Rediscovering Lost Literature in the Stationers’ Company Register
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Printing in early modern England was held under the monopoly of the Stationers’ Company with members entering books into a Register. In attempting to reconstruct the print industry of early modern London, the Register provides crucial evidence of works that were printed but can no longer be traced to an extant copy. Printed dramatic works, especially those with famous writers, survive well; during the period 1557–1640, 80% of playbook entries can be traced to a surviving copy. But what about other works of prose and verse which were published alongside plays and interludes? This chapter shows how the Stationers’ Company Register can be used as a source for lost print, revealing the lost poems, playbills and stories created and consumed by the writers, printers and players.