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Aaron Pratt on Shakespeare and Spencer, Secondhand

May 10 @ 12:00 pm CDT

Sponsored by The Caxton Club

May Midday Program

You probably misheard it over the radio. Barbra Streisand wasn’t singing about “Secondhand Rose” … she was belting out “Secondhand Prose.”

Just think about some of the most precious volumes in your collection. The ones that you didn’t purchase fresh off the press, but found in a used book store. Or bought at auction. Or stumbled upon at an estate sale.

This idea of acquiring previously owned books isn’t new, and during our May Midday, Aaron Pratt will draw on the formidable resources of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas to tell the tale of the emergence of trade in secondhand volumes.

Drawing on the Ransom Center’s copies of Seneca His Tenne Tragedies (1581) and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1596), Pratt will transport you to the middle of the 17th entry and introduce you to a specialized trade in plays, poetry, and prose fiction. He’ll also reveal the origins of the narratives that we tell about the reception and ultimate canonization of Shakespeare, Spenser, and select contemporaries.

Much published, Aaron Pratt, serves as the Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center and as Assistant Professor, English.

Don’t just hear about this program. Experience it first hand. Register today!

Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

Zoom begins at 12:00PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Preregistration required via website: https://caxtonclub.org/event-5663535?CalendarViewType=1&SelectedDate=4/25/2024