Well, okay, not really. But I did want to point out a very good article on marginalia in the Chronicle of Higher Education. (The link in the title of this entry will take you to the article, but anything after the first paragraphs requires a subscriber’s login.) “Scholarship on the Edge” highlights the work of Univ. of Toronto professor H.J. Jackson, whose 2001 book Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books provides an excellent overview of the history of the subject. Her new book, Romantic Readers: The Evidence of Marginalia focuses on the period 1790-1830 in England. Both works discuss the marginalia of Hester Piozzi, drawn from books in the Hyde Colection. One of the most famous, given her prickly relationship with James Boswell, is her copy of his Life of Johnson; the annotations to were considered important enough to reprint as notes to a later edition of the Life.
The Chronicle‘s article concludes with a quote from Mrs. Piozzi: “I have a Trick of writing in the Margins of my Books. It is not a good Trick, but one longs to say something.”
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