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"No quyckar merchaundyce than lybrary bokes": John Bale's commodification of manuscript culture.

In July 1560, Matthew Parker (1504-75), Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote to John Bale seeking information regarding any "bokes of Antiquitie, not printed" that Bale may have had in his possession. (1) Bale replied that "havock" had been made of his library seven years earlier, when he had been forced to flee Ireland to exile on the Continent and had been "depryved of all that I had, by the papystes undre quene Marye." Bale, however, had since traced some of his books--"a great drye vessel full"--to Anthony Sellenger, who had purposefully acquired them by "wurke of the Devyll, that they shulde not yet come to lyghte." On Sellenger's death the books passed to both Sellenger's brother, Robert, and nephew, Warham Sellenger. Also falling to these two men, Bale informed Parker, was the continuance of the "devyse of the Devyll": Robert and Warham had since "disparsed and distributed" Bale's books "amonge the most obstynate papystes of all the whole contraye, to brynge them to naught." Bale, ever ready to act against papist plots, had obtained "a lettre from the quenes majestyes counsel," requiring the Sellengers to deliver the books to Bale, or to inform him of their whereabouts so that he could complete "an Englysh chronycle, whych I have begonne and not fynyshed." Moreover, Bale claimed that more than eighty of his books still remained in Ireland, yet his "myserable state and povertie is and hath bene suche, that I am able to do nothynge as yet, towardes the recover of them." (2)

The irony that his own library--which at one point contained more than 150 volumes, or, as Bale very practically noted, filled "ii great wayne loades"--was appropriated out of the havoc and dispersal of the Dissolution seems to have escaped him. (3) Collecting his books "in tyme of the lamentable spoyle of the lybraryes of Englande," Bale amassed his library--in contrast to the Sellengers' deceit--"through muche fryndeshypp, labour, and expenses," and it included books he had recovered "in stacyoners and boke bynders store howses, some in grosers, sopesellars, taylers, and other occupyers shoppes, some in shyppes ready to be carryed over sea into Flaunders to be solde--for in those uncircumspect and carelesse dayes, there was no quyckar merchaundyce than lybrary bokes." (4) Bale's lament that the Dissolution had converted the holdings of monastic libraries into "quyck merchaundyce," along with other themes of the Parker letter--papist conspiracies to conceal books and manuscripts, Bale's determination to thwart such conspiracies, and Bale's penury--find an initial rehearsal in his contributions to the 1549 text, The Laboryouse Journey & Serche of Johan Leylande. This text, a printed edition of John Leland's 1546 New Year's gift to Henry VIII, describes both Leland's and Bale's attempts--proposed as well as ongoing--to recover and rescue books dispersed during the Dissolution. Bale recycles Leland's New Year's gift, providing a running commentary on Leland's original prose and adding dedications to both Edward VI (r. 1547-53) and the reader, as well as a concluding catalog of English authors. Recent criticism has discussed the text in terms of its representation of an English, or possibly a British, nation, through its insistence on aesthetic, institutional, and literary definitions of nationhood. (5) In addition to the points made in these discussions, The Laboryouse Journey is of interest for several reasons. First, it details Bale's concerns regarding the preservation of texts, arguing the importance of preservation in terms of moral economy: that is, Bale juxtaposes the benefit manuscripts offer the commonwealth with the avarice that keeps these texts hidden. Subtending this opposition is Bale's construction of England as a nation whose borders are mapped by its treatment of manuscripts. This border-mapping takes place through Bale's adoption of particular ambiguities in mid-sixteenth-century commonwealth discourse: specifically, ambiguities of the terms profit and commodity. (6)

The Laboryouse Journey supplements Bale's substantial catalogs of British texts, providing a manifesto of sorts for these historicoliterary catalogs. The first of these, his 1548 Illustrium Maioris Britanniae scriptorum ... summarium, provides one of "the first attempts to shape a British (or even an English) tradition as an identifiable national tradition of letters." (7) Compiled during Bale's first exile, the book catalogs British authors, dividing them into five centuries, or groups of 100. Bale later expanded and reworked the Summarium during his second exile, publishing the first volume of his Scriptorum illustrium maioris Britanniae ... Catalogus in 1557, with the second following in 1559.

Crucial to this expanded catalog was the information Bale recorded in his notebooks, one of which survives in manuscript and has been published as Index Britanniae Scriptorum. He likely began this notebook on his return to England in 1547 or 1548: its origin is thus contemporary with The Laboryouse Journey. (8) This text lists by author books that Bale had either read of in other texts, or had actually handled in his tours of libraries in Norwich, London, and Oxford. Unlike either his Catalogus or Summarium, the Index reports where Bale encountered the listed texts, and thus proves to be a valuable resource in establishing, to some degree at least, a sociology of book ownership. (9) Indeed, the range of Bale's book owners is surprising, including "serious antiquaries, printers and stationers, and amateurs who owned a few books." (10) Bale's Index reveals "the possession of medieval works by laymen and amateurs in the sixteenth century" and has impelled critics to reevaluate modern understandings of medieval book ownership. (11) Bale himself seems to have been struck by the number of texts privately held by individuals, and he expresses his concern regarding these private collections in The Laboryouse Journey. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Bale casts the possession and use of these manuscripts in cosmological terms, adopting and adapting Leland's original rhetoric of light and darkness to suit his own purposes. (12) Furthermore, Bale understands manuscript owners and users in terms of how they construct and participate in the community: a national community circumscribed by its access and contribution to the commonwealth. What should be made of this rhetoric of manuscript ownership? And how should this rhetoric be related to the sorts of sociality, communities, and networks that Harold Love and Arthur Marotti, among others, have identified with sixteenth- and seventeenth-century manuscript culture? (13) These questions will be discussed below. First, however, it is necessary to briefly discuss the manner in which the Dissolution set in motion a particular sort of manuscript transmission.

