EEBO assignment for march 9

March 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello Parliamentarians,

I promised to summarize the EEBO assignment, and here it is at last. Sorry for my dilatoriness.

Find *one* EEBO text* connected in some way or another to the events, people, places, or issues in the 1642-1643. You might take your cue from something in the Purkiss or Worden chapters. Make things easier for yourself by choosing a short-ish text.

*broadly defined (e.g., could be a drawing or woodcut)

Your assignment:

(1) devise a set of questions you want to ask about your text

(2) try, through research, to answer them as best you can. If you can’t find the answer to a question, that’s OK–negative information is still valuable information. In that case, use what you’ve learned so far to hazard some guesses about possible answers to the question.

(3) Post your analysis on your blog. You’re welcome to use the analysis as your minimum blog posting for the week.

Here are examples of generic questions I ask myself about texts I read. Depending on the text I’m looking at, some questions will be more interesting than others, so those are the ones I concentrate on.

  • what story does the text tell (even texts that don’t seem story-like have an underlying narrative)? for what audience is the story intended? what is the story meant to accomplish?
  • what’s the significance of the characters, place, allusions (often Biblical or classical), quotes (often Biblical?
  • what do you notice about the language?
  • what values or ideas does the text endorse? what values or ideas does the text disapprove of?
  • where do you think its political sympathies lie–Parliament, royalists, neither? Why? (e.g., the phrase “faithful friend” in Ariel’s “Alarum” suggests royalist values)
  • when was it written? any evidence that points to a specific month or a certain part of the year?
  • what is the wider political context? what’s happening at the time?
  • who is/are the author(s)?
  • who printed the text? where? do historians know anything about the printer? is the printer known to have sided with one party or the other? does the text mention a bookseller (as distinct from a printer)? do historians know anything about him? was the bookseller known to have sided with a political party?
  • if the text was published more than once, why do you think it was?
  • where would you go to see the physical text? how did it get there?

Hope this helps. Looking forward to seeing the results of your labor!

Cheers, Jane

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