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For more about She-philosopher.​com’s focus on primary over secondary sources, click/tap here.

Click/tap here to learn more about the evolving design of the 17th-century tail-piece to the left (at the bottom of this Web page’s text column), with the original continental design first used by English printers (as far as I know) in 1590, and last used by them (again, in altered form) in 1672.
  This tail-piece design, in all its variations, is one of the first printer’s ornaments to be studied in a new section of She-philosopher.​com which aggregates digital facsimiles, and catalogues the uses, of decorative blocks in 17th-century publications. The hope is that scholars specializing in early-modern prints and maps will be able to use this data to trace the actual transfer of woodblocks between printers, from the late 1500s through the late 1600s.
  It is my contention that the copying — and possibly even re-use — of trademark head-piece and tail-piece designs indicates that early women printers, publishers and authors were not the marginalized figures of the 17th-century scientific/technical book trade that some have suggested.

For more about the duke of Newcastle’s lavishly printed and illustrated book on the art of manège, La Méthode Nouvelle et Invention Extraordinaire de Dresser des Chevaux (1st edn. printed at Antwerp, 1657/8), see the IN BRIEF topic, “William Cavendish on the Print Trade”.


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**  a research miscellany: abbreviated reflections on historical facts and figures  **

First Published:  April 2004
Revised (substantive):  8 May 2021

Opening quotation markIf I had had more time, I would have written more briefly.Closing quotation mark

 SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709–1784)

18th-century celebrity, lexicographer, and “arguably the most distinguished man of letters in English history.”

THE IN BRIEF SECTION OF is intended to house a miscellany of information gathered in the course of researching various topics and persons having to do with 17th-century arts & sciences.

As most anyone who’s had any kind of e-correspondence with me is well aware, I’m not known for brevity! I use the IN BRIEF heading here in a somewhat different sense, to emphasize the provisional nature of the notes and queries and arguments set forth.

This is the section of reserved for scholarly exploration and brainstorming. As elsewhere on this site, essays will be more informal than peer-reviewed publication in scholarly journals allows, with more relaxed rules of citation, in keeping with a renewed focus on primary over secondary materials.

IN BRIEF essays are organized into two subcategories: Topics and Biographies.

In Brieftopics

Available topics are given below. For a listing of planned topic essays, see the Previews: In Brief page.

  Arguments for and against learned women at the close of the 17th century
  Bakhtin’s “dialogic imagination” and other core concepts
  the Bishop and the Antipodes
  Branding Captain John Smith, Admiral of New England
  Branding Margaret Cavendish, alternately known as “Mad Madge” and “the Thrice Noble, Illustrious and Excellent Princess, Margaret, Duchess of Newcastle”
  Brands: evolving codes of honor & nobility during the early-modern period and the 17th-century debate over character
  a comparison of 17th-century Pocahontas narratives and the 1890s play by “Powhatan’s Pamunkey Indian Braves”
  Critical pluralism:  an ethical art of engagement & confrontation, born of respect for discomfiting difference
  Thomas Cromwell’s land grab, c.1532:  John Stow’s first-hand account in A Survay of London (first printed in 1598, rev. 1603) of “the remarkably arbitrary act” perpetrated by Thomas Cromwell against his neighbors
  Data-driven demagoguery:  harnessing the power of Big Data and psychographics for 21st-century-style rhetorical trickery (calculated appeals designed to manipulate us)
  Kairos (core concept from classical rhetoric)
  the English art of mezzotint
  the Museo Kircheriano (Kircher’s renowned Musæum)
  Occasio or occasion (another core concept from classical rhetoric)
  Phronesis (practical wisdom)
  Prudentia (prudence)
  the “Sect of antient Philosophers” known as Pythagoreans
  early Quaker women writers
  Sir Walter Ralegh’s Lost Colony and the Croatan Indians of North Carolina
  the modern rhetorical situation
  the Royal Mathematical School at Christ’s Hospital, chartered by Charles II on 19 August 1673
  What’s in a Name?:  professional identities (such as “she-philosopher”) and gender politics
  William Cavendish on the print trade


In Briefbiographies

Available biographies are given below. For a listing of planned biographical essays, see the Previews: In Brief page.

  Acuña, Don Diego Sarmiento de, Count de Gondomar
  Britton, Thomas
  Cecil, Robert, 1st earl of Salisbury
  Cowley, Abraham
  Elizabeth Tudor, Queen Elizabeth I of England and Ireland
  Hariot (aka Harriot, Herriot), Thomas
  Harvey, William
  Henry Stuart, Prince of Wales (eldest son of King James I of England)
  Henry Tudor, King Henry VIII of England and Ireland
  Holder, Susan
  Hollar, Wenceslaus
  James Stuart, King James I of England & King James VI of Scotland
  Kircher, Athanasius
  Merian, Maria Sibylla
  Petty, William
  Ralegh, Sir Walter
  Smith, John (Captain)
  Zuñiga, Don Pedro de

facsimile of late-17th-century printer's decorative tail-piece

^  Tail-piece from William Cavendish’s Methode Nouvelle, et Invention Extraordinaire de Dresser les Chevaux, et les Travailler Selon la Nature ... (London, 1671).
     The design is a variation on a late-16th-century woodcut emanating from Frankfurt, Germany, and introduced to England by the Flemish engraver and book publisher, Theodor De Bry (1528–1598), who used the original vignette as a tail-piece for the second edition of Thomas Hariot’s A Briefe and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia (London, 1590). The 1671 adaptation for Thomas Milbourn’s print shop retains the unique Native American motif from the original.

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