The Dissolution was an immense project of destruction. As many as ninety laborers, in addition to tradesmen, were needed for the pulling down of monastic buildings. These demolitions--often so extensive that building foundations were undermined with props that were then set on fire--were so costly that John Freman proposed to Thomas Cromwell (ca. 1485-1540) that partial destructions would prove more feasible. (14) Freman suggested limiting the destruction to pulling "downe the rovys, batilments, and stayres, and lete the wallis stonde" and, moreover, funding this work through the appropriation and sale of the church bells and lead. (15) The monasteries' destruction flooded the market with recyclable building materials and household goods, much of which was looted from the destroyed sites. (16) Michael Sherbrook, in his late sixteenth-century history of the Dissolution, recounts questioning his father's participation in such looting. His father, despite "thinking well of the Religious Persons and of the Religion then used," responded, "What shoud I do ... might I not as well as others have some Profit of the Spoil of the Abbey? For I did see all would away; and therefore I did as others did." (17)

Among the items dispersed were books from the monasteries' libraries. Bale lamented--as will be discussed in more detail below--that the least offensive practice of those who "purchased those superstycyouse mansyons" was to sell the monasteries' books to foreign book binders, "to the wonderynge of the foren nacyons." (18) At the outset of the Dissolution, John Leland had also bewailed the foreign appropriation of monastic books, complaining to Cromwell that "the Germanes perceiving our deridiousness and negligence, do send dayly young Scholars hither, that spoileth them [the books], and cutteth them out of Libraries, returning home and putting them abroad as Monuments of their own Country." (19)

The full extent of the Dissolution's dispersal cannot be known. (20) Leland managed to list the holdings of some dissolved libraries during the period 1536-42, as did an anonymous cataloger around 1530, but neither of these lists can be regarded as exhaustive, as they list books from only 120 monastic houses. (21) Neither are the lists comprehensive for the monasteries they treat, as the inclusion of books in these lists was determined by their content rather than by a strictly bibliographic concern. Theological and historiographical texts dominate these lists, reflecting Henry VIII's interests; Leland and the anonymous cataloger, "working on acquisitive rather than scientific principles," did not provide an accurate picture of the libraries' holdings. (22) Nevertheless, Leland succeeded in rescuing some monastic books from dispersal and destruction. In The Laboryouse Journey he claims to have "conserved many good authors, the whych otherwyse had ben lyke to have peryshed, to no small commodyte of good letters. Of the which parte remayne in the most magnificent libraryes of your royall palaces. Part also remayne in my custodie, wherby I trust right shortly, so to describe your moste noble realme, and to publyshe the Maiestie of the excellente actes of your progenytours, hytherto sore obscured, bothe for lacke of empryntynge of such workes as laye secretely in corners." (23) Moreover, according to Leland the royal libraries at Westminster, Hampton Court, and Greenwich were founded in order to receive these rescued manuscripts. (24) In addition, a 1542 inventory of Henry VIII's Westminster library survives, listing at least 100 manuscripts having monastic provenance. This surviving catalog suggests that some books were incorporated into the Westminster Library from Henry VIII's collections at Greenwich and Hampton Court, which numbered close to 500 volumes in their entirety. (25) Other evidence suggests that books from Henry VIII's library were dispersed to collectors after his death, implying that both the loss of manuscripts attributed to the Dissolution and the lack of libraries to house these manuscripts should be reevaluated: that is, it is a distinct possibility that many manuscripts were recovered during the Dissolution only to be dispersed or destroyed after Henry VIII's reign. (26) Nevertheless, the bulk of the books accessioned by Henry VIII's library were acquired prior to the Dissolution in an attempt to gather material: first, to argue for the king's divorce and, second, to support his break from Rome. (27) Despite these attempts, a substantial portion of the monastic libraries' holdings entered economic circulation as goods valued for their materiality, rather than as texts valued for their content. They were sold and taken for use as wrapping paper, toilet paper, or stuffing for book bindings: "blawnsherres," an arrangement designed to frighten deer, were constructed from manuscript leaves, and service books found use in repairing wagons. (28)

Such dispersal nevertheless also "implies the loss not just of individual volumes, but of systems of knowledge and social relationships through which such books were acquired, indexed, cross-referenced, stored, shared, circulated, copied, and discussed." (29) Indeed, in The Laboryouse Journey Bale documents this sense of loss and describes the heroics of English bibliophiles, praising their enlightened treatment of manuscripts--an enlightenment that, Bale suggests, derives from their opposition to the Catholic Church. Bale notes, for instance, that Sir John Oldcastle "caused all hys workes to be coppyed oute by moste fayre wryters, at his owne great cost and charge, and so conuayed them into the lande of Beme, that they myghte be there preserved from destruccyon." He praises "Humfrey the good Duke of Glocestre, [who] for the faver he bare to good letters, purchased a wonderfull nombre of bokes in all scyences, wherof he frely gave to a lybrary in Oxforde, a hondred and .xxix. fayre volumes." Moreover, paraphrasing Thomas Gascoigne, Bale reports that "the kynges here in Englande, were wonte to holde a great nombre of good writers within the monasteryes of their foundacyons, to non other ende, but only to coppie out the memorable workes of olde writers specyally of the hystoryanes and chronyclers, that they myghte in their lybraryes perpetually remayne, appoyntynge them great stypendes. And thys worthie example they had from tyme to tyme of their fathers and predecessours. But alas (sayth he) they now peryshe and come in great nombre to nought for want of renuynge." (30)

Bale characterizes himself as part of a contemporary group carrying on this tradition and similarly seeking to preserve manuscripts, albeit through print, rather than by collection into libraries: "A fewe of us there be, that woulde gladly save the moste necessary monumentes of their dyspersed remnaunt. But wretched poverte wyll not permyt us, to shewe to our countrey suche a naturall and necessary benefyte. Neyther wyll they permyt us theyr olde coppyes, whyche have them in possessyon, but rather they suffre them to rotte undre their handes." (31) While the Dissolution's dispersal of manuscripts is a decidedly different sort of manuscript circulation than that described by critics such as Arthur Marotti and Harold Love, it is salutary to briefly consider the construction here of community manuscript circulation. As Marotti and Love have shown, scribal publication and circulation of texts did not die with the advent of printing so much as acquire an enhanced cultural and social value. In Love's terms, manuscript circulation operated as a "mode of social bonding" that incorporated "individuals into a community, sect or political faction, with the exchange of texts in manuscript serving to nourish a shared set of values and to enrich personal allegiances." Because of the material nature of manuscript circulation, these communities tended to "coincide with pre-existing communities--the court, the diocese, the college, the country, the circle of friends ... neighbours or colleagues, the extended family, the sect or faction." The maintenance of these communities "by two forms of exclusion, one operating vertically and the other horizontally," thus reflected both the vertical social structure and the horizontal links formed by allegiances, both religious and ideological. (32) While print could also form similar communities through the establishment of communities of readers, manuscripts seemed to acquire and retain value by virtue of their exclusivity, at least in reltion to particular sorts of genres. Manuscript communities also distinguished themselves from their print counterparts through what Marotti designates as "a procedure ... in which authorship could dissolve into group 'ownership' of texts." (33)

Group ownership and circulation of manuscripts nevertheless differed from public or national ownership: group-owned texts remained private, circulating within relatively small and closed communities. Indeed, manuscript circulation acquired social value by the boundaries it demarcated. By the mid-sixteenth century, however, authors and printers had become highly conscious of the differing degrees of publicity that both manuscript-and print-circulation could produce. Marotti points out that the converse value of manuscript circulation was the economic value that adhered to these texts when the boundaries of this circulation were ruptured. For example, Richard Tottel's publication of Songes and Sonnetes (1557) is an early instance of such rupturing of the group ownership of certain authors and their poetry. Tottel's miscellany disrupted the relationship of lyric poetry with manuscript circulation by "assert[ing] the public's right to the legitimate 'profit and pleasure' derivable from texts that had been socially restricted" by the refusal of these texts' owners to publish them. (34) Print capitalizes on the cachet of the privately transmitted lyric and recycles this lyric through print-circulation that, in theory at least, demarcates a wider, more public, community of readers.

