Wednesday 31 August 2016

Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins

The Centre for the Book, Monash University, in collaboration with the Centre for the Book, University of Otago and The State Library of Victoria, are hosting:

Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins. A One-Day Conference and Masterclass.

Conference date: Friday 23 September; from 8.30am to 5.30pm.
Venue: State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Seminar Rooms 1 (enter via La Trobe St.).

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. Pat Buckridge, Griffith University, Queensland, “The Ethics of Annotation: Reading, Studying and Defacing Books in Australia”
  • Prof. Bill Sherman, Director of Research and Collections, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, “Reading as a Visual and Theatrical Mode”

  • This conference will investigate marginalia in texts from the early modern period to the present, with a particular focus on the interpretative challenges posed by marginalia in the literal margin—whether encountered directly, via digital surrogate or in mediated form. Speakers include:
    • Matthew Symonds, University College London, "Archaeologies of Reading: early modern reading strategies and the digital humanities"
    • Steven Olsen-Smith, Boise State University, "'Almost Unknown to the General Reader': Herman Melville’s Recovered Copy of Thomas Warton’s History of English Poetry"
    • Dennis C. Marnon, Houghton Library, Harvard University, "'Oh! Oh! This Is Too Much': An Old Tub-Oarsman Heavily Annotates a Copy of Moby-Dick, Ridiculing the Author’s Whalemanship and Sharing His Own Knowledge of the Sea"
    • Wei Yinzong, University of British Columbia, "Marginalia as a Communication Node: A Case Study"
    • Ruth Knezevich, University of Otago, "Theorizing the Romantic Margin: Byron’s Hyper-Textual Network"
    • Diana Barnes, University of Queensland, "Affecting Social Gloss in late sixteenth century English Print Poetry"
    • James Gourley, Western Sydney University, "Wallace Reading Kafka: Tornadic Bureaucracy in The Pale King"
    • Véronique Duché, University of Melbourne, "Gohory’s Poliphile"
    • Julia Kuehns and Meredith McCullough, University of Melbourne Library, "In his own hand: marginalia and annotations in the Nicholas O’Donnell Collection, Newman College"
    • Merete Colding Smith, University of Melbourne Library, "C’est Mon Livre ce n’est pas le tien mon ami"
    • Brian McMullin, Monash University, "Anonymous vs. Celebrity in Scott’s Antiquary"
    • Wallace Kirsop, Monash University, "An Obsessive Annotator: the Case of Michel Adanson
    • Jocelyn Hargrave, Monash University, "Authorial metalanguage within the margins of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Poems (Ashley MS 408)"
    Participants can register for the conference here. Normal registration: A$110.00; student: A$80.00. The conference is fully-catered (morning and afternoon tea, lunch and all day beverages). The conference dinner (A$65.00) will be at The Moat, Basement, 176 Little Lonsdale Street.

    Prof. Pat Buckridge will be conducting a three-hour masterclass on Monday 26 September (10am-1pm) on “Interpreting marginalia and the history of reading”. (Unfortunately, as a result of last-minute changes, Prof. Bill Sherman’s masterclass has had to be cancelled.)

    A fee of $20.00 applies to the masterclass; which will be held in the Rare books area of the State Library of Victoria (meet in the Swanson St foyer).

    For further information, please contact the conference convenors:
    Dr. Patrick Spedding (
    Dr. Paul Tankard (

    [UPDATE: 2021.03.20: for details of the book, which Paul Tankard, Mia Godwin and I later prepared based largely on papers delivered at this conference, see my My Publications etc.; UPDATE 2021.05.23: for a post on the published book, see here.]

    Tuesday 30 August 2016

    The Enfer on Wikipedia

    When I was preparing my Foxcroft lecture I noticed that there was no entry on Wikipedia (in English) for the Enfer at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, a quite poor entry (in French), but an excellent one (in German).

    And so, as a prelude to creating a list of Private Case collections on Wikipedia, I decided to have a bash at translating the German entry into English. Thanks Google Translate! The new Wikipedia entry is here. If you see any errors, omissions, infelicities etc., please feel free to edit accordingly. And, since it is flagged as an orphan, please add links too!

