H-105. The Bible and Histories of Reading - Advance Reading List

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  • Required Reading

    The asterisked books you should buy and bring with you to class.

    * The Bible. Use any edition you like and read the following passages. Bring the Bible you use with you to class.

    Genesis, chapters 1–3
    Exodus, chapters 16–20; 23; 32–34
    I Samuel, chapters 17–21
    II Samuel, chapters 11–12; 14:25–15:18; chapter 18
    Esther (complete)
    Psalms 1 and the Seven Penitential Psalms (6, 32, 38, 51, 102, 130, and 143; in the Septuagint numbering, which was followed in Catholic versions, the numbers are 6, 31, 37, 50, 101, 129, and 142)
    Song of Songs (complete)
    Isaiah, chapters 7 and 63
    Ezekiel, chapters 2–3:14
    Christ’s nativity: Matthew, chapters 1–2; Luke, chapters 1–3;
    John, chapter 1:1–1:14
    Christ’s death and resurrection: Matthew, chapters 26–28;
    Mark, chapters 14–16; Luke, chapters 22–24; John, chapters 18–21
    I Corinthians, chapters 13–15
    II Corinthians, chapter 3
    Revelation, chapter 10

    * de Hamel, Christopher. The Book: A History of the Bible. London: Phaidon, 2005. An excellent introduction with great illustrations, and easily available new and second-hand for under $20. Certainly worth owning. Bring this with you.

    * The New-England Primer: hundreds of editions, a cheap facsimile of the 1843 stereotype edition still in print. Please buy a copy of any edition (new or used) and bring it with you.

    The following readings will be made available to admitted students via Dropbox:

    Costley, Clare. “David, Bathsheba, and the Penitential Psalms.” Renaissance Quarterly 57 (2004): 1235–1277.

    Stallybrass, Peter. “The Materiality of Reading.” Unpublished paper, available as a typescript.

    Stallybrass, Peter. “Image against Text: On Not Reading Genesis.” Unpublished paper, available as a typescript.

    Nord, David Paul. “Benevolent Books: Printing Religion and Reform.” In A History of the Book in America, Volume 2: An Extensive Republic: Print, Culture and Society in the New Nation, 1790–1840, edited by Robert A. Gross and Mary Kelley, 221–246. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010. Particularly relevant, given the spectacular resources in Philadelphia for the American Sunday School Union. Connie King at the Library Company of Philadelphia is the best possible guide to these collections.

  • Suggestions for Further Reading

    Cavallo, Guglielmo and Roger Chartier, eds. A History of Reading in the West, trans. Lydia G. Cochrane. Amherst. MA: University of Massachusetts, 1999. An outstanding overview. Worth browsing for relevant materials.

    Sherman, William H. Used Books: Marking Readers in Renaissance EnglandPhiladelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. A ground-breaking study of marginalia, much of it in religious books. His chapter on “Marking the Bible” will be available to admitted students via Dropbox.

    Saenger, Paul. “The Impact of the Printed Page.” Bulletin du Bibliophile, 2 (1996): 237–301. A useful introduction to the navigational aids in printed books and manuscripts that were of particular importance to the development of the bible in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

    Amory, Hugh. Bibliography and the Book Trades: Studies in the Print Culture of Early New EnglandPhiladelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004. Read pp. 1–79. Excellent, including the introduction by David Hall.

    Brown, Matthew P. The Pilgrim and the Bee: Reading Rituals and Book Culture in Early New EnglandPhiladelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. A fine exploration of reading practices in New England.