Thus, Tottel casts the rupture of manuscript circulation in moral terms, with he himself taking the high ground against the hoarders of manuscripts. He states, "It resteth now (gentle reder) if thou thinke it not evil don, to publishe, to the honor of the english tong, and for profit of the studious of Englishe eloquence, those workes which the ungentle horders up of such tresure have heretofore envied the." (35) He conceives of the liberated poems in economic terms, seeing the poems as both treasure and as profit. In other words, Tottel reconfigures the terms of manuscript circulation: private ownership of manuscripts becomes the hoarding up of a treasure that is more profitable when shared through printing. Tottel's address to the reader thus invokes terms similar to those that Bale invokes in his own intervention in a circulation system.

In The Laboryouse Journey Bale highlights the distinction between manuscript- and print-circulation in order to demonstrate both his inclusion in Leland's circle and his proper stewardship of Leland's manuscripts: Bale's discussion of Leland's proposal to write a history of England and Wales serves as an example of this. (36) In this history, Leland would devote a book to each of the shires in England and Wales, so that "thys volume wyl enclude a fyfty bokes, wherof eche one severally shall conteyne the beginninges, encreases, and memorable actes the chiefe townes, and castelles of the prouince allotted to it." Despite Bale's claims that Leland completed all fifty books, it appears that the work had been lost, as Bale declares the need to "ernestly praye ... that this noble worke be not cast away by som cruel caterpiller or papyst which disdayneth to further hys owne nacion, neither yet that it be destroyed by an ignoraunt keper or an ydel possessor. But that it may fortunably lighte into the handes of suche a good stuarde of hys, as is learned and lovynge to his nacion, that our naturall bretherne and contrey men may ones tast of the swetnesse of so precyouse a frute, and not therof be depryved, to their inestymable discommodyte." (37)

Bale's publication of The Laboryouse Journey thus signals both the profitable rupture of a particular community defined by manuscript circulation--and, implicitly, Bale's access to such a community--and the potential loss that the selfish refusal to rupture such boundaries could cause. For Bale, manuscript ownership and the attendant responsibility of stewardship thus mark a proper relationship to the larger community: the commonwealth. This community, then, is represented as ruptured, divided into two groups: one marked by its Catholic disdain, ignorance, and idleness, the other by its education and patriotism. This sense of rupture is similar to the rhetorical fracturing of the nation that Patrick Collinson reads in "the prophetic mode" of Elizabethan sermons. Such rhetoric, which "constructed and ostensibly united the nation in its shared religious relationship with God and moral responsibility before God, was almost designed to split, fragment, and, what was worse, dichotomize it, just as the Protestant Reformation itself belied in its divisiveness its uniting affirmations and aspirations." (38) Similarly, Bale's text places in tension the claims of an identity defined by the private possession of manuscripts--an ownership that accrues no profit to the commonwealth--against the claims of an identity circumscribed by public access to texts and brokered through the technology of print: an educative access that generates profit for the commonwealth.

Bale highlights this rupture in his metaphor of the Reformation's enlightenment of a nation held in darkness. This metaphor relates not only to Bale's present, but, as James Simpson argues, to historical periodization. (39) Thus, Bale's distinction between private and public uses of manuscripts aligns itself closely with his distinction between Catholic and radical--in Bale's anachronistic view, evangelical--literatures, especially through the attendant historicization of these literatures. While Simpson contends, for instance, that Bale's "imagery of darkness threatens imperceptibly to spill into a description of the Protestant present," it is Bale's refusal to limit this imagery to his descriptions of the past that enables him to articulate the threat that the private use of manuscripts presents. (40) For Bale, private use amounts to loss, and this process of loss, while symbolized most forcefully in the Dissolution, is decidedly not yet past. (41) One of Bale's strategies for representing this threat is to link private use of manuscripts to monastic practices: that is, he Catholicizes the private use of manuscripts. Conversely, by this logic Bale's proposed strategies for making manuscripts public--primarily through print, but also through the implicit pleas for an institutional library--became a Protestant project. Bale himself attempted a publication project along these lines in partnership with Robert Crowley. (42) Indeed, the later work of Matthew Parker might be understood as a continuation of this proposed project, both in Parker's publication of historical texts and in the scope given him by the Privy Council so that "all 'auncient records or monuments written' be made available to him or his deputies on demand." (43)

It is, moreover, worth remembering that Bale's position at the time of writing was far from secure. This underwrites the financial concerns of the text, especially Bale's concern with his own poverty and the costs associated with his and Leland's searches. Bale returned to England sometime in 1547 or 1548 and, despite taking up residence in the Duchess of Richmond's household along with several other evangelicals--including John Foxe, John Cheke, John Ponet, and John Philpot--he also sought the direct patronage of Edward VI: his Illustrium ... Catalogus has two woodcuts of Bale presenting a copy of the book to the king and, of course, The Laboryouse Journey is dedicated to Edward VI. (44) Perhaps Bale sought an appointment to a position similar to the one Bartholomew Traheron received on 14 December 1549, when Traheron was made Royal Librarian. In this post Traheron received a yearly stipend of twenty marks in order to "stock [the king's] library of Westminster with notable books." (45) Bale's repeated references to the poverty he found himself in, as well as his description of his researches at libraries in Norwich, Oxford, and London, suggest that Bale hoped to procure this post, or a similar one, for himself In any event, Bale seems to have been unsuccessful in this endeavor, perhaps because of his unfavorable depiction of Sir William Paget in The lattre examinacyon of Anne Askewe. (46) However, Bale had access to the Royal Library and was able to record the texts he saw there and to copy an extant catalog of Henry VIII's books. (47) Indeed, between 1549 and 1553 Traheron loaned Bale the Royal Library copy of Matthew Paris's Chronica, which, although it remained in the "quenes maiesties lybrary," was in 1560 in "the custodye of my lorde of Arundell." (48)