    I hope to expand on it, and the Private Case entry, later on—probably when I am writing up my Foxcroft lecture for publication in the new year.

    Thursday 25 August 2016

    Brief instructions on how to lose a chapbook

    Two eighteenth century chapbook editions of a Brief instructions for the pious Christian; or, a sure guide to Heaven. By the late Bishop Beveridge appear on ESTC: both records are based on a single copy; both copies appear to be mis-dated on ESTC. I bought my copy of Brief instructions (ESTC t166937) off eBay six years ago, for a very modest sum, and for the shallowest of reasons: I noticed that it had some very pretty type and woodcut ornaments! (For which, see below.)

    The publishers, not clearly identified in the imprint, and not mentioned on ESTC are Cleur Dicey and Richard Marshall, whose famous, and much-studied, 1764 wholesale trade Catalogue of chapbooks, songs, prints, maps etc. is now available online here. Brief instructions appears, rather incongruously it seems—as R. C. Simmons notes—on page 92, as “Godly” eight-page “Patter” no.30.

    Although Dicey and Marshall continued in business until the end of the century there seems no reason to accept the date suggested for ESTC t166937 of “1780?”: the 1760s seems much more likely.

    My copy has survived folded, as issued; not sewn, bound or trimmed. It probably survived, forgotten, between the pages of a book. I can vouch for the likelihood of this. I put my copy between the pages of a large paperback to protect it while carrying it to my office, and promptly forgot about it. Six years later, idly leafing through the book—to see if there was any reason I shouldn’t get rid of it to make room for something else—I was shocked to rediscover Beveridge’s Brief instructions tucked under the cover!

    Having come so close to throwing away this exceptionally rare chapbook, I thought I should make amends by posting a few photos of it. When photographing the skull and crossbones printers’ ornament, and the woodcut of hell-mouth, I was taken in by the texture of the paper, and so a few of the photos below are intended to highlight this, but the lighting has given a sepia colour to the photos.

    * * * * *

    Wednesday 24 August 2016

    A very crude Gardner ornament catalogue, 1995

    In my recent “Checklist” of Thomas Gardner’s ornament stock (link to article here), I mentioned that I compiled a very crude catalogue of Gardner ornaments in 1995, by sketching some of the ornaments into a notebook that I carried from library to library. I have recently been scanning and disposing of some old files, in the process of which I re-discovered my 1995 notebooks. So I thought I’d post a few images here as a kind-of footnote to my article.

    From my notes it appears that I did my first sketches in mid-September 1995 at Oxford, while examining a copy of Da.5.1 The Right Honourable, Sir Robert Walpole, (Now Earl of Orford) Vindicated. My transcript for this item describes the ornaments as “unidentified”—but by the time my Bibliography was published, I had identified these as “by Thomas Gardner.”

    There are eight Garner ornaments in Sir Robert Walpole Vindicated, all of which I sketched: three headpieces (H06, H08 [broken form], H17; T09), three tailpieces (T07, T11, T05), and a factotum (F05). I used these to identify six Gardner items (including this one) in my Bibliography.

    As I have said, my method was crude, and it appears even more crude today, with high-definition digital cameras on every mobile phone, and very relaxed attitudes about photography in most libraries. But, at the time, it was difficult and risky carrying around high-quality cameras (my prized Pentax was stolen on my first night

    A final thought about these sketches: as well as identifying Gardner as the publisher of a handful of the works I examined, I also identified a few Woodfall ornaments not in Goulden’s catalogue. The latter discovery was the subject of my 2003 article “A note on the ornament usage of Henry Woodfall” (in the BSANZ Bulletin), the former resulted in my 2015 article “Thomas Gardner’s ornament stock: A Checklist” (in Script and Print): eight years and twenty years (!!) later.

    I have previously blogged about the ten-year gap between discovering the common mistake of assuming that Fanny had an obscene meaning in the eighteenth century, and publishing an article on the subject with James Lambert (see here). It appears that I have a new, solo, record for lengthy research-to-publication, and a new example to offer of the difficulty of measuring “impact” on very short time frames.

