texts to a position of worthiness commensurate with the status of a gradable university subject, others had to fall into academic disrepute. Although some texts have always been in greater fashion that others amongst various socio-cultural groups, it was clear to those fighting for an equality of status with entrenched theologians and classicists, that Shakespeare might stay, but Tom Hickathrift had to go.

English Literature effectively became a university subject through the denomination of a central 'canon' of acceptable texts-a mix of texts that were regarded as being popular with the discerning and academically inclined reader, and those which one 'ought' to read. This hierarchy enabled a group of texts to be separated from the vicarious interests of antiquarians, and the vicissitudes of popular fashion, and raised to the level of academic validity.

Alone however, this is not enough to constitute a viable academic field of study. Alongside the creation of the academic canon, a language of criticism had also to be created as the acceptable language in which to discuss these texts at an academic level. The two operate together symbiotically. The language is created to most effectively describe the texts of the canon, and so when using the language to describe and study those texts, they appear to be the most academically worthy of study. For example, should a 'Miltonic simile' be regarded as a typical example of academic noteworthiness in a text, it is no surprise to find such a device in the canonically prescribed works of John Milton.

Throughout the twentieth century, as any new literary theory or form of critical appraisal has been developed, a new language of criticism appears tailored to a new canon of texts most suited to being discussed in the new terms and phrases devised for the purpose. New literary theories have recurred at regular intervals either in opposition, or as an intensification of what has preceeded them, as generations of academics have fought an on-going battle for a piece of the grant-maintained action within the increasingly insecure 'ivory towers' of the academic system.

This has not been without great benefit. Each and every critical theory bursts onto the academic scene, develops, occasionally dominates, and falls into obscurity leaving behind concepts vital for the study of texts, concerning objectivity and subjectivity, the role of the reader, the text, and the author, or the medium, and the message. There is however a cost. The university study of 'English Literature' is heavily politicised, lurches from one extreme to another, and to practitioners from other fields often appears to be little more than an academic battlefield, littered with the corpses of the unfashionable and the reactionary. Literary Criticism also appears to have quite divorced itself from the subject of bibliography, placing a great deal more emphasis upon the customised 'canons' fought over with such venom.

This is particularly unfortunate as a greater use of bibliographical resources, and the effective exploitation of the power of computing to manipulate data offers those wishing to study texts (that is texts in their widest sense, and their cultural contexts) an unrivalled expanse of newly accessible material, at a time when there is no longer a need to continue further the battle fought and won decades previously for academic acceptance.

Effectively divorced from the study of the contents of books, bibliographers have produced 'primary' bibliographies such as the STC and Wing. These tremendous achievements (both now revised) offer an unfocussed and unapplied basic resource to access the full range of material produced in the early-modern period, with an initial Eighteenth Century Short-Title Catalogue completed and a Nineteenth Century Short-Title Catalogue in progress. The STC and Wing microfilms are already being joined by microfilms of eighteenth century material. This, I would suggest, is the true 'canon'-every item produced by the presses (and manuscripts too) whether factual or fictional, whether erudite poetry replete with classical metaphors, ballad, or chapbook. The term 'English Literature' might also be dispensed with too, each of these items being a 'text', just as a film, a performance of a play, a multimedia CD-ROM, or a television programme may be, and all dealt with upon an equal footing as a culturally charged incidence of communication.

The price that has been paid for the eclipsing of bibliographical study by the development of various canons of texts has been the under-resourcing of bibliography even though it lies at the foundation of all textual study. Consequently the tools required to investigate properly the chaotic outpourings of the press of the past centuries are still relatively primitive for the purpose for which they might be used, and horrendously expensive.

The ASC is a secondary bibliography that had to be created for the study of the Pepys chapbooks, because the information within such 'primary' bibliographies as the STC, the Stationers' Register, the Term Catalogue, and Greg's Catalogue of Plays could not be used in its present form for the study of something as complex as the prestructure of the chapbook. The 'primary' paper bibliographies are remarkable feats, but are inadequate for the speedy manipulation of large amounts of data required to investigate the cultural aspects of any text chosen at random from within their pages. Hence the production of a substantial 'secondary' paper bibliography.

The critical study of texts and the craft of bibliography may be brought together to allow the clear illustration of the development of any aspect of the print market as an organic social, cultural, and economic entity, as the cultural context for the study of any text, to produce a new bibliographical tool. Such a work must encompass the wide ranging accessibility of the 'primary' paper bibliography offering any information that may be required upon any texts, with the analytical facility inherent for a specific purpose in the 'secondary' paper bibliography, but configurable to any need.

Cultural Studies: Beyond History and Literary Criticism

The extension of the 'canon' to all known texts, and the development of 'cultural studies' incorporating an analysis of the text within its cultural context (in place of a more typical literary critical approach) develops the interpretation of the past through textual media (texts as incidences of communication) beyond the boundaries of literary criticism, but not towards the traditional study of 'history'.

Literary criticism has developed through a century of theoretical trench-warfare to achieve an accumulative foundation of sophisticated theoretical sensitivity in the critical interpretation of texts, dispensing with objectified 'facts' and accepting the critic's subjective interpretation of what might be described as data. Historians however, although developing from a traditional model involving the names and dates of politics and war, through to a consideration of social history and of 'ordinary people' still tend to cling to an established and accumulative body of 'facts' as a framework for historical analysis.

To move beyond this model of historical study requires the acceptance of the 'data-interpretation' model of the literary critic, and the discarding of the intellectually naive attempt to forge a single objective model of the past that this framework of 'established fact' represents.

Thus, cultural studies may replace the existing limited and limiting fields of literary criticism and historical study. Gone would be the canons with their accompanying carefully chosen self-limiting theories and critical languages of literary study, and gone too would be any attempt to build a Tower-of-Babel from 'established facts' reaching back into a fraudulently objectified past.