Nevertheless, Bale found himself in an awkward position. On the one hand, he "dolorouslye lamente[s] so greate an oversyghte in the moste lawfull overthrow of the sodometrouse Abbeyes & Fryeryes, when the most worthy monumentes of this realme, so myserably peryshed in the spoyle," and bemoans "that men of learnyng & of perfyght love to their nacyon, were not then appoynted to the serche of theyr lybraryes, for the conservacion of those most noble Antiquitees." Bale ascribes this negligence to covetousness, which "was at that tyme so busy aboute private commodite, that publyque wealthe ... was not any where regarded." On the other hand, Bale notes that such neglect was not universal. He commends Henry VIII's "godly zele" for commissioning Leland "to overse a nombre of theyr sayde libraries" in order to avoid losing "infynyte treasure of knowledge, by the spoyle, which anon after folowed of their due suppression." (49) Thus Bale attributes the loss of "those most noble Antiquitees" not to the Dissolution itself, but to the looting that followed. As Bale makes clear throughout this text, the threat of loss is decidedly not yet past. Indeed, Bale grudgingly admits that "noble workes we muche lesse esteme in these dayes, than ded the popysh monkes and prestes for their ydle tymes. For they at the least permytted them [manuscripts] a dwellynge place in their lybraryes, though it were amonge wormes and dust. We will not suffre them to abyde wythin our lande, but eyther we geve them leave to rotte in vyle corners, or drowne them in our jakes, or els we sende them over the see, never to returne agayne." He urges Edward VI to follow the example of his father and fund the recovery of these texts. Bale, ever seeking patronage, hints that he is the man to continue Leland's project--as his bibliographical work will be completed "yf poverte withstande me not"--proposing to "brynge ... into the lyghte" manuscripts that have been "kept longe in the darkenes." (50) This transferal of texts from darkness to light symbolizes two of Bale's major concerns. First, Bale's characterization of England's history as a struggle from Catholic darkness to Protestant light is complicated by his discussion of manuscripts and texts. While Bale attempts to mark a decisive break in England's history--radically differentiating himself and his contemporaries from the Catholic past--his attempt fails to the degree that manuscripts survive as remnants of the past. In Bale's terms, then, Catholic darkness does indeed persist in the present, and it is manifest in the mistreatment of manuscripts.

Second, and more significantly, Bale also associates darkness with privacy, light with publicity. Moreover, Bale extends these terms into the political sphere: that is, privacy becomes associated with private use, while publicity indicates a profit to the commonwealth. Withholding manuscripts, in Bale's view, withholds profit from the commonweal. He argues that "So wele is he worthy of perpetuall fame that bringeth a good worke to lyghte, as is he that fyrst ded make it, & ought alwaies to be reckened the second father therof. For as Ulpianus reporteth in his Pandectes, it is all one, a thynge not to be, and not to apere to the commen use." (51) As Trevor Ross notes, light "symbolizes for Bale ... the disseminatory and democratizing powers of print," while darkness symbolizes "not medieval inelegance but the widespread illiteracy of the manuscript age." (52) Thus, like several of his contemporary Protestant authors, Bale casts the printing press as a tool of enlightenment. (53)

Bale, however, appends additional binary oppositions to this initial opposition between darkness and light. Bale's text marks itself as transitional in its insistent play on the terms commodity and profit, invoked similarly by a traditional humanist discourse and by an emerging mercantile discourse. Thus English literary texts appear in Bale's construction of national community both as trade-objects that circulate in an international economy, and as ideal tokens of English identity itself. Indeed, the ideal quality of these English texts cannot be severed from their materiality, and the economies to which the terms also relate.

Bale describes his and Leland's work in terms of its value to the commonwealth, evoked in the terms labor, profit, and commodity. In this sense, Bale claims that Leland's labor sought "to profyte a commen wealthe" by saving "the profitable workes of many excellent writers," redeeming "them from dust and byrdfylynges, or pryvate use to no profyte, and so bryng them fourth to a commenwealth of godly knowledge and lernynge." Leland, Bale argues, undertook his project so that "his natural contrey men, myghte knowe the sytuacion and hystorycall commoditees of them, and afterwardes that all men dwellynge undre the worthy dominion of Englande, myghte of his studyouse labours take profyte." (54) In his address to the reader, Bale reiterates his history of manuscript dispersal, arguing that in addition to the destruction of manuscripts which accompanied the destruction of the monasteries, "Avaryce was the other dyspatcher, whych hath made an ende both of our lybraryes and bokes wythout respecte lyke as of other moste honest commodytees, to no small decaye of the commen welthe." (55) Bale's use of these terms here primarily accords with an essentialized view of the commonwealth: commodities are considered as objects or resources which innately belong to, or are produced by, a particular realm, kingdom, or commonwealth. They are considered only secondarily as items which are tradable within an economy. Likewise, profit primarily suggests an abstract rather than a material benefit. Bale conceives such profit as moral, spiritual, or intellectual rather than as simply the surplus income once costs have been paid. However, Bale shades these connotations toward a more economic understanding. In an oft-quoted passage, he recounts the spoil of the monastic libraries, noting that "A great nombre of them whych purchased those superstycouse mansyons, reserved of those lybrarye bokes, some to serve theyr jakes, some to scoure theyr candelstyckes, & some to rubbe their bootes. Some thy sol de to the grossers and sope sellers, & some they sent over see to the bokebynders, not in small nombre, but at tymes whole shyppes full, to the wonderynge of the foren nacyons." (56)

In this description Bale emphasizes the manuscripts' materiality. Rather than having value for their textual content, they are reduced to their most basic material value. Bale makes it clear that he considers manuscripts to be among the materials the Dissolution introduced into economic circulation. This economic circulation was not motivated by a desire to disseminate the manuscripts' texts and, as such, the manuscripts are reduced, in Bale's view, from proper to improper uses. These improper uses, it should be noted, included the export of these texts to foreign nations, either for publication under false authorship, as happened to a substantial portion of Leland's library, or to provide stuffing for book covers--both of which uses Bale considered as subjection to foreign nations. He characteristically complains that "Yf the byshop of Romes lawes, decrees decretals, extravagantes, clementines and other suche dregges of the devyll, yea yf Heytesburyes sophismes, Porphyryes universals, Aristotles olde logyckes and Dunses dyvynyte, wyth such other lowly legerdemaynes, and frutes of the bottomlesse pytte, had leaped out of our libraries, and so becomen coverynges for bokes comminge from the foren nacyons, we might wele have ben therwith contented. But to put our auncient Chronicles, our noble hystoryes, our learned commentaryes & hystoryes, our learned commentaryes & homelyes upon the scriptures, to so homely an office of subjeccyon & utter contempte we have both greatly dishonoured our nacyon, and also shewed our selves very wycked to our posteryte." (57) Bale casts such export as a diminution of English sovereignty, at least in terms of what one might anachronistically call England's academic industry. Indeed, England appeared to the foreign gaze as backward in many respects. The difficulty for Bale was that his allegiance to England conflicted with his sense that the foreign view of England was, to a large degree, true. The most substantial evidence of English backwardness was the Dissolution.

