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Preview — Marginalia by H.J. Jackson
Marginalia: Readers Writing in Books
by H.J. Jackson
From Pierre de Fermat to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Graham Greene, readers have related to books through the notes they write in the margins. In this pioneering book-the first to examine the phenomenon of marginalia-H.J. Jackson surveys an extraordinary range of annotated books to explore the history of marginalia, the forms they take, the psychology that underlies them, a...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 10th 2002 by Yale University Press
(first published February 8th 2001)
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Apr 18, 2012 Candace rated it 5 of 5 stars
Maybe you have to be a lit nerd and compulsive annotator like me to love this book, but boy, did I love it! It's fascinating to see Jackson sketch out a humble history of annotation from 1700 to the present, and his conversational tone throughout took what could have been a dull subject and made it a pleasure to read. Also, maybe this is just because I've read too much literary criticism which likes to present its claims as utterly true and incontrovertible despite the obvious impossibility of m...more
This unfortunately was not as interesting as I thought it would be. I can't say that it dealt with much I hadn't already thought about. Some of the case studies were interesting but it got tedious reading them after a while.
This book was the foundation for my term paper on marginalia. It is the definitive work on the subject, filled with fascinating anecdotes and analysis. It is, however, short on statistics or data analysis (admittedly so). I recommend it for anyone interested in the history of books or the history of reading. You'll be engrossed!