    * * * * *

    Tuesday 23 August 2016

    A View of the Private Case, 1962

    I first read Peter Fryer’s Private Case—Public Scandal: Secrets of the British Museum Revealed (London: Secker and Warburg, 1966) in 1999. The opening pages of the book are memorable for the way in which Fryer teases the reader with a lengthy meditation on a photo that appears in a 1962 guide to the BM. The photo, Fryer informs the reader, affords the reader an unexpected view of The Private Case. Fryer neither names the guide, nor reproduces the plate, leaving the reader in the dark concerning the image, despite his lengthy description, at the same time as he is complaining that the reader is left nin the dark by the BM concerning the existence of the Private Case itself.

    I recently re-read Fryer’s Private Case while I was preparing my Foxcroft lecture and went searching online for the image he describes. I had no success, so I worked out the name of the guide (it is The British Museum: A Guide to its Public Services (London: British Museum, 1962), 72 pp., 9 plates, issued at 6s.) to see if any copies were available locally. They weren’t; so I have bought a copy (from Canada!), transcribed the relevant section of Fryer’s text (pages 9–13), and posted the photo he describes—including an enlargement of the section of the image he focusses on—below. I hope it will be useful to anyone else reading this fifty-year old exposé, who has gone looking online for the image.

    In 1962 the trustees of the British Museum published, after 203 years, the first comprehensive guide to the public services offered by that institution. In seventy-two pages this booklet told the seeker after knowledge how to find … [10] The innocent reader of this booklet, as he glanced at the picture facing page 33, could have had no inkling that the photographer was standing hard by a collection of books which have never been available in toto to the public; a collection in which no student, least of all a ‘humble’ one, can ever ‘rely’ on finding the material he needs, even when [11] it is there; a collection in which the checking of references is attended with endless difficulties and frustrations; a collection which, by decision of the trustees, found no place at that time in the general catalogue and is not even now, and is not to be, represented in the subject indexes based on the general catalogue. The caption to the picture in question reads: ‘The Arch Room housing incunabula.’ … the arch room, to which only members of the staff are admitted, does house a great many such books, no doubt in ideal conditions of temperature and humidity. It also houses about five thousand erotic and sexological works in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Dutch, and Latin, including what might be called the cream of the world's pornography.

     So far as I am able to judge, the Ministry of Works photographer must have positioned his camera pretty closely to the locker press known as ‘P.C. 25’, where The Confessional Unmasked (1851) rubs joints, as it were, with Ten Tales from the islands of Alu, Mono, Fauru (Leipzig, 1912-13) by Gerald Camden Wheeler, and where Human Gorillas: a study of rape with violence (Paris, 1901) by 'Count Roscaud' squeezes up against the original French edition (1883) of Padlocks and Girdles of Chastity (Paris, 1892) by Alcide Bonneau (1836-1904). The picture shows, in the next bay along, a jacket thrown nonchalantly over the back of a chair by some ardent labourer in this vineyard, and behind it are visible one empty press and about half of a second. The first of these presses, which I fancy is now numbered 'P.G 13', is being filled, as cataloguing proceeds, by the magnificent Dawes collection, willed to the British Museum by this country's last great collector of erotica, the late Charles Reginald Dawes. … [12] …

     If, as I imagine, the half-visible empty press in the photograph is now 'P.C. 14', it is partly filled with the collection of a friend of the late Stephen Ward. He is said to have decided, some time during the Profumo affair, that his collection of erotica might cause him some embarrassment if police discovered them on his premises. The British Museum officials accepted his gift with mixed feelings … [13]
     It is not untypical, again, of the department of printed books that the arch room is described in the caption as housing only incunabula when, throughout the entire department, its principal claim to fame is that it houses erotica. But to advertise this fact in a guide to public services would have been to violate one of the museum's strongest taboos. The BM collection of erotica is without doubt the most comprehensive in the world. The Kinsey collection, at any rate so far as the classics and other older examples of this genre are concerned, does not hold a candle to it. … [however] At the time when the guide to the museum's public services was published, in 1962, not a word was ever said to readers, either orally or in any printed or duplicated guide, to suggest that the library possessed a good many important books which were not to be found in the general catalogue — unless a reader happened to ask about a particular book and was persistent. And even then he might be told, in error, that the BM did not have a copy when in fact it had. This has been my experience several times.

