Part of the thrill of rare books is seeing traces of their readers. We are lucky that when the Folgers were building their collection, they valued marked-up copies of books. Many collectors of their era preferred books to be “clean” rather than “dirty” (what a way to refer to readers’ marginalia!), and collectors would not only try to buy books that had not been written in, but they would even bleach and trim pages so as to rid them of readers’ marks.
William Lily’sA short introduction of grammar was the standard Latin textbook in the period, and this copy bears witness to the many students who used it not only to learn Latin, but to practice writing their alphabet. You can see one owner’s inscription just above the woodcut on the titlepage: “Jhone Scott with my hand at the pene."
Click on the image to enlarge it, and follow this link to go to its catalogue entry.