The foreign view of England was split under Bale's examination. For Bale, the contemporary foreign view cast a decidedly patronizing gaze on England, which, in part, constructed England's identity historiographically. Indeed, Bale categorized the Catholic history of England as foreign. Moreover, England's attempts to write its own past had been thwarted by the privatization of what properly belonged to England's public--however widely Bale understood this term. Bale's project, then, involved internalizing Britain's historiographical construction through the publicity print could provide. He notes that Leland's "hope was as myne is, and as is the truthe of the matter, that these thinges ones done, Englande wyche hath of the Italianes, and French men be reckened a barbarouse nacyon, theyr Monumentes afore tyme not knowne, wyll apere from thens fourthe, equall with the prowdest of them, in prowesse, wysedome, eloquence, polycyes, and in all kyndes of learnynge." (58) This sentiment also finds expression in King Johan, Bale's staging of English history. The play metatheatrically and metahistorically highlights the ways in which King John's proper history had been suppressed.

At the beginning of King Johan, the widow England informs the king that she "lokyst so wan and pale" because the clergy, who "in ydlenes do lyve by other menns goodes," has taken "my cattell, howse and land, / My wodes and pasturs, with other commodyteys." (59) King Johan rebukes England for speaking so poorly of the clergy, noting "They are thy chylderne; thou owghtest to say them good." England retorts that "bastardes they are, [and] unnaturall," reinforcing her earlier assertion that "they are the trees that God dyd never plant." (60) The denial of parentage is mutual. When King Johan wonders that Sedition is "to Englond so unnaturall: / Beyng her owne chyld," Sedition replies,
 I had rather she were hedlesse.
 Thowgh I sumtyme be in Englond for my pastaunce,
 Yet was I neyther borne here, in Spayne nor in Fraunce,
 But under the pope in the holy cyte of Rome. (61)


From the outset of the play, then, it is made clear that the accusations England makes against the clergy depend upon the degree to which sedition and the clergy are unnatural, or upon the degree to which they do not properly belong to, or in, England. A secondary concern is the ease with which this belonging can be feigned: King Johan recognizes neither the clergy nor sedition as properly English. Bale links this ability to discern Englishness to an accusation of theft leveled against the English clergy. While the reference is fleeting, England notes that the clergy steals her commodities: that is, what properly belongs to her, and what the land naturally produces. Later in the play, Bale reiterates this thematic importance of parentage: Dissimulation promises Sedition that he "shalt have a chyld of myn owne bryngyng uppe." This child, Pryvat Welth, has had a successful career as a monk, cellarer, prior, and abbot. He is now a bishop who "rydeth with an hondryd hors, / And ... is lyke to be a cardynall." (62) Bale is at pains in this play to externalize the threat to England and to emphasize that this threat is Catholic. The theft of its commodities originates in Rome, all sedition and treason has foreign origins, and, indeed, covetousness is externalized as well: Pryvat Welth is first a bishop and is then historicized as Cardinal Pandulphus. The externalization of this threat is germane to the play's context. Likely written by 1538 and performed in early 1539, the play supports the (then ongoing) Dissolution and casts Henry VIII's appropriation of monastic land as a reappropriation of what properly belongs to England and the crown: a restoration to England of her "cattell, howse and land ... wodes and pasturs ... [and] ... other commodyteys." (63)

Bale reiterates this concern in The Laboryouse Journey. He despairs that "We sende to other nacyons to have their commodytees, and all is to lyttle to feade our fylthye fleshe. But the syngular commodytees within our owne realme, we abhorre and throwe fourth as most vyle noysome matter. Auydyously we drynke the wynes of other landes, we bye up their frutes & spyces, yea, we consume in aparell their sylkes & their velvettes. But alas our owne noble monumentes and precyouse Antiquytees, whych are the great bewtie of our lande, we as lyttle regarde as the parynges of our nayles." (64) As mentioned previously, underlying Bale's rhetoric of light and darkness is the concept of the commonweal, and Bale's representation of the ways in which manuscripts are hindered from contributing to the commonweal's profit. A key term in relation to the common weal's profit is commodity, and Bale's understanding of this term demands consideration. The import of commodity relates to the diverse writings of the Commonwealth Men, a group of writers who responded to the economic crisis of the 1540s and 1550s by advocating social reform to benefit the poorer classes. These writers "emphasize a number of moral and economic problems, [and a] concern with trade imbalance figures prominently in their analyses of poverty and dearth in England." (65) It is salutary, then, to turn to one of these writers, Sir Thomas Smith.

Smith occupied several high political offices after beginning his career as a scholar at Cambridge, where he became the first Regius Professor of Civil Law and was later named Vice-Chancellor. Smith found support in Protector Somerset and, in 1548, Somerset advanced Smith to the post of Second Secretary to the King. However, when Somerset fell the following year, Smith was imprisoned in the Tower from October 1549 to February 1550. From 1562 to 1566 he served as ambassador to the French court, and then returned home to a period of compelled retirement, as no offices were offered to him. Instead, he occupied himself, in part, with a costly, and ultimately unsuccessful, scheme to manufacture copper. He also attempted to colonize Ulster, an adventure that resulted in the murder of his son. In early 1571 he was reappointed to the Privy Council and, although he did much of the work of Secretary, he officially became Elizabeth's Principal Secretary only in July 1572. (66)

While Smith's most famous work is probably De republica Anglorum (1565), his Discourse of the Common Weal of this Realm of England is perhaps the "most celebrated tract in Tudor social history." (67) The Discourse, written in the summer of 1549 but unpublished until 1581, consists of a series of dialogues in which several characters--a knight, a doctor, a merchant, a capmaker, and a husbandman--discuss the commonwealth's economic crisis and offer explanations for it. Smith, particularly concerned with the problem of high inflation, locates its source in England's importation of goods manufactured from exported English commodities and proposes that such goods be manufactured in England instead. (68)

Smith understands England's commodities both in terms of their naturalness to England and in terms of the labor necessary to retain this natural quality, maintaining, for the most part, an essentialized sense of the term throughout his text: that is, he uses the term commodity to designate those goods that properly and naturally belong to a particular region. Thus, in Smith's view, "God has ordained that no country should have all commodities but that that one lack, another brings forth, and that that one country lacks this year, another has plenty thereof that same year, to the intent men may know that they have need of another's help and thereby love and society to grow amongst all men the more." (69) Smith clearly has in mind the circulation of commodities within a realm. Nevertheless, he does not object either to importing or to exporting commodities: in fact, he sees trade in international terms similar to those described in the passage above. Smith has two major objections, however, to England's participation in such trade: first, England in a way recycles its valuable commodities, importing frivolous goods manufactured from its own exported commodities; second, the value of these imported goods resides in the labor required to manufacture them.