    Tuesday 16 August 2016

    My Publications etc.

    There are a few places online where my various scholarly “outputs” (i.e., my essays, editorial and other projects) can be found, but I do not have much control of the scope, referencing style or arrangement on these pages, so I will use this page to index my publications etc., and will provide links to those publications, add notes and various details as I can find them. (Recent publications will be linked to my ORCID no.: 0000-0002-8901-5887.)

    Publications appear in reverse chronological order, essays (book chapters and articles) combined with books (edited and authored), reviews and other writings, and with separate listings for chapters, volumes and series edited by me. I have linked to various sites for copies of these publications, in the sequence: publisher's website; Monash Research repository, and For a shorter listing of my publications, see the publications section of my Monash researcher profile here.

    Since 2019 and Forthcoming

    Spedding, P., “The Ashbee Bequest and the 1914 Catalogue of Additions to the Private-Case," The Library ([forthcoming, 2023]).

    Spedding, P., “Haining’s 'Beautiful Child of Mystery': 'The Skeleton Count' of 1828," Studies in Gothic Fiction ([forthcoming, 2023]).

    Spedding, P., P. Tankard and M. Goodwin, eds., Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins (London: Palgrave, 2021). In the New Directions in Book History series, issued 29 March 2021; available for purchase here; reviewed here.

    Spedding, P., and P. Tankard, “Writing Between the Lines,” in Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins, edited by Patrick Spedding, Paul Tankard and Mia Goodwin (London: Palgrave, 2021), 1–20.

    Spedding, P., and P. Pereyra, “The Encyclopædia Britannica and The Huon Mechanics’ Institute Library,” in Marginal Notes: Social Reading and the Literal Margins, edited by Patrick Spedding, Paul Tankard and Mia Goodwin (London: Palgrave, 2021), 175–204.

    Spedding, P., “Anders Rydell, The Book Thieves: The Nazi Looting of Europe’s Libraries and the Race to Return a Literary Inheritance (2017)” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 43, no. 4 (2019 [issued 2020]): 190–93. PDF on

    Spedding, P., “The Lost Erotica of James West,” Book History, vol. 23 (2020), 299–334; "'The Lost Erotica of James West': Additional Material" Book History Unbound (2020) here (There are two Appendix files here: "A Selection of the Erotica Owned by James West, as Recorded in the Bibliotheca Westiana" and "Annotations to Lot 1110 of the Second Sale Catalogue.").

    Spedding, P., “The Availability of Haywood’s Works, Editing and Issues of Bibliography,” in Approaches to Teaching Eliza Haywood, edited by Tiffany Potter (New York: MLA, 2020), 36–43. PDF of draft on

    Spedding, P., and P. Pereyra, “The Huon Mechanics’ Institute Library, 1858–1990,” Script and Print, vol. 42, no. 4 (2018 [issued January 2020]): 221–37.

    Spedding, P., “Some Personal Reflections on The Origin and Value of the Archives of Sexuality and Gender Part III” Cengage Learning (EMEA) Ltd (2019), online here.

    Spedding, P., “Mark R. Godburn, Nineteenth-Century Dust-Jackets” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 42, no. 2 (2018 [issued 2019]): 117–20. PDF on


    Spedding, P., The Private Case. Foxcroft Lecture on Bibliography and Book History for 2016 (Melbourne: Ancora Press, Monash University in association with the State Library of Victoria, 2018). Available for purchase here; PDF on

    Spedding, P., and T. Marlowe, “The Adventures of An Irish Smock: A Lost It-Narrative, Found,” Notes and Queries, 65, No. 3 (September 2018): 307–10. [DOI: 10.1093/notesj/gjy087] Draft on

    Spedding, P., “Leah Orr, Novel Ventures: fiction and print culture in England, 1690–1730” [Book Review], Philological Quarterly, 116, No. 2 (November 2018). [DOI: 10.1086/698962]. An "Ahead of Print" release on Philological Quarterly site 15 June 2018.