There are no 'facts' in cultural studies, only 'data' and the 'interpretations' of individual critics. A corpus of data may be produced through bibliographical study from which interpretations may then be made (as with 'readings' of printed texts or archaeological sites) based upon an awareness of the mechanics of cultural interaction within societies, and of the relationship between the individual critic and the materials with which they are working. Such 'readings' would be produced by means of the individual scholar's skill and interpretative abilities working with whatever data was available and deemed relevant, and might focus upon any aspect of a culture, past or present, textual or otherwise.

Such a field of inquiry requires easy access to considerable quantities of data across what are currently separate disciplines. The ASC is an attempt to offer a sample of a typical database, in this case for the cultural study of the chapbook prestructure and related issues. A more traditional consistency of entry is deliberately sacrificed in favour of a more usefully directed work of reference. The need for a much larger and easily accessible 'knowledgebase' is a clear and pressing one, and the technology is available. If there is to be any further progressive development in the fields known today as literary criticism and historical study, then it is vital that the development of such resources be prioritised, or the study of the past through textual media (books, manuscripts, and other 'incidences of communication') can only stagnate.

HyperText and the Knowledgebase

All 'paper' bibliographies are technically 'flat-file databases'. Entries may be compared with each other as if all of the items in the database were spread out on a single flat surface by physically moving the pages to get from one to another. In a book size soon becomes a problem, and searches cease to be feasible. To handle large amounts of data requires a computer.

To produce a comprehensive bibliography-or database-of all known information upon the texts produced in the early-modern period would not be possible on paper. Such a hypothetical work would be largely useless-merely a book of entries that might be individually looked-up and checked assuming the work was adequately indexed.

Should such data be stored electronically, it would be both 'navigable' and 'configurable'. This means it would be simple to find specific items of information anywhere in the database with a simple search facility, and then present whatever data was required in whatever way the researcher required it to best interpret the results of the search. That is the power of the computer. What the computer cannot do, is relate individual items together without a little human help. This would require every piece of information to be adequately 'tagged'. At the simplest level, a sixteen page or twenty-four page octavo published in London in 1680, determined to be within the prestructure of the chapbook might be tagged as such, and appear in any search for chapbooks, or for chapbooks published in 1680. This 'data manipulation' occurs with a 'relational database'-one that can relate a number of tagged items together for further presentation or manipulation.

Simply computerising data is not however, enough. The data for the revised Wing was stored on a computer over twenty years ago, but it is still necessary to purchase it in three unwieldy-and very expensive-volumes, and then plod through page by page to find specific items should they be catalogued other than according to the single chosen 'tag'-the author if known, or failing that, the title (valiant attempts at cross-referencing notwithstanding).

The dissemination of material at a low cost, and in a form accessible to the researcher is vital and possible, and it is an academic crime that a comprehensive resource has not yet been produced in such a manner on a CD-ROM. The failure is particularly acute given the absence of an equal to the National Union Catalogue for the holdings of Cambridge University Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The British Library Catalogue exists on a set of CD-ROMs, yet despite the status of the library as a publicly-funded national institution serving the needs of the nations' scholars, the CD-ROM catalogue is not made freely available-as it should be-at a little over cost price (currently under o5 a disc for mass-reproduction). Any costs involved in the electronic collation of material ought to be absorbed by the Government, given the public status of the institution and the academic value of the resource across a range of fields. To charge o10,000 for a set of five discs is tantamount to an act of fraud upo the nation's scholars. [76]

The development of such a resource would be on-going. An initial release incorporating data from a number of basic 'primary' bibliographies may be expanded to include more detailed information upon individual, or groups of texts. The inclusion of data onto a developing 'knowledgebase' may involve some payment in compensation for the loss of paper-sales to copyright holders, the production of such a tool being funded-as research in all disciplines is-by Governments, academic institutions, and private trusts.

The simple 'search' facility alone is inadequate when moving from item to item in such a database, and a system based upon HyperText would be more suited to the task. A considerable amount of nonsense has been written about HyperText. It is merely the technical term for the use of a line of text as a 'virtual' button on a computer monitor, allowing the user to move from one item of data to a related item by moving a pointer over that text, and clicking on the mouse to get to the associated piece of information. This is a 'HyperText Link' or 'Hot Link' and has been popularised through its use on the World Wide Web on the Internet. It is little more than a 'button' to 'press' on the screen to bring up a different item of information. Instead of having a 'button' with a little description of what 'pressing' it will yield, you simply 'press' on the text itself using the pointer and the mouse.

A HyperTextually linked, searchable relational database such as this might include articles upon authors, studies of texts, digitised images of title pages, and eventually entire texts themselves displayed upon the screen as digitised images, with pages that may be 'virtually' turned at the click of a mouse button. The tagging of texts would be a flexible and alterable procedure for each edition produced, and discs may be configured to the needs of the individual researcher, although there would be little point beyond that of otherwise having too much information to accomodate comfortably upon a single disc. Providing the reduction in production costs possible from the reproducing of such material as the STC and Wing microfilms of printed texts on to CD-ROM were passed directly to the end-user, then individual researchers might easily access any text they wished, whenever they wished, at their own computer without the difficulties of access afforded by the astronomical cost of current bibliographical resources. If the study of texts is to progress beyond the stage which it has currently reached, then such development is vital.

As long as the 'front end' (the display that appears on the computer monitor) were well designed, such a bibliographical resource would be simple to use, with interactive 'help' features to aid in the search for information as required.