Smith is troubled that these imports are manufactured from England's own commodities, which English citizens are forced to "then ... buy ... again." Smith characterizes such repurchasing as a misguided policy "whereby we have devised a way for strangers not only to buy our gold and silver for brass and to exhaust this realm of treasure but also to buy our chief commodities in manner for naught." He contends that "They make us pay at the end for our own stuff again for the strangers' custom, for their own workmanship and colors, and lastly for the second custom in return of the wares into the realm again." Smith sees this practice as exploitative and goes so far as to liken England to a colonized gold mine. Noting that the streets along the Thames between the Tower of London and Westminster have become so crowded with shops selling frivolous imports, Smith wonders, "What need they beyond [the] sea to travel to Peru or such far countries, or to try out the sands of the river Tagus in Spaine, Pactolus in Asia and Ganges in India, to get amongst them small sparks of gold or to dig the deep bowels of the earth, for the mine of silver and gold, when they can of vile clay, not far sought for, and of [pebble] stones and fern roots make good gold and silver more than a great many of gold mines would make?" (70)

Smith thus characterizes England in colonial terms, ranking England's ongoing despoilment with foreign ventures in Peru and India. Moreover, Smith heightens this sense of England's despoilment by arguing that it originates in England's comparative stupidity. For Smith, the mining of England's commodities by foreign merchants demonstrates the "fineness of strangers' wits, and the grossness of ours." This grossness of wits is also exemplified in England's sufferance of "a continual spoil to be made of our goods and treasure.... And specially, that will suffer our own commodities to go, and set strangers awork and then to buy them again at their hand." (71)

Such a characterization of England finds analogies not only in Bale's text, but also in Leland's complaint to Cromwell. As noted above, Leland complained to Cromwell that German scholars, perceiving "English negligence," "spoileth" monastic books in order to publish them as "monuments of"--and for the profit of- "their own country." (72) For his part, Bale reiterates this sentiment, comparing the value Italy derives from numerous editions of Gildas's British history, De excidio Britanniae, available in Venice and Rome with the loss England suffers from the paucity of English editions: "The Venecyans more than lxxxviij. yeares a go for theyr commodite coulde fatche them [manuscripts of Gildas] out of Irelande, & haue them yet commen both at Venys and Rome, accountynge them a very specyal treasure. We neyther seke them, covete them, nor regarde them, though they be of our land the most precyouse Antiquitees and excellent memoryalles of learnynge ... I pray God we may ones rightly way our owne slouthful neglygence in thynges which myghte be greatlye to our honour." According to Bale, England is thus susceptible to the accusation "that we are despysers of lernynge." (73) For Smith, Leland, and Bale, England figures as the repository of a treasure that may be--and has been--taken without redress, as England's inferior wit and learning succumb to superior foreign wiles and education.

In addition, whereas Bale sees the circulation of manuscripts as a defining practice of two distinct English communities--a Catholic community that retains the manuscripts privately and a Protestant one that makes the manuscripts public--Smith sees the circulation of commodities as the demarcation between two differently interested communities. In Smith's view, two regions--the metropolitan center and the provincial periphery--treat commodities differently: the former with private interest in mind, the latter with the commonwealth's interest in mind. Thus London plays an ambiguous role in Smith's discourse. While he describes the city as the "head of this empire," Smith also portrays London as the cause of much of England's problems. It is the place "where such excesses, by reason the wealth that is of all this realm is heaped up ... be most used," while "in other parts commonly of this realm, the law of necessity keeps men in good case, for exceeding either in apparel or fare." (74) London wastes its wealth, unfortunately, on such fashionable items as "painted cruses, gay daggers, knives, swords, and girdles." (75) Not only does such spending facilitate the flow of treasure out of England, but it also threatens the masculinity of English men. Smith contends that "we were as much dreaded or more of our enemies when our gentlemen went simply and our servingmen plainly, with out cut or garde, bearing their heavy sword and buckler, on their thighs instead of cuts and gardes and light dancing swords; and when they rode, carrying good spears in their hands, instead of white rods which they carry now, more like ladies or gentlewomen, then men, all which delicacies make our men clean effeminate, and without strength." (76) Importantly, it is the foreign view of England that Smith considers here. While England was at one point dreaded by its enemies, the foreign gaze now reveals England to be effeminate and, implicitly, worthy of the despoilment of its commodities.

Smith's objection to imported goods is also rooted in a "deep prejudice [which] lurked against goods that held value only by virtue of the labour applied to them." (77) This prejudice is subordinate to Smith's identification of foreign labor as the primary cause of the commonwealth's problems. Even as he contends that many imported items "serve no purpose necessary," Smith conditions this moral judgment by noting that such frivolous goods might be manufactured in England instead. Thus England imports "a thousand ... things that might either be clean spared or else made within the realm sufficient for us," and Smith lists several "trifles that we might either clean spare or else make them within our realm." (78) Smith goes so far as to declare that, "I would that nothing made of our commodities ... should be brought from beyond the sea to be sold here, but that all these should be wrought within this realm." (79) Smith's objections, then, are directed at the foreign labor that produces them as well: these imports are of "no value of themselves but only to the workers of the same." (80) If English labor would be employed to finish and refine English commodities into goods, "inestimable treasure should be saved within this realm. And then it could not grow to the profit of the subjects but it must needs grow also to the profit of the King. And in my opinion, they do not best provide for His Grace's profit that procure only a present commodity but rather a commodity that may endure the longest without grief of his subjects." (81) Smith thus makes English labor visible in the light of the profit appropriated by foreign labor: that is, Smith advocates English production of English commodities in order to ensure that both commodities and profit--here understood as the commonwealth's commodity, both financially and ideally--remain in England.

