Printed Commonplace-Books and the Structuring of Renaissance Thought / Edition 1

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Commonplace-books were the information-organizers of Early Modern Europe, notebooks of quotations methodically arranged for easy retrieval. From their first introduction to the rudiments of Latin to the specialized studies of their later years, the pupils of humanist schools were trained to use commonplace-books. The common-place book mapped and resourced Renaissance culture's moral thinking, its accepted strategies of argumentation, its rhetoric, and its deployment of knowledge. In this study, Ann Moss investigates the evolution of the commonplace-book from its medieval antecedents, through its humanist realization, its later printed manifestations, and, finally, to its gradual decline in the seventeenth century.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"With graceful, multilingual scholarship, Moss surveys hundreds of documents with unflagging patience and sympathetic attention."--Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900

"extraordinarily erudite new book..."--SHARPNews

"This is clearly an important book. By examining that all so common sixteenth-century form, the commonplace book, Ann Moss has given us an uncommonly clear view of the intellectual intricacies of the organization of knowledge in early modern Europe."--Sixteenth Century Journal

"...a compendious, learned, and thoughtful book....Moss is entirely persuasive in her assessment. Her judgements are trenchant, her familiarity with the secondary literature in several languages is exhaustive, and her intelligent sampling of this enormous mass of neo-Latin academic treatises inspires confidence."--Modern Europe

"...Moss has important contributons to deliver."--Journal of Modern History

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198159087
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1996
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 6.38 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Durham
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Table of Contents

1 Ancient and Medieval Places 1
2 Medieval Prehistory 24
3 Italian Relations and Northern Progenitors 51
4 Midwives to the Commonplace-Book 83
5 The Commonplace-Book at Birth 101
6 Commonplace-Books at School 134
7 Commonplace-Books in Print 186
8 Seventeenth Century: Consolidation 215
9 Seventeenth Century: Decline 255
Appendix of Bibliographical Information 282
Appendix of Latin Quotations 284
Bibliography 319
Index 339
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