Once data from a number of sources is included upon a single navigable database, the inclusion of shelf-marks would allow it to be used as a comprehensive library catalogue. This would be very helpful given the appallingly poor quality of both hardware and software in institutional libraries. When implementing the electronic cataloguing of a library collection, it is vital that all of the data be archived in a relatively simple form that might be transferred with ease from one piece of hardware, storage medium, or search-engine to another. Finally, when all-or part-of the data is ready, the hardware and software ought to be installed, to benefit from year on year advances in technology.

Providing the data has been appropriately stored, much care should then be given to its display, thus insuring that the user may access as much or as little information as they require with ease. The 'front end' for this-the display on the computer monitor-should make any search request a clear and simple operation, pointing and clicking with a mouse, and typing information into a keyboard.

Sadly, the implementation of electronic library catalogues is generally of a dreadfully poor standard. There has been no excuse since 1990 at the very least for any library to still use a 'command line interface' rather than a 'graphical user interface'. The former presents the user with a short and usually unintelligible request at the bottom left of the screen demanding the choice of a particular type of search by the typing in of a single letter, and the pressing of the key marked Enter (when the keyboard likely as not only has a key marked Return). After a short pause a substantial amount of data will either scroll up the screen at an unreadable speed, or a single entry will appear with a request for the reader to type a key to get the next of 340 successful search results.

A graphical user interface can offer a more intuitive and 'user-friendly' display with assistance for the uncertain reader typing in data, or choosing from different types of searches. Options may be chosen with a click of the mouse from set positions upon the screen, and information need not scroll up the screen at speed whenever the computer processes an inquiry.

Using a command line interface is as comfortable and intuitive as a conversation with a cashpoint machine. There is absolutely no excuse for any major institutional library to still be operating such a dreadfully obsolete system-it is shameful when low-cost networks and custom-designed software might easily be implemented.

The development of the resource here described should allow any researcher to search and locate any text or group of chosen texts, on their own computer, with their own CD-ROM, in their own time, with the minimum of cost. They might even upload their requests to access books by their shelf-marks directly to a library's computer, should the full text not be included on the CD-ROM itself, or should a physical examination of the text be necessary. It need hardly be added that electronic access radically reduces the amount of handling required by researchers of delicate texts.

This CD-ROM based resource would seem to be eclipsed by the possibilities of the Internet for the dissemination of bibliographical information. Whilst much material is being placed on-line, the use of a CD-ROM-although it may not be as up to date as an on-line resource might be-still offers benefits to the researcher who might find themselves a victim of a poor connection, low bandwidth, server malfunctions, unpaid telephone bills, hackers, viruses, agents, or a busy search engine. [77] With a new higher-capacity CD-ROM standard (DVD) being finalised as I write-holding 9Gb on a single disc-in the short term the medium of CD-ROM would seem to offer marginally greater benefits for a carefully engineered bibliographical research tool than does the somewhat unappealing prospect of attempting to track down lists of late eighteenth century sermons on the Web.


Research is not research if it is not new. The true test of validity in the world of the doctoral or post-doctoral researcher is not whether a theoretical approach to a text may be undermined by the currently fashionable approach to the nature of say, the text, or the author. It is whether a piece of work extends the boundaries of the known intellectual universe.

The ASC is an attempt both in form and content to develop the nature of the relationship between the study of texts, and the skills of the bibliographer in the cataloguing of those texts. In bringing these two fields of inquiry together, the resulting spark has I hope produced something new in a 'secondary' paper bibliography, and indicated the potential-and the necessity-of opening up the 'real' canon of all known texts-the productions of the wonderful chaos of the print market (manuscripts, dramatic performances and films too)-each one an attempt to convey something, somehow, to someone in the pursuit of profit, immortality, or both. Often the only tangible remains of a lifetime of communication embedded within a lost culture.

I would place no artificial limits upon the investigation of such material, beyond the requirement to discover something new and-one would hope-interesting. The true skill of the textual critic may be to investigate their chosen texts from their unique position in space and time, and clearly transmit a concept or thesis that is in some way new. Such uncharted reaches may be usefully accessed with the help of bibliographical resources such as the ASC, itself a map of early-modern culture within pre-defined parameters, and a bibliographical attempt to boldly go where no one has gone before.

Postscript I: Laneham's Letter

Most studies of early-modern popular literature refer to Captain Cox the mason and his mobile library as related in the work generally known as Laneham's Letter. There are two editions of this work, the full title of the edition reproduced in facsimile (1968) being A Letter: Wherein, Part of the Entertainment untoo the Queenz Maiesty, at Killingwoorth Castl, in Warwik Sheer in this Soomerz Progress 1575. iz Signified: From a Freend Officer Attendant in the Coourt, unto hiz Freend a Citizen, and Merchaunt of London. [78]

To date, there has been no adequate critique of this work considering at once the bibliographical and literary aspects of the work together. Even the authorship is disputed, the work being attributed variously to Robert Langham (member of the Mercers' Company and Keeper of the Council Chamber, died 1580) and William Patten (scholar and antiquary, c.1510-c.1600). [79]

Further analysis of the work may appear in EMC:T&C, but for now a note of the controversy surrounding this enigmatic, orthographically unusual, and faintly suspect work must suffice. All of the references to the chapbook titles listed amongst Captain Cox's books in this work are included within the ASC.

Postscript II: The Scottish Chapbook Prestructure

In the later stages of the preparation of the ASC, it became apparent that there may be a distinct prestructure for the Scottish or 'small format' chapbook. It would appear that as some titles were produced as sixteen page and twenty-four page octavos by the chapbook publishers in London, others were printed by Robert Sanders in Glasgow in a format fixed enough to be termed a prestructure, and comparable with that of the English chapbook.

