on exhibit November 13, 2002 through March 1, 2003

Markings: Signatures (Traces of Other Lives)

Research on provenance considers many different types of evidence, but there is nothing like seeing a signature to re-enforce the personal connection between people and their books.

Dorothy Wilde her book 1645
identifies one of many women who owned Sidney's Arcadia.

Mary Joyner her book
appears in another copy, and there are others, suggesting the popularity of Sidney's tale with women readers.

Henry Fletcher but not his Book
is not the only reader who felt compelled to write his name in a book he borrowed.

Samuel Saunders his Book wch I gave to my son James Saunders 1699
tells its own story. Research for the exhibition turned up hundreds of examples of the way people signed their books in the early modern period.

Sir Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester

John Jewel. A Defence of the Apologie of the Churche of Englande. London, Henry Wykes, 1567.

Nearly 90 books are known to have survived from Leicester's library and each is important for giving us a glimpse of this famous Elizabethan. A Defence of the Apologie is immaculate, totally unmarked except for Dudley's prominent signature, R. Leycester., on the verso of the title page.

Leicester signature facing title page
Signature facing title page in STC 14600

Exhibition Highlights

| Writers' Books | Collectors | Markings | Henry VIII | Actors' Books | Ordinary Books Made Famous | Bindings | Manuscript Book Lists | Women Collectors | Inscriptions | 18th Century | Alexander Pope | Myne? |

Curator's Notes | Visiting the Folger

This page updated March 10, 2003