His Maker’s Artifice: Literatary Critique As Method of Dating

Kudos for a recent post found on His Maker’s Artifice, a new and very interesting blog written by Stephanie Wills, a graduate student in English Language and Literature at University College. The blog takes as its premise, “old art, new contexts.”–literature in its physical, tangible form used to examine its historical and thematic contexts. 

Her most recent post is about the Esdaile Notebook, a notable historical object–it is a holograph!–containing 56-57 of Percy Shelley’s poems and acquired by the New York Public Library over forty years ago. Ms. Wills appears a literary-turn-cultural-heritage detective, offering readers a compelling explication of how this material culture has come to be an important artifact and valued piece for literary scholars and art collectors alike. (The object was part of an investment banker’s private collection purchased from Sotheby’s in 1962.)

Culture in Peril looks forward to His Maker’s Art further contextualizing literature in its cultural property form: as cultural objects appropriated for the use and consumption by people and institutions, as artifacts appreciated for their literary content as much as their history.

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