The Album Amicorum and the London of Shakespeare’s Time

June Schlueter

June Schlueter

Distributed for British Library

210 pages | 67 color plates | 6 x 9 | © 2011
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780712358385 Published February 2012 For sale in North and South America only

The album amicorum, or book of friends, a precursor to modern-day autograph books, originated in Germany in the middle of the sixteenth century and very quickly became fashionable among students moving from one university to another in the course of their academic careers. Professors and fellow students made contributions to these albums, including inscriptions and illustrations, which were often by significant scholars or professional artists of the time.
This book by June Schlueter is the first full-length study in English of the album amicorum and secures its place as an insightful but under-examined genre in the study of early modern culture. Schlueter focuses specifically on the many traces of Shakespeare’s London contained in alba amicorum during the period, as scholars traveled to London and recorded their impressions and their encounters with Londoners. These selections from alba amicorum provide a perspective on the culture, politics, religion, economics, and entertainment of the sixteenth century. These firsthand insights provide an integral historical picture of early modern England.

Times Literary Supplement
“June Schlueter’s account of the inventive materiality of these texts is fascinating. . . . Her meticulous labour in countless archives not only illuminate the album amicorum, but also suggest an expansively European sense of the early modern.”
Joseph Monteyne, SUNY Stony Brook | Journal of British Studies
“June Schlueter’s The Album Amicorum and the London of Shakespeare’s Time secures a place in cultural history for a group of fascinating objects and a set of social practices from early modern Europe. . . . The book is filled with wonderful surprises . . . buttressed by the author’s obvious love for painstaking archival research and genealogy, and it should find readers across a variety of disciplines.”
Martin W. Walsh, University of Michigan | Sixteenth Century Journal
“A very useful introductory and, in many respects, pioneering work that significantly adds to the cultural background of Shakespeare’s London.”

1. The Album Amicorum
2. A Case Study: Michael van Meer's Album
3. Landmarks of London
4. Picturing the Lord Mayor of London
5. Royal Images, Arms, and Autographs
6. Who Owned the King's Album?
7. Players: Indoors, Outdoors, and On the Road
8. The Blind Water-carrier
9. Other Curiosities
10. Francis Segar and the International Network of Englishmen

    1. A Selection of Additional Album Signatures
    2. Libraries Consulted
    3. Albums Cited
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