Searching through shelves and shelves of books that have existed for decades opened my eyes to new perspectives and wonderments of how books were made and read back in the old days. After searching continuously, grabbing any book I can get my hands on made me treasure what I finally found greatly!
I came across an antique looking, rusty book that contained an explicit “old book” smell anyone could distinguish. The title of the book is Seventeen lectures on the study of medieval and modern history and kindred subjects by William Stubbs. The first time I skimmed through it, I did not come across any type of annotations or marginalia whatsoever. However, I opened the back cover and I noticed a whole page of notes a reader had taken. This person methodically analyzed the content of the book and comprehended the content in his or her own distinct technique.
The specific reader of this book identified the date of the period this took place in from 1554-1579. He established Elizabeth’s life time as 1559 to 1603. He also identified the type of prose, the style of poetry, and the many theologies present in the themes of this book. He identifies: “Drama, Masque, Pageants, Interludes” in the book as a main concept and aspect of Elizabeth’s reign.
I also came across a few sentences that were underlined and brought to attention by the reader. On page 79, he or she underline substantial and primary books or works of literature that is crucial to understanding the theme of this book. Such works of literature include: “The Essay in Lord Bacon’s Essays”, “The Literature of Travel”, Navigation, The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity”.
On the final page I found marginalia, a few statements were underlined as well. The name “Ralph Roister Doister” and “It is our earliest picture of London manners” were underlined to portray and depict a primary fact as a crucial aspect of the understanding to this book.