November Blogroll: Miscellanies Edition

This year the Early Modern Reading Group—an IPRH-affiliated reading and discussion group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign—is focusing on sonnet sequences and recent criticism on the form. Our reading will range from Philip Sidney, Michael Drayton and Lady Mary Wroth to contemporary practitioners of the form. We started, however, with Tottel’s Songes and Sonnets, the first of its kind in the form and not arranged by authorship. As my research thinks about ways in which we engage, select, and curate cultural products using principles of inclusion other than authorship, I find it fascinating that the first major sonnet collection did just this. I was additionally fascinated to fine the many online resources for miscellanies from the English Renaissance:

  • Verse Miscellanies Online ( This searchable critical edition of seven major printed miscellanies from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is a joint project of Oxford’s Bodleian Library and Early English Books Online’s TCP program. Most thoughtful about the database is its “commonplacer” tool, which facilitates engagement with the processes of selection, modification, and compilation underlying the creation of each of the printed volumes. Overall, the edition is designed to allow the modern reader to keep the intertextuality and malleability of early modern poetical culture always in view.
  • Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies, 1640-1682 ( This is certainly the most clunky of the web resources available to search and read online miscellanies, but it helpfully focuses on the post-war seventeenth century. It is roughly searchable by first and last lines, date, author, volume, and number of lines. It is just an index, however, and does not include links to original scans. Find out more about the project in this 2002 essay from Early Modern Literary Studies here.
  • Digital Miscellanies Index ( This searchable database includes more than 1500 miscellanies published during the long eighteenth century in England. Their contents are available for free, but the index is currently in its beta stages. Fear not! Funding has been secured to extend the database index, and you can follow that progress on their blog.



September Blogroll: Back-to-School Edition

Dear readers,

Earlier in the summer, I posted some online archaeology resources that I thought would be of interest in early modernists. There are a great deal of interesting web resources of carrying sizes that I come across, some relevant to my work, and some just downright interesting. Following a format I have seen other academic and fashion bloggers use, I am trying out a new initiative here at BiteThumbnails: the monthly blogroll. Near the start of each month, my plan is to do a brief post of a handful of websites I’ve newly run into that might be of interest to early modern and English Renaissance scholars. So without further ado:

  • Queen’s Men Editions: In starting research on my dissertation chapter that features the Queen’s Men I ran into this awesome web archive. Not only does the site include full-text versions of each of the company’s known extant plays—an archive that is searchable, by the way—but also has video of recent and upcoming performances of these early playtexts to go with the performance histories. Check them out at:
  • Staging Two Lamentable Tragedies: I recently ran across a blog detailing staged readings of Robert Yarrington’s Two Lamentable Tragedies this summer and coming fall, supplementing a dissertation project at University College London by Emma Whipday. Follow her progress on the blog ( and check out video from staged readings at the Hungtingdon Library on her YouTube channel.
  • Early Modern Reading Group: If you are in the Midwest-Chicagoland region, I would like to invite you to join in a new collaborative initiative I’m heading at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It’s a reading group hosted by our humanities center here, and our theme this year is the repertory of the Admiral’s Men. They are more than merely Shakespeare’s “opposites,” and Andrew Gurr would have it, so we are reading a number of their plays this year coupled with some criticism to give us a better sense of the repertory of Shakespeare’s contemporaries. Hopefully this will culminate in a symposium at the end of the academic year. For readings and meeting information, check us out at:

Happy hunting!