The first example I encountered is an edition of The History of Adam Bell, Clim of the Clough, and William of Cloudesly printed by Sanders, printer to the town of Glasgow, and sold in his shop in 1668. This title does not appear in the English chapbook prestructure before 1700 and the text is given a core listing in the ASC solely as a Scottish chapbook. The unique copy in the British Library is twenty-four pages in length signing A8, B4, mainly in black letter, and in verse. Wing notes this to be an octavo, but if so it is an example of the use of a very small sheet as it is considerably smaller than any of the English chapbooks. It may well be an early example of a duodecimo chapbook such as that which appears to have developed in England in the eighteenth century. Wing lists another edition as a duodecimo, also printed by Sanders, in 1698 (in the Robert H. Taylor collection at Princeton University Library).

A second example may be The New Wife of Beath Much Better Reformed, Enlarged, and Corrected. This is an adaptation of Chaucer's Wife of Bath's Tale, also printed by Sanders at Glasgow, in 1700. Smith and Cardinale catalogue the title as having twenty-three pages (presumably a twenty-four page work with the first leaf, recto, an unpaginated title-page). Wing lists the text as a duodecimo. [80]

It is possible that Sanders developed a prestructure of his own in Glasgow for the dissemination of cheap print and developed his own titles. The late discovery of a potentially new chapbook prestructure precludes a full and proper investigation of similar material within this edition of the ASC, although the Scottish chapbooks will be covered in EMC:T&C where they may be listed in an appendix. Other cheap print prestructures are appearing as the work progresses, and will also be covered in EMC:T&C.

Dr. David Harrison.
Text, July 1996. HTML, December 1996. Copyright reserved.


1. Latham, Robert Clifford, and William Matthews, eds. The Diary of Samuel Pepys. 11 vols. 1970-1983. The unwary reader is advised that the Diary of Elizabeth Pepys 'edited' by Dale Spender is a fiction in the manner of the so-called Hitler diaries. Spender, Dale. The Diary of Elizabeth Pepys. London: Grafton, 1991.

2. The age at which children learned to read (and write) of course differed from individual to individual. For historical studies relating to the period see: Spufford, Margaret. 'First Steps in Literacy: The Reading and Writing Experiences of the Humblest Seventeenth-Century Spiritual Autobiographers.' Social History, 4 (1979), 407-435; Spufford, Margaret. Small Books and Pleasant Histories: Popular Fiction and its Readership in Seventeenth-Century England. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1981. Chapter 2. pp.19-44. See also A play-book for children. By J. G. London: John Harris, 1694. 12mo. Wing G37. Copy at the Bodleian Library, Oxford. This text is advertised in the Term Catalogue as: A Play Book for Children to allure them to read as soon as they can speak plain; composed of small pages on purpose not to tire Children, and printed with a fair and pleasant Letter. The matter and method plainer and easier than any yet extant. Twelves. Price 4d. Printed for the Author; and sold by J. Harris at the Harrow in the Poultry. [Arber, Edward, ed. The Term Catalogues, 1668-1709 A.D.; With a Number for Easter Term, 1711 A.D. 3 vols. London: Privately Printed, 1903-06. II, 513. Trinity [June] 1694.]

3. For an example of the reading matter of the young Francis Kirkham, a merchant's son, see Spufford (1981) pp.72-3. Cheap print appears to have been exchanged amongst schoolboys in the seventeenth century, much as comics, football stickers, and computer games would later be. There are a number of religious chapbooks stated in their titles to be explicitly for children (from at least as early as the 1630s). It is quite normal today for a work of reference, perhaps purchased by a parent, or with parental guidance to follow this practice (ie. A Child's First Dictionary; A Child's Bible). However, fictional works rarely describe themselves as being 'for children' in their titles. They are recognised as such through prestructural elements they share with childrens' non-fiction works-larger print, simpler text, pictures, series imprints and the section they appear in, in a bookshop. I would therefore suggest that some of the secular chapbooks may have had a primary audience of 'children' (to the age of fourteen) or 'youths', and were recognised as such through aspects of their chapbook prestructure. It is possible that the Vulgaria were also written for a similar primary readership group (there are a number of references to children reading these works). This suggests a much higher literacy rate than has previously been supposed, and that a fairly large proportion of books were aimed at the young (as is the case today). There is no reason to apportion a percentage of titles to each literate percentage of potential readers. Many literate people today rarely read a book (though they may have read a lot as children) and many then only consult a non-fiction work or a special-interest magazine. The book trade of the seventeenth century may have been similarly configured with supply tailored to demand. Adults with poor literacy may also have read such texts, much as a barely literate adult today may read a children's comic. Meanwhile, individual texts may have been produced to exploit specific aspects of an extant distribution network. Issues relating to the readership of the chapbooks and the production of books concerning children previous to 1700 will be discussed in greater detail in EMC:T&C.

4. For an example of a sermon see STC 19569 and STC 19569a. William Pemberton's sermon, The Godly Merchant, was preached on 17 October 1613 at Paul's Cross, entered in the Stationers' Register on 10 November, and published before the end of the year. Fixed in print, a second impression was issued in 1616.

5. 'At an early date St. Paul's Churchyard seems to have been the great resort of booksellers...Certainly the foreigners who were not denizened congregated there in numbers...The native printers whose business premises were situated in other parts of the city soon saw the necessity, brought about by the competition of these foreign booksellers, of themselves setting up shops in the churchyard.' Duff, E. Gordon. A Century of the English Book Trade. Short Notices of All Printers, Stationers, Book-Binders, and Others Connected with it from the Issue of the First Dated Book in 1457 to the Incorporation of the Company of Stationers. 1905; Facsimile ed. Folcroft Library Editions, 1972. p.xvi-xvii. For a map indicating the concentration of chapmen and chapbook publishers in 1680s London, see Spufford (1981) p.114. By then, the cheap print sellers were mainly sited in West Smithfield or on London Bridge.