    Spedding, P., “Patrick Kearney, The Private Case: A Supplement” [Book Review], The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 112, No. 2 (June 2018): 277–80. [DOI: 10.1086/697426] PDF on

    Spedding, P., “A List of My Books: A Detailed Analysis of a 1730s Personal Library,” Script and Print, vol. 41, no. 2 (2017 [issued March 2018]): 92–104. PDF on

    Spedding, P., “The Callous Appetites of Debauched Readers: Edmund Curll and The Potent Ally,” Journal of the History of Sexuality, vol. 27, issue 1 ([January 2018]): 1–31. [DOI: 10.7560/JHS27101]. PDF of late draft on

    Spedding, P., “Imagining Eliza Haywood,” Eighteenth-Century Fiction, vol. 29, no. 3 ([northern] Spring 2017]): 345–72. [DOI: 10.3138/ecf.29.3.345]. PDF on Monash Research; and a late draft on

    Spedding, P., P. Watt and D. B. Scott, eds., Cheap Print and Popular Song in the Nineteenth Century: A Cultural History of the Songster (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017).

    Spedding, P., P. Watt and D. B. Scott, “Cheap Print and Popular Song in the Nineteenth Century,” in Cheap Print and Popular Song in the Nineteenth Century: A Cultural History of the Songster, edited by Paul Watt, Derek B. Scott and Patrick Spedding (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017). PDF on

    Spedding, P., “Unfortunate Delays in Publishing the Bibliothèque Britannique,” Script and Print, vol. 40, no. 3 (2016): 154–73. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “Twice-Told Tales in Eliza Haywood’s Leonora Meadowson,” Notes and Queries, vol. 63, no. 4 (8 October 2016): 619–22. [DOI: 10.1093/notesj/gjw212]. Available via OUP; draft on

    Spedding, P.,“Eliza Haywood, The Invisible Spy, edited by Carol Stewart” [Book Review], Women's Writing, vol. 23, no. 4 (1 October 2016): 556–58. [DOI: 10.1080/09699082.2016.1179839]. PDF on

    Spedding, P., “A Postscript on Thomas Gardner’s Printing,” Script and Print, vol. 40, no. 1 (May 2016): 43–45. PDF on; and on Monash Research.

    Spedding, P., “Thomas Gardner’s ornament stock: A Checklist,” Script and Print, vol. 39, no. 2 (May 2015): 69–111. PDF on Monash Research; and

    Spedding, P., “Thomas, Lucy and Henry Lasher Gardner, Opposite St. Clement’s Church in the Strand, 1739–1805,” Script and Print, vol. 39, no.1 (February 2015): 21–58. PDF on Monash Research; and on


    Spedding, P., and A. Poletti, “Introduction: Revealing the Reader,” Australian Humanities Review, vol. 56 (2014): 25–26. Copy on publisher’s site; and on Monash Research.

    Spedding, P., “Eliza Haywood’s Eighteenth-Century Readers in Pennsylvania and New York,” Australian Humanities Review, vol. 56 (May 2014): 69–120. Copy on publisher’s site; and on

    Spedding, P., “Eliza Haywood’s Eighteenth-Century Readers in Pennsylvania and New York: Appendixes,” Australian Humanities Review, vol. 56 (May 2014): 95–120. PDF on publisher’s site; on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “Cancelled Errata in John Buncle, Junior, Gentleman,” Script and Print, vol. 38, no. 2 (May 2014): 115–21. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P.,“The Strawberry Hill Press and Its Printing House: An Account and an Iconography” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 37, no. 1 (March 2013): 45–47. Copy on

    Spedding, P.,“The Nature and Uses of Eighteenth-Century Book Subscription Lists” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 36, no. 1 (February 2012): 53–54. Copy on

    Spedding, P., “‘The New Machine’: Discovering the limits of ECCO,” Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 44, no. 4 ([northern] Summer 2011): 437–53. PDF on Monash Research; and

