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Free Content Lezers in de marges van Vondels Palamedes

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Readers in the margins of Vondel’s Palamedes: A census of seventeenth-century editions in public collections

This article explores how Joost van den Vondel’s politically charged play Palamedes (first published in 1625) was read in the seventeenth century. It presents the findings of a systematic and focused census of copies of 25 seventeenth-century editions that have been preserved in public collections. Inspection of 150 copies has resulted in identifying 32 copies with manuscript annotations. Viewed together these annotated copies show the importance of different forms of collective reading. Two general patterns can be distinguished, documenting on the one hand different forms of rhetorical and stylistic analysis, made for didactic or studious use. Another category reveals a persistent interest in decoding, remembering, and sharing the political meaning of the play. This category includes a set of annotations that probably derived from Vondel’s biographer Geeraert Brandt, which circulated in manuscript before appearing in print in 1705. As an exercise in census-research, this case also confirms the idea of the long life of the book, documenting extended use and enrichment of individual copies.
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Keywords: Palamedes; Vondel; census; collective reading; marginalia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2019

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  • Het tijdschrift Nederlandse Letterkunde is een wetenschappelijk, peer-reviewed tijdschrift voor de Nederlandstalige letterkunde. Het tijdschrift is een podium voor vakbeoefening in al haar vormen en facetten. De diverse bijdragen beslaan in hun totaliteit het gehele spectrum van Nederlandstalige letterkunde van de Middeleeuwen tot heden. Een jaargang Nederlandse Letterkunde telt drie afleveringen waarvan er steeds één aan een actueel thema gewijd wordt.

    The Dutch-language journal Nederlandse Letterkunde (Dutch Literature) is an academic peer-reviewed journal for Dutch literature. The various contributions cover the entire spectrum of Dutch literature from the Middle Ages to the present. Nederlandse Letterkunde publishes three issues a year of which one is devoted to a contemporary topic.
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