6. Day, G. W., ed. The Pepys Ballad Collection Facsimile. 5 vols. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 1989; Weinstein, Helen, ed. Catalogue of the Pepys Library at Magdalene College, Cambridge: Ballads. 2 vols. D. S. Brewer, 1992-1994.

7. A book made from sheets of paper folded once (to form two leaves or four pages) is known as a folio. If each sheet is folded twice (to form four leaves or eight pages) the book is a quarto. A sheet of octavo therefore folds to produce a book of eight leaves or sixteen pages of half the size of a quarto produced from sheets of the same size. A duodecimo is produced from a single sheet folded to produce twelve leaves or twenty-four pages.

8. The Pepys chapbooks have now all been microfilmed and access to the originals is no longer possible. I am extremely grateful to the Pepys Library for permitting Dr. Marie Axton and myself to study the originals in the early 1990s.

9. Watt, Tessa. Cheap Print and Popular Piety: 1550-1640. Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1991.

10. Broadside with heading: These Small Books, Ballads and Histories Undernamed... The Wing entrance under the title has no number and refers to an entrance under William Thackeray, which is not present. Cyprian Blagden suggests a date of 1689. It is located in the second volume of the Bagford Ballads in the British Library (C.40.m.10, No.2), measures 15.75" by 19.75", and is reproduced in reduced size, in Shepard, Leslie. John Pitts, Ballad Printer of Seven Dials, London. 1765-1844 with a Short Account of his Predecessors in the Ballad & Chapbook Trade. London: Private Libraries Association, 1969. p.21. See also Spufford (1981) p.132.

11. Simpson, J. A., and E. S. C. Weiner, eds. The Oxford English Dictionary. 1933; 2nd ed. 20 vols. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989. Spufford, Margaret. The Great Reclothing of Rural England. Petty Chapmen and their Wares in the Seventeenth Century. History Series, Volume 33. London: Hambledon Press, 1984.

12. Welsh continues: 'It is interesting in this connection to recollect that Cheapside and Eastcheap, in London, formed, when they first came into existence, the central mart of this great city, and to notice that this fact is enshrined in the name they have borne for centuries. But to return to our Chapman. He is described as a kind of colporteur, and Cotgrave, in his Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues (London, 1611), defines him as 'a paultrie pedlar who in a long pack or maund which he carries for the most part open 'hanging' from his necke before him hath almanackes, bookes of newes and other trifling ware to sell.' Welsh, Charles. 'Some Notes on the History of Books for Children. II. Block Books and Early Printed Books.' The Strand Magazine. III, 3. (1893) pp.336-343. p.343.

13. Although there are a number of undated texts. See Spufford (1981). p.131.

14. Although the chapbooks would most likely have been sold uncut, one and a half sheets of octavo had to be stitched or it would simply fall apart. A sixteen page octavo might be sold unstitched, but as soon as the pages were cut it too would rapidly go to pieces. Entries in the Term Catalogue suggest that it was normal practice in the period to sell cheaper pamphlets stitched.

15. I would dispute Margaret Spufford's claim that 'at least some of the items in the Vulgaria should certainly be classified as chapbooks'. Spufford (1981). p.130.

16. Watt (1991) p.273 for examples of looser classifications.

17. Whilst it may be suggested that the listing continue until the Licensing Act expired in 1694 (after which date a considerable amount of material began to be issued from provincial presses) the use of Wing (which lists texts to 1700) as a primary resource, and the difficulties of dating a large quantity of material printed by the likes of William Onley and Andrew Milbourn in the final years of the seventeenth century, would have made a cut-off date of 1694 unwise, and perhaps more arbitrary (in practical terms) than Wing's own use of 1700.

18. A boxed set of ten 'Penguin 60s Cookery' books was produced in 1996 for o7.99.

19. Gaskell, Philip. A New Introduction to Bibliography. 1972; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1985. pp.66-77; Thompson notes the Pepys chapbooks to measure 13cm or 14cm by 8.5cm. Thompson, Roger. 'Samuel Pepys's Penny Merriments: A Checklist.' The Library, 5th Ser. 31 (1976), 223-234. p.223.

20. A Mirrour for Murtherers. [Printed for J. Wright, 1633.] (STC: 12mo8.4) A8, B4. STC 10581.5. The text was entered to John Wright in 1633, and used as binding material in 1636. I am extremely grateful to James Lawson, Taylor Librarian and Archivist at Shrewsbury School for providing me with information upon this unique item.

21. Little is known in detail of the development of paper sizes for specific prestructures. See Gaskell. (1972). pp.67-68, 72, Table 3.

22. See Gaskell. (1972). fig. 57.

23. I am using 16pp. and 24pp. here to denote a book of eight or twelve leaves (one or one and a half sheets of octavo generally with the signatures A8 or A8, B4). It is good practice when cataloguing such items to give the signatures of a text, rather than the pages, as a 16pp chapbook may only have fourteen of the pages numbered, with no pagination on the first leaf. Smith and Cardinale's otherwise highly useful bibliography of gender texts must be used with great care as text lengths appear to be given according to pagination, no formats are given, and only a single edition of any title is included. Whilst understandable, this does indicate the problems faced at the interface between bibliography and literary criticism. Smith, Hilda L. and Susan Cardinale, comps. Women and Literature of the Seventeenth Century. An Annotated Bibliography Based on Wing's Short-Title Catalogue. Bibliographies and Indexes in Women's Studies, No. 10. New York; Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood Press, 1990.