    Spedding, P., 2011, “The Publication of Teresia Constantia Phillips’s Apology (1748–49),” Script and Print, vol. 35, no. 1 (April 2011): 23–38. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P. and J. Lambert, “Fanny Hill, Lord Fanny, and the Myth of Metonymy,” Studies In Philology, vol. 108, no. 1 ([northern] Winter 2011): 108–132. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “Eliza Haywood at the Sign of Fame,” 1650–1850: Ideas, Aesthetics and Inquiries in the Early Modern Era, vol. 18 (2011): 29–55. [DOI: 10.1353/sip.2011.0001]. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P. and P. Watt, eds., Bawdy Songbooks of the Romantic Period (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2011), 4 vols.

    Spedding, P. and P. Watt, “General introduction: historical, social and musical contexts of a forgotten repertory,” in Bawdy Songbooks of the Romantic Period, edited by Patrick Spedding and Paul Watt (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2011), 1.1–11.PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “The Many Mrs. Greys: Confusion and Lies about Elizabeth Caroline Grey, Catherine Maria Grey, Maria Georgina Grey, and others,” The Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, vol. 104, no. 3 (September 2010): 299–340. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P. and S. Murray, conference convenors, “To Deprave and Corrupt: Forbidden, Hidden and Censored Books,” The 2010 Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand conference, The Wheeler Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas at The State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 14–16 July 2010.

    Spedding, P., exhibition curator, Lewd and Scandalous Books: An exhibition of material from the Monash University Library Rare Books Collection, Monash University Library, 14 July–30 September 2010. Copy of catalogue on Monash University Library website; Monash Repository.

    Spedding, P., “The Design and Printing of Ephemera in Britain and America, 1720–1920” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 34, no. 2 (May 2010): 119–21. Copy on

    Spedding, P., “A Nation of Readers: The Lending Library in Georgian England” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 34, no. 1 (February 2010): 49–53. Copy on


    Spedding, P., “Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, Manuscript Publication and the Vanity of Popular Applause,” Script and Print, vol. 33, nos. 1–4 (2009): 136–60. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “Hitler’s Private Library: The Books That Shaped His Life” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 32, no. 4 (2008 [issued August 2009]): 251–53. Copy on

    Spedding, P., “The Lost Erotica of James West,” paper delivered at “The Limits of the Book [Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, 2009 Conference],” Brisbane, 22 July 2009.

    Spedding, P., “Fairs, Markets and the Itinerant Book Trade” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 32, no. 3 (2008 [issued March 2009]): 179–81. Copy on

    Spedding, P., “Books on the Move” [Book Review], Script and Print, vol. 32, no. 2 (2008 [issued 2009]): 112–15.

    Spedding, P., “To (Not) Promote Breeding: Censoring Eliza Smith’s Complete Housewife (1727),” Script and Print, vol. 31, no. 4 (2008): 233–42. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., R. Rebecca Do Rozario et al., Conference convenors: “Vampires, Vamps and Va Va Voom: A Critical Engagement with Paranormal Romance,” Monash University, 19–20 September 2008.

    Spedding, P., “Dracula (1979) as Paranormal Romance,” paper delivered at “Vampires, Vamps and Va Va Voom: A Critical Engagement with Paranormal Romance,” Monash University, 20 September 2008.

    Spedding, P., “A Reading of Gay’s Fables,” Script and Print: Bulletin of the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 30, no. 3 (2007): 181–185. PDF (poor quality) online on BSANZ website; on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., consulting ed., Whore Biographies, 1700–1825 [Pt.2], edited by Julie Peakman (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2002), 4 vols.

    Spedding, P., “‘The man dear Bret that wears a condom’ and the publication of erotica in eighteenth-century London,” paper delivered at “Spaces of Print: Exploring the History of Books [Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand 2007 Conference],” Hobart, 8 November 2007.

    Spedding, P., “Effing and the Ineffable: or, Echoes on ECCO,” paper delivered at the “English Research Seminar Series,” Monash University, 10 September 2007.