Smith, however, overwrites the labor that produces English commodities in the first place, conflating labor with natural resources. English commodities are proper to England because they originate there--Smith makes no distinction between origination and production--and Smith objects to paying for foreign labor because this labor alienates England's commodities from itself: that is, English commodities are transformed by foreign labor into foreign profit, which is, in turn, identified as an English loss of both money and identity. English commodities and labor become visible in negative terms, through both a demeaning foreign gaze and a foreign alienation of English commodities. Labor, in Smith's view, remains the means by which England can reappropriate these commodities and make them culturally and economically profitable for the nation.

Bale's text also overwrites labor. Whereas Smith subsumes labor under the natural production of commodities and urges its renationalization, Bale identifies English commodities as the products of the past and labor as a present transformation of these commodities into national profit. The loss England suffers in the present--the loss of profit, both materially and culturally--is redressed by English scholarly labor. Bale's project demands the renationalization of scholarly labor, funded, as it was, in the past: "Se how studyouse and laboryouse men were in those dayes, not onlye for the conservacyon of their lerned mennyes labours, but also that other nacyons shoulde have profyte of them. Muche altered are we from that golden worlde, now adayes." In the past, kings "were wonte to holde a great nombre of good writers ... appoyntynge them great stypendes." (82) Bale, like Smith, argues not only for the preservation of England's commodities, but also for a repatriation of the labor implicit in the production of these commodities.

The convergence of economic and humanist senses of profit, commodity, and labor produces an ambiguity between the commodity that is the material manuscript and the commodity that derives from the textual content of the material manuscript. In the former sense, the manuscript is conceived as an object whose circulation generates monetary profit; in the latter, as an object whose circulation generates an intellectual, reputational, or even moral profit. Bale merges these two senses, insisting that a common benefit accrues to the nation once its manuscripts cease to circulate as commodities that generate private profit. On the one hand, manuscripts appear in Bale's construction of nationhood as the tokens of transactions, materially circulating within an economy based on the international trade of commodities, such as spices, cloth, and wine. On the other hand, the humanist discourse that idealizes the terms profit and commodity also informs Bale's text, and the idealized quality these terms derive from this discourse cannot be severed from the more material concerns and economies to which the terms also relate. The ambiguous intersection of an ideal, public, Protestant, and humanist profit with a material, private, and Catholic profit underlies Bale's argument for the conservation of England's ancient monuments. Bale, working within the ambiguities of this intersection, formulates English manuscripts as tokens of English identity. In doing so, Bale presents a vision of a commonwealth whose borders are, in part, constructed culturally as well as economically.

LAURENTIAN UNIVERSITY

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*I wish to thank my advisors at the University of Alberta--John Considine, Garrett Epp, and Jonathan Hart, in particular--who have patiently commented on previous versions of this piece. Jeffrey Chipps Smith, Arthur Marotti, and the anonymous Renaissance Quarterly reader also provided valuable commentary, for which I am grateful, on this essay's final revisions.

(1) Bale, 1998, 17. Parker's letter to Bale is not extant, but Bale received it on 18 July 1560. For more on the exchange between Bale and Parker, see Jones, who argues that Parker wrote to Bale in response to a request from Elizabeth I--who in turn, was responding to a request from Flacius Illyricus. See also Graham and Watson, 3-4.

(2) Bale, 1998, 17-18. In quotations throughout this essay, I have silently expanded abbreviations and standardized some typography according to modern usage.

(3) Brett and Carley, xi; Bale, 1998, 18.

(4) Bale, 1998, 17.

(5) See Hudson; Ross; Simpson; Summit, 1-15. For a discussion of the blurring between Bale's conception of an English and a British nation, see Schwyzer, 60-75.

(6) Schwyzer, 65, n. 38, notes in passing that "Bale's remarks on commodities find a close parallel in [Smith's] Discourse of the Commonweal," and focuses his attention instead on the aesthetic ideology apparent in Bale's discussion of manuscripts (67).

(7) Simpson, 217.

(8) See Bale, 1990.

(9) Brett and Carley, xiv.

(10) Ibid., xvii.

(11) Ibid., xviii. See also Hudson, 315, who notes that Bale's work "offers important information about materials that were available in England between c. 1520 and 1557, materials that are much depleted now."

(12) Although Bale's concern in The Laboryouse Journey is with manuscripts, his larger bibliographic project, the Catalogus, made use of print sources: ibid., 319-27.

(13) Love, 177-230; Marotti, 1995, 30-73. For discussions of the construction of social communities through the circulation of both printed and manuscript texts, see Bellamy, 85-131; Chattier, 1-23; McKenzie; Halasz, esp. 162-203; Watt.

(14) Aston, 238-39.

(15) Ibid., 241.

(16) Ibid., 239; Woodward, 179-85.

(17) Sherbrook, 125: this incident also is recounted in Aston, 240.

(18) Bale and Leland, Giiir.

(19) Anthony a Wood, 1:68. Wood quoting from a 16 July 1536 letter from Leland to Thomas Cromwell that he found "Among the Papers of state." The letter, however, has been lost. See Ross, 75, n. 4.

(20) For a summary of some of the monasteries' holdings, see Fritze, 276-77. For discussions of sixteenth-century attempts to recover monastic manuscripts, see also Carley, 1986; Carley, 2000, xxvii-xlvi; Fritze; Ker, x-xv; Robinson; Ross; Shrank, 98-103; Simpson, 214-16; Summit, 3-13; Wright.

(21) Fritze, 279.

(22) Ibid. See also Summit, 5-9. However, despite his obvious religious prejudice, Bale cataloged British books more inclusively in his Catalogus. For a discussion of Bale's inclusivity, see Hudson, 315-19.

(23) Bale and Leland, Ciir.

(24) Carley, 1999, 275. Carley derives this information from Leland's Antiphilarchia in Cambridge University Library (MS Ee.v.14).

(25) Carley, 1999, 276-77.

(26) Ibid., 281; Wallace, 12.

(27) Carley, 2000, xxxix.

(28) Ross, 59; Sherbrook, 124. Whether the leaves of the books were used to patch wagon coverings, or whether the boards of the book-bindings were used to mend the wagon itself, is unclear. See Sherbrook, 124, n. 1; Woodward, 188.

(29) Wallace, 10.

(30) Bale and Leland, Fiiiv, Fivr.

(31) Ibid., Fivv.

(32) Love, 177-80.

(33) Marotti, 1986, 5.

(34) Marotti, 1995, 215.

(35) Tottel, preliminary matter.

(36) According to Harris, 38, Bale may have been provided access to Leland's manuscripts by John Cheke.

(37) Bale and Leland, Eir-v.