24. The King and the Cobler. Printed for C. Dennisson, at the Stationers-Arms within Aldgate. [c.1686-1688]. The second title page on A2r concludes with 'Price Two-Pence' after the imprint. 8vo. 24pp. Pepys C49. Wing P2530 and Wing K551A. There are a number of references on 16pp. chapbooks to the text costing 1d. See: A Hundred Notab[l]e Things, And Merry Conceits For A Penny. By Josh. Croynes. [Anag. of Joshua Conyers, the bookseller.] Printed for J. Conyers at the Black Raven in Duck Lane. 16[80] (cropt). 8vo. 16pp. Pepys C47. Wing C7414A.

25. Watt (1991) p.262.

26. Hart, John. A Godly Sermon Of Peter's Repentance. The Thirteenth Edition corrected and enlarged. Printed for W. Thackery, T. Passinger, P. Brooksby, and J. Williamson, 1680. 8vo. 24pp. Advertisement on B4r. This text is item 10 on the advertisement, priced at 3d. Wing H954. British Library Copy 4474.a.58.(1.).

27. 'The History of the Seven Champions of Christen-dom, Illustrated with Cuts: price 3d.' is advertised in Hocus Pocus Junior. Printed by J. M. for J. Deacon. Sold by J. Gilbertson, 1686. 11th edition. 4to. 64pp. Pepys V22. Wing H2282AC. The Advertisement appears on A2v or A3v (Quire misprinted or misfolded). This is most likely an edition of The Renowned History of the Seven Champions of Christendom, assigned over to Deacon by the executor of Thomas Vere's estate on 7 August 1682. Wing notes an edition of this version as being printed by Thomas Norris, c.1700. Halliwell states it to be a small quarto of 24pp. (a 'double-book' of 3 sheets). Wing J809B.

28. Watt (1991) p.318n.106; Spufford (1981) p.94.

29. See the table in the appendices to this work. Clavel, Robert. The General Catalogue of Books Printed in England Since the Dreadful Fire of London, 1666. To the End of the Trinity Term, 1674. 1675; Facsimile ed. English Bibliographical Sources. Series 2. Catalogues of Books in Circulation, No. 4. Farnborough: Gregg Press Ltd., 1965.

30. No Jest Like a True Jest: Being a Compendious Record Of the Merry Life, and Mad Exploits Of Capt. James Hind. Printed for J. Deacon, at the Angel in Guiltspur-street, without Newgate. [1684-] 8vo. 24pp. Pepys C74. Wing N1177. B2v-B4r. Margaret Spufford notes an example of a work where limitations of space preclude the inclusion of some of the woodcuts, the author being 'tied to six sheets at present, which will not contain them'. Spufford (1981) p.107n.48.

31. 'The 1620s...was the decade in which the publishers organized themselves into a specialized syndicate for distribution of broadside ballads. The combined evidence also points to this as the period when ballad publishers began consciously to acquire the copyrights to these small books, which they could sell to the same wide market as their ballads.' Watt (1991) p.278.

32. One sheet of quarto produces a pamphlet of eight pages, only four leaves thick. A single sheet octavo chapbook of sixteen pages, would have been smaller and eight leaves thick-rather less likely to be torn or damaged, unless subjected to harsher treatment.

33. There is mounting evidence for children comprising the primary readership group for certain of the chapbooks, which may help to explain their rarity. This is covered in greater depth in EMC:T&C. See also note 3.

34. Spufford. (1981). p.98. Plomer refers to Tias as Charles Tyus. Plomer, Henry R. A Dictionary of the Booksellers and Printers Who Were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667. London: For the Bibliographical Society, 1907.

35. My figure of 500 sheets to the ream is taken from The City and Country Chapmans Almanack for 1686. London, 1685. This supports R. E. Zupko and Margaret Spufford. It would seem that Blagden's figure of 510 sheets to the ream results from a misreading of the 1689 'agreement' between Thackeray, Millet, and Milbourn. See Spufford. (1981). p.107n.55.

36. Spufford. (1981). p.101.

37. Watt (1991) pp.168-172.

38. The STC listing of Almanacs is particularly useful here as it indicated the place for which an almanac was calculated, wherever possible (including Norwich, Stratford in Suffolk, Coventry, Derby, Newcastle, Loughborough, Cardiff, and-as early as 1559-for Gloucester). STC I, 15-30; Hodgson notes the printing of 10,000 copies of the Poor Robin almanac 'in' 1662, although Wing lists no extant copies of this title for the years 1662 or 1663. Hodgson, S. 'Papers and Documents Recently Found at Stationers' Hall.' The Library, 4th ser. 25 (1944), 23-36. p.24. See also: Blagden, Cyprian. 'The Distribution of Almanacks in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century.' Studies in Bibliography, 11 (1958), 107-116; Bosanquet, Eustace Fulcrand. 'English Seventeenth Century Almanacks.' The Library, 4th ser. 10 (1930), 361-397; Capp, Bernard. Astrology and the Popular Press: English Alamanacs 1500-1800. London: Faber and Faber, 1979.

39. Wing S5148A.

40. Wing N264.

41. STC 14973.

42. The need to be able to transport chapbooks relatively easily may have played a part in the successful development of a prestructure of particularly small and lightweight books. 'In 1652 postage on a letter was 2d up to 80 miles. Packets of printed books were charged two shillings a pound which might well double the cost of a book.' [A Broadside giving postal rates from 18 Jan. 1652 is in the Guildhall Lib., London.] Myers, Robin and Michael Harris, eds. Property of a Gentleman. The Formation, Organisation and Dispersal of the Private Library 1620-1920. Winchester: St. Paul's Bibliographies, 1991. p.35. Chapmen or carriers would both have been much cheaper than the postal service. See Frearson, Michael. 'The English Corantos of the 1620s.' PhD. Cambridge, 1993. Ch. 1. [I am grateful to Professor Spufford for this reference.]

