About the Blog

The focus of this blog is a single book: Helkiah Crooke’s anatomy manual Mikrokosmographia: A Description of the Body of Man, first published in London in 1615.

The purpose of this focus is threefold:

1. To establish and explore the significance of the book

2. To develop a modernized version of its text for greater reader accessibility

3. To initiate discussion on a variety of aspects regarding its contents

Basically, I’m in intrigued by this book. There’s a lot going on in and around it. I need a place to record and organize my exploration of it, and I also want to get others interested and involved.

*A note on the excerpts

The text of Mikrokosmographia I am modernizing is that of the 1615 edition available in .pdf format on Early English Books Online, STC6062. As my main goal in doing this is to create a version that is more accessible to the average reader, in producing these excerpts I have silently modernized the i, j, u, v, and long s; expanded brevigraphs; and regularized “VV” to “W”. Spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and italic type have not been normalized and remain consistent with the original 1615 text. I have, however, removed spaces before or added spaces after punctuation to enhance readability. Similarly, typographic ligatures have been separated into distinct graphemes (e.g., “æ” into “ae”). Page references are provided in signatures rather than Roman numeral pagination, as there are obvious errors in the page numbering of the source text. Instances in which illustrations appear that interrupt the text will be indicated by a notation in square brackets: [image].

Except where noted, I am not comparing multiple editions or printings, and these excerpts are not intended to represent a comprehensive edition of my own (although I certainly hope to undertake such an endeavor someday). I currently have access only to images of the book, until I begin my PhD studies at the University of Iowa this fall, where the Martin Rare Book Room holds a 1615 edition. (I do have a set of photographs I took of that volume during a visit last fall; see images page.)

To assist me in the bibliographic aspects of this project, I have relied on the advice of the following texts:

Bowers, Fredson. Principles of Bibliographic Description. 1949. Winchester: St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1994. Print.

Hunter, Michael. Editing Early Modern Texts: An Introduction to Principles and Practice. New York: Palgrave, 2007. Print.

Kelemen, Erick. Textual Editing and Criticism: An Introduction. New York: Norton, 2009. Print.

McKerrow, R. B. An Introduction to Bibliography for Literary Students. 1927. Winchester: St. Paul’s Bibliographies, 1994. Print.



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