    Spedding, P., “Why Harry Potter Should—or Should Not—be Banned,” paper delivered at “After Harry: The End of a Series. A Symposium,” Monash University, 3 August 2007.

    Spedding, P., “The Wiccan ‘Book of Shadows’: An Example of Oral, Manuscript, Print and Digital Distribution in the Twentieth Century,” paper delivered at Melbourne Bibliographical Circle [in collaboration with the Centre of the Book and the Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand], State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 21 June 2007.

    Spedding, P., “Using Scanned Text-Bases: The Example of ECCO,” paper delivered at “Doing Research in the Library of the Twenty-first Century,” State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, 19 May 2007.

    Spedding, P., “Exposing the Machine: Naughty Words (not) on ECCO,” paper delivered at “Bodies of Knowledge: Sexuality in the Archive,” Brisbane, 26 April 2007.

    Spedding, P., “Measuring the Success of Haywood’s Female Spectator (1744–46),” in Fair Philosopher: Eliza Haywood and the Female Spectator, edited by Lynn Marie Wright and Donald J. Newman (Cranbury, NJ: Bucknell University Press, 2006), 193–211. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., journal ed., Script and Print, vol. 30–33 (2006–9).

    Spedding, P., consulting ed., Whore Biographies, 1700–1825 [Pt.1], edited by Julie Peakman (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2006), 4 vols.

    Spedding, P., “William Hatchett,” The Literary Encyclopedia (The Literary Dictionary Company, [19 July 2005]). Online here.


    Spedding, P., A Bibliography of Eliza Haywood (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2004).

    Spedding, P. and A. Pettit, eds., Eighteenth-Century British Erotica II (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2004), 5 vols.

    Spedding, P., “A note on the ornament usage of Henry Woodfall,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, vol. 27, nos. 1–2 (2003): 109–116. PDF (poor quality) online on BSANZ website; on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P. and A. Pettit, eds., Eighteenth-Century British Erotica 1 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2002), 5 vols.

    Spedding, P., ed. The Geography and Natural History of Mid-Eighteenth-Century Erotica (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2002). Eighteenth-Century British Erotica 1, vol. 3.

    Spedding, P., “Introduction,” headnotes and endnotes in Eighteenth-Century British Erotica 1 (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2002), 3.7–16; PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., “Shameless Scribbler or Votary of Virtue? Eliza Haywood, Writing (and) Pornography in 1742,” in Women Writing: 1550–1750, edited by Jo Wallwork and Paul Salzman (Bundoora: Meridian, 2001), 237–51. PDF on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., consulting ed., Selected Works of Eliza Haywood II, edited by Alexander Pettit (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2001), 3 vols.

    Spedding, P., “False Imprints: A Note on the Use of ‘N. Dobb’,” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, vol. 24, no. 2 (2000): 267–72. PDF (poor quality) online on BSANZ website; on Monash Research; and on

    Spedding, P., consulting ed., Selected Works of Eliza Haywood I, edited by Alexander Pettit (London: Pickering and Chatto, 2000), 3 vols.

    Spedding, P., “Eliza Haywood’s last (‘lost’) work: The History of Miss Leonora Meadowson (1788),” Bibliographical Society of Australia and New Zealand Bulletin, vol. 23, no.3 (1999): 131–47. PDF (poor quality) online on BSANZ website; and on

    [UPDATED 13 February 2022]

    Tuesday 2 August 2016

    For scatological woodcut, apply to Mr. Furnivall

    The Fyrst boke of the introduction of knowledge made by Andrew Borde, an anthology about beards edited by F. J. Furnivall, was published by the Early English Text Society in 1870 as Extra Series, volume 10 (i.e., EETS ES10). I first saw this volume in 1987 or 1988, when I was browsing the library shelves at the University of Tasmania. I noticed something about the volume, which amused me greatly, something which I have thought of many times over the nearly 30-years since. Furnivall's volume contains A treatyse answerynge the boke of berdes (i.e., a treatise attacking Andrew Borde's satire on beards) with some lovely woodcuts from the original 1541 publication (STC 1465; ESTC: S109177).