43. Perhaps more so. Professor Spufford has suggested that the chapmen operated in the country, rather than in the city, London being heavily endowed with booksellers. A number of the advertisments at the end of the chapbooks in the Pepys collection refer to 'country chapmen'.

44. Aside from 1666, there was a fire at the northern end of London Bridge-a major site of popular print retailing-in 1633. For a contemporary text, see: [Londons affright.] [ ] pitty, to all people that shall heare of it in [ ]full fire that happned on London bridge. [Printed for E. Blackmore, 1633.] Single sheet, fol. Ballad. 2 parts. STC 16755.5.

45. Spufford (1981) p.89-90.

46. It is difficult to conceptualise the physical development of a city like London over a period of time merely through the use of annotated maps. A more helpful approach may be through the development of a virtual London that the viewer might navigate through at any given date, built up from the accumulation of available data regarding the ownership of land and commercial premises from wills and other documents, and the findings of archaeological excavations. For a guide to the financial vicissitudes of the print trade, see Frearson, Michael. 'The English Corantos of the 1620s.' PhD. Cambridge, 1993. Ch. 2. [I am grateful to Professor Spufford for this reference.]

47. Spufford (1984) pp.80-1. To date, this study is the most comprehensive account of the chapmen's trade. In July 1617, Richard Meighen was fined 3s 4d for 'enticinge a Chap-man from mr Smithwicke[s] shopp contrary to order' perhaps suggesting the value to a bookseller of a trustworthy chapman, with a remunerative sales circuit. [Jackson, William A. Records of the Court of the Stationers' Company 1602 to 1640. London: The Bibliographical Society, 1957. p.460] When Michael Sparke, Senior died in 1653, his will instructed that gifts of 20s be made to his chapmen (when they had paid off any debts due to his estate) for the purchase of mourning rings. 'Item I give and bequeath unto my loveing freinds and chapmen John Hamond, Henry Hamond, Thomas Thomas, William Newton, Walter Dight, Edward Dight, William ffugill, Richard Wrice, Richard Artland, John Jones Twenty shillings a peece in money to make them rings mourning fashion to weare in remembrance of me to be payd unto them by my Executor when they shall have payd him their severall debts that they owe me.' [Transcription of the will of Michael Sparke, Senior (P.C.C. 158, Alchin) made by Ms. Helen Long. MS. in the possession of Professor Spufford.]

48. Mish, Charles C. 'Blackletter as a Social Discriminant in the Seventeenth Century.' Publications of the Modern Language Association of America, 68 (1953), 627-630.

49. 'I know you used to let your Titles of a New Book lie open upon your Stalls...' (Question asked of a bookseller's apprentice by Lord Chief Justice Hide). The question was asked again in relation to another title, and the apprentice replied that they 'seldom did so with bound books'. The chapbooks were designed to be sold unbound. McKenzie, Donald Francis. The London Book Trade in the Later Seventeenth Century. Sandars Lectures 1976. Cambridge: Privately Printed, 1976. p.26.

50. Ms. Helen Weinstein kindly allowed me to see the woodcuts of the Pepys Ballads upon which she is working, in photocopied form. I would suggest that between 5% and 10% of the ballads' woodcuts appear in the chapbooks. I would emphasise that this is a very rough approximation. See also Watt (1991) pp.168-172. There is a valuable listing of early pictoria in Watt (1991) pp.349-356.

51. Gaskell (1972) pp.154-9; Watt (1991) pp.178-193.

52. Davis, Lennard J. Factual Fictions: The Origins of the English Novel. New York: Columbia Univ. Press, 1983. pp.7-12.

53. For a particularly early example, see: Philips, Ambrose, ed., A Collection of Old Ballads. Corrected from the Best and Most Ancient Copies Extant. With Introductions, Historical, Critical, or Humorous. 1723-5. 3 vols. Type-Facsimile. [London: Pearson, 1871].

54. Work on dating the productions of the cheap-print sellers is on-going, see: Plomer, Henry R. 'The Booksellers of London Bridge.' The Library, New ser. 4 (1903), 28-46; Blagden, Cyprian, 'Notes on the Ballad Market in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century.' Studies in Bibliography. Papers of the Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 6 (1954), 161-180; Shepard (1969) p.20; Thomson, Robert Stark. 'The Development of the Broadside Ballad Trade and its Influence upon the Transmission of English Folksong.' PhD. Cambridge 1974; Watt (1991).

55. Thomson (1974) pp.75-77.

56. The sign used by the bookseller would hang outside the shop. A typical imprint might read 'Printed by J. M. for J. Deacon, at the Angel, in Guilt-Spur-Street. 1687.' This places the bookseller at his premsises in 1687. As more imprints are studied, it becomes possible to cross-reference dates and premises. Unfortunately, both the STC and Wing truncate the imprints, excluding the signs for most items. The bookseller's sign would have a picture on it as described (here, of an angel), or may be carved in a distinctive shape. See: Duff (1905) p.xviii. Some of the chapbooks have woodcuts depicting the publisher's sign at the end, often adjacent to an advertisement. For an illustration of the woodcut of Jonah Deacon's sign and advertisement, see Spufford (1981) p.87 taken from B4r of the The True Tryal of Understanding. By S. M. Printed by I. M[illet] for I. Deacon, at the Angel, in Guilt-Spur-Street. 1687. 8vo. 24pp. Wing M79E. Pepys C97; For information upon the premises of booksellers before 1640, see STC III. For later publishers' signs, see entries in Plomer (1907); Plomer, Henry R. A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers Who Were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1668 to 1725. Oxford Univ. Press, 1922.

