In some ways, this image is a perfectly ordinary one (well, ordinary if it’s possible to think of an autograph manuscript of Mary Wroth’s important sonnet sequence Pamphilia to Amphilanthus [Folger V.a.104] as ordinary):
Heather Wolfe was showing this image to the participants of the Folger Institute’s recent summer NEH institute, Early Modern Digital Agendas, as part of a transcription exercise. The conversation had turned to the symbol Wroth uses to mark the end of her sonnets (see this sonnet, for example) and we were wondering how she indicated the end of the series—did she use the same symbol, or perhaps something fancier? Turning to this image of the last page, we noticed first that the final punctuation of the series is a semi-colon followed by a slash (!) and that there is a flourish underscoring the last line, both of which stood out as different and perhaps indicative of finality. But then we noticed something else—what are those faint markings visible in the white spaces of this page? Is it bleed-through from the reverse side? Is this not the final poem after all?
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