(38) Collinson, 33-34.

(39) Simpson, 216, argues that Bale and Leland's text periodizes literary history as a response to the sense that "the recent past is receding rapidly from the official position of Church and State in the late 1530s and 1540s." Bale and Leland "see themselves as writing on the boundary of one (positive) epoch, about another, negative period ending in the immediate past" (ibid., 218).

(40) Ibid., 224.

(41) Carley, 1999, 281, suggests that, contrary to the assertions of N. R. Ker and C. E. Wright, monastic libraries were more successfully preserved at the Dissolution: the "problem was one of post-Henrician dispersal rather than a lack of initial retrieval." Ker questions the efficacy of Leland's recovery attempts and contends that "Local collectors up and down the country were actually much more effective than the king in preserving monastic books" (xi-xii). According to Ker, the disappearance of monastic manuscripts under Edward VI should not be attributed to an evangelical purge but to the replacement of manuscripts by printed texts in order to alleviate overcrowded shelves (xv). While Wright doubts that any "concerted and organized effort," such as that proposed by Leland to Cromwell, was made to collect manuscripts from the dissolved monasteries, "a modified programme ... did in fact bear some fruit" (161). Wright describes the continuance of manuscript dispersal into the mid-1560s, asserting that much of it occurred during Edward VI's reign. See Wright, 161-71.

(42) King, 96-98.

(43) Robinson, 1069.

(44) On the presence of evangelicals at the Duchess of Richmond's residence, see Harris, 37-38.

(45) Carley, 1999, 277.

(46) Askew and Bale, C4v-C7v. Happe and King, 6, point out that Bale "had attacked Sir William Paget for urging the Protestant martyr to recant," and that Paget, occupying the office of Principal Secretary under Somerset, "was well placed to block Bale from advancement.

(47) Carley, 2000, 250-51. Curiously, Robert Crowley's 1550 edition of John Purvey's The True Copye of a Prolog Wrytten about Two C. Yeres Paste by ohn Wicklife bears evidence of Bale's collaboration. King, 100, sees the text as Bale's own attempt to publish "a popular library of English classics ... [and as such the] ... True Copye exemplifies Bale's publication project." Crowley's title notes that the text "is founde written in an olde English Bible bitwixt the olde Testament and the Newe. Whych Bible remaynith now in the Kyng hys maiesties Chamber" (title-page). King, 98-99, argues that "Someone at court collaborated in the publication of the Wyclifite prologue," and that Crowley must have been "admitted to the palace to make his accurate transcription." Carley, 2000, 253-64, notes that Bale does not list this text in his catalog of the Royal Library, but records in the Index that he saw this book at Crowley's shop (ibid., 268-69). The text, at least under the title and incipit provided in the Index, does not appear in the Summarium. Ibid., 297, notes that the manuscript from which Crowley transcribed the text--C. U. L. MS Mm. 2. 15.--perhaps entered Edward VI's collection after 1548, as it was not part of Henry VIII's collection

(48) Bale, 1998, 29-30. Graham and Watson, 52, n. 203, identify this manuscript as Historia Anglorum, British Library, MS Royal 14 C. vii.

(49) Bale and Leland, Aiiv-Aiiir.

(50) Ibid., Eviir, Diir, Biir.

(51) Ibid., Fviiiv.

(52) Ross, 70.

(53) John Foxe, for instance, claimed that "as printyng of bookes ministred matter of readyng: so readyng brought learnyng: learning shewed light, by the brightnes wherof blind ignoraunce was suppressed, errour detected, and finally Gods glory, with the truth of hys worde, aduaunced" (Foxe, DD5v). Moreover, Foxe identified three "commodities" brought about by the invention of printing: a decline in book prices, an increase in literacy, and a broadened dissemination of texts (ibid.).

(54) Bale and Leland, Civ, Ciir, Eiv.

(55) Ibid., Aviiir.

(56) Ibid., Giiir.

(57) Ibid.; on the republication of Leland's texts under false authorship, see ibid., Civr-v.

(58) Ibid., Eivv.

(59) Bale, 1969, lines 57, 36, 62-63.

(60) Ibid., 68, 69, 33. Compare Bale and Leland, Aviiir: "All plantes (sayth Christe) whyche my heauenlye father hath not planted, shall be plucked vp by the rootes, least anye longar the blynde leaders shoulde leade the blynde multytude. Math.xi."

(61) Bale, 1969, 177-78, 180-83.

(62) Ibid., 739, 745-46.

(63) Ibid., 62-63. For the dating of this play, see White, 29.

(64) Bale and Leland, Eviiv.

(65) Perry, 218.

(66) For these episodes in Smith's career, see Dewar, 20-23 (Cambridge), 32 (Somerset), 64-65 (imprisonment), 88-121 (French Court and retirement), 123 (Elizabeth's secretary), 149-55 (copper scheme), 156-70 (Ulster). See also Morgan for an extended discussion of Smith's Ulster venture.

(67) Dewar, 5. Dewar argues for Smith's authorship of the Discourse in Smith, 1969. For recent discussions of Smith's text, see Neal Wood, 211-35; Wrightson, 154-58; Richards, 101-06; Shrank, 154-81; Kendrick, 169-97.

(68) Thirsk, 14-17. For the dating of the Discourse, see Dewar, 52-53.

(69) Smith, 1969, 62. A royal proclamation dated 3 July 1550 (Tudor Royal Proclamations, 495) similarly defines commodities as "such things as be brought forth and here given us by God ... perceived and enjoyed by the subjects of the same, to their utility and mutual benefit, among themselves in most plentiful sort and cheapness of price, before others, according as of ancient time hath been accustomed." Moreover, the proclamation locates the cause of inflation in export: "those commodities which ought specially to serve the turn and be employed to the use and sustenation of the subjects here inhabiting, are in overlarge manner conveyed into foreign regions ... much to the defraudation and impoverishment of the commonweal."

(70) Smith, 1969, 64-69.

(71) Ibid., 69, 65.

(72) Anthony a Wood, 1:68.

(73) Bale and Leland, Fviiir, Biir.

(74) Smith, 1969, 82.

(75) Ibid., 64.

(76) Ibid., 82-83.

(77) Thirsk, 14.

(78) Smith, 1969, 63-64.

(79) Ibid., 122.

(80) Ibid., 65. The objection to labor is more explicit in the 1581 print edition, in which Smith characterizes these goods as having, "no valure of them selves, but only for the labours of the workers of the same" (Smith, 1581, 25v).

(81) Smith, 1969, 67.

(82) Bale and Leland, Fiiv, Fivr.
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