57. Some of the earlier entries in the Stationers' Register may only be dated to within a year of their entrance, ie. [22 July 1565-22 July 1566]. In such a case this should precede a 1565 text, whilst a text published [c.1565-1566] would appear between the entries of texts printed in 1565 and 1566. There are a small number of similarly anomalous entries.

58. The 14 December 1624 entry for the Ballad Partners lists 128 ballads. These are a notification of stock most likely to protect against later copyright infringements, rather than a notice that any new ballads hve been licensed and then entered to announce ownership of the copies. A number of the ballads in this entry date from the sixteenth century. Arber, Edward, ed. A Transcript of the Registers of the Company of Stationers of London; 1554-1640. 5 vols. London and Birmingham, 1875-1894. IV, 131-132.

59. A number of ballads were entered to John Wright 'and the rest of the ballad Partners' on 16 July 1634. These were licensed for sale over the preceeding year from July 1633, and then entered together. Arber (1875-1894) IV, 323.

60. In this case, some non-English texts, post-1700 editions, and other odd references of particular value.

61. It is likely that regulations governing the make-up of texts and the charges relating to them according to their length, size, price, and the use of illustrations within them, may well have had a good deal to do with the development of the chapbook prestructure.

62. A Guide to young Communicants, or Plain directions for those that desire to be worthy Receivers of the Lord's Supper; proposed in twelve Questions and Answers. Together with Prayers for the Sacrament; and for Morning and Evening. Twelves. Price 2d. Printed for G. Conyers at the Golden Ring in the Little Britain. Term Catalogue III, 58. Hil. [February] 1698. Reprinted. Item 12. Wing only has the earlier fourth edition of [c.1695]. Wing G2187B. This is printed for G. C. (likely to be Conyers) but has no asterisk, and so is not stated to be 'under 50pp' despite the low price.

63. Apart from minor references that recur in re-issues of an unrelated text. In such a case it would be typical to give the reference under the first edition alone. If the text was entered in the Stationers' Register much earlier, and no early editions survive, a reference would be given noting this earlier date.

64. See for example, the entries in the main catalogue concerning Samuel Holland's Wit and Fancy in a Maze (Entered in 1655; published in 1656), reprinted as Don Zara Del Fogo (1656), and then again as Romancio-Mastrix: Or, A Romance on Romances (1660).

65. Jones, John Henry, ed. The English Faust Book. A Critical Edition Based on the Text of 1592. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1994.

66. The development of the Pantomime is also relevant here.

67. Spufford (1981) chapter 6; Watt (1991) p.274-8.

68. Reprinted by Thomson (1974) Appendix B, pp.283-7.

69. The reader is advised that some of the entrances and assignments over in the Stationers' Register are not listed in the STC, even when the texts that they pertain to appear in the STC.

70. I am grateful to Marie Axton for pointing this out to me.

71. Watt (1991) pp.274-8.

72. See the later seventeenth century editions of Fortunatus in the main catalogue for an explicit reference to the pirating of a text.

73. References for these texts are given in the Bibliography appended to this introduction.

74. Unfortunately, four attempts to gain privileged access to the British Library's collection as a non-stipendiary fellow were unsuccessful.

75. Fewer eighteenth century editions of pre-1700 chapbooks are included than I would have wished, but access to a copy of the Eighteenth Century Short-Title Catalogue was impossible in the final stages of the work on the ASC.

76. Supplied on 5 CD-ROMs working under MS-DOS. Published by Saztec Europe. Distributed by Chadwyck-Healey, who are notorious for such overpriced educational materials. If the benefits of technological advancement are not made available to researchers at a sensible price, the fields of enquiry that require their use will suffer a reduction in relative status within the academic profession, regardless of individual licensing deals.

77. The British Library has operated an on-line system called BLAISE-LINE for a number of years, but the disgracefully high charges render it worthless for the purposes of research students. As this work nears completion, the British Library have announced an upgrade to BLAISE-LINE with a graphical interface, known as BlaiseWeb. Yet again access to the system requires a substantial payment, whilst other libraries happily allow electronic access to their on-line catalogue without charge, over the Internet. Access to the catalogue of the nation's repository of books in the most advanced form available should be a right, and not a privilege for the wealthy.

78. STC 15190.5 collates A-L4. 8vo in 4's. (Copies at O, C3; HD) known as 'Edition A'; STC 15191 collates A-E8, F4. 8vo. (Copies at L, O(3), C5, SH; F, HN(with 146 MS. annotations), CH, HD, N, ILL(with 126 MS. annotations), and other locations) known as 'Edition B'. Neither edition has an imprint. The date in each case has been taken from the title. Laneham, Robert. A Letter: Wherein, Part of the Entertainment untoo the Queenz Maiesty, at Killingwoorth Castl, in Warwik Sheer in this Soomerz Progress 1575. iz Signified: From a Freend Officer Attendant in the Coourt, unto hiz Freend a Citizen, and Merchaunt of London. 1575; Facsimile ed. English Linguistics 1500-1800, No. 60. Menston, Yorkshire: Scolar Press, 1968; Laneham, Robert. Robert Laneham's Letter: Describing a Part of the Entertainment unto Queen Elizabeth at the Castle of Kenilworth in 1575. 1575; ed. Frederick James Furnivall. London: Chatto and Windus; New York: Duffield and Company, 1907.

79. Kuin, R. J. P. 'The Purloined Letter: Evidence and Probability Regarding Robert Langham's Authorship.' The Library, 6th ser. 7, (1985), 115-125.

80. The New Wife of Beath Much Better Reformed, Enlarged, and Corrected. Glasgow. Printed by Robert Sanders, One of his Majesties Printers. 1700. 12mo. Copies at the British Library, London, and the National Library of Scotland, Edinburgh. Wing N796.