    Since one of the illustrations was "a scatological image drawn in a homely style" (Ruth Luborsky and Elizabeth Ingram, A Guide to English Illustrated Books, 1536–1603, Volume 1 (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies, 1998), 55–56 [no. 1465]), Furnivall (or the EETS editors or publishers) omitted the image. But, rather than pretend that the omitted image simply did not exist in the original text, a rectangle was printed with the following caption inside it: "Coarse woodcut of a man stooping down and exposing himself, with the legend Testiculos Habet. Any member wanting the cut must apply to Mr. Furnivall."

    I assume that—had any member "applied to Mr. Furnivall" and been supplied with the omitted image—it would have been pasted over the caption, within the rectangular border printed on page 306. (A form of post-press cancellation.) I have never seen a copy of ES10 containing this image. The University of Tasmania copy lacks it, as do the six copies on Google Books and the Internet Archive, and the five copies presently for sale online.** The omited image is below, reproduced from the poor-quality scan (on EBBO) of a poor-quality microfilm, of a poor-quality printing held by the British Library—the only copy known.

    ** The libraries are: Bavarian State Library, National Library of the Netherlands, Pennsylvania State University Library, Stanford University Library, University of California, Berkeley, University of California, Santa Cruz. Thank you to all of the booksellers who replied to my query about this!

    * * * * *

    The caption reads from left to bottom "TESTICVLOS HABET" (He has testicles), an allusion to the Latin phrase "Habet duos testiculos et bene pendentes" [He has two testicles, they hang well]. Apparently, from the ninth century until at least the fifteenth—and possibly longer—the "final test" of a prospective Pope was an examination of his testicles: to make sure that he was neither a woman nor a eunuch. (The biblical injunctions against eunuchs are not as well known as those against women, so I reproduce a few below.) The fear of a woman becoming Pope is evident in the popular legend of Pope John VII aka Pope Joan.

    The testicular test involved a type of commode (a chair that holds a chamber-pot), which was designed in such a way that when the newly-elected Pope sat on it, his testicles would descend through a specially placed hole, where their existence could be verified by a cardinal specially chosen for the task. (A collegue informs me that "testiculos" also means witness, so the balls in question—and the cardinal holding them—are witnesses to the Pope's manhood.) There are two such chairs extant, it seems, one each in the Vatican and the Louvre, carved from the same block of red marble, with woodwork dating to the ninth century.

    * * * * *

    There is no obvious link between the scatological image, which appears on the verso of the title leaf of "A treatyse answerynge the boke of berdes," and the text of the poem. But the folk connection is clearly represented in Chaucer's The Miller's Tale—the story of a carpenter, his lovely wife (Alisoun), and the two university students who are eager to have sex with her. Alisoun and "hende" [handy, noble] Nicholas play a trick on Absolon, who is singing love songs under her window. Absolon begs for a kiss, Alisoun agrees, but sticks her backside out the window:

    Derk was the nyght as pich, or as a cole,
    And at the wyndow out she putte hir hole,
    And Absolon, hym fil no bet ne wers,
    But with his mouth he kiste hir naked ers
    Ful savorly, er he were war of this.
    Abak he stirte, and thoughte it was amys,
    For wel he wiste a womman hath no berd.
    He felte a thyng al rough and long yherd.

    [Dark was the night as pitch, aye dark as coal,
    And through the window she put out her hole.
    And Absalom no better felt nor worse,
    But with his mouth he kissed her naked arse
    Right greedily, before he knew of this.
    Aback he leapt—it seemed somehow amiss,
    For well he knew a woman has no beard;
    He'd felt a thing all rough and longish haired.

    So, it seems, that the character in this image is showing off his nether-beard ("al rough and long yherd"), proving his manhood and mooning Andrew Borde.

    * * * * *

    Deuteronomy 23:1 explains that "He that is wounded in the stones [=testicles], or hath his privy member [=penis] cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord"; Leviticus 21:16–20 has a wider scope: "And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying … that [Whosoever] hath any blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath a flat nose, or any thing superfluous, Or a man that is brokenfooted, or brokenhanded, Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or hath his stones broken."