BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    Almanacs, annotators, and life-writing in early modern England

    Smyth, Adam (2008) Almanacs, annotators, and life-writing in early modern England. English Literary Renaissance 38 (2), pp. 200-244. ISSN 0013-8312.

    Full text not available from this repository.


    An exploration of one of the most common but least studied early modern forms of life-writing, the annotated almanac, is long overdue. Printed almanacs were often interleaved with blank pages, onto which readers added notes of their activities: journeys; illnesses; resolutions. By examining a number of annotated almanacs, and by focusing in particular on the Civil War almanacs of Lady Isabella Twysden, this essay examines the relationship between printed almanac and manuscript annotations, and the connection between annotated almanacs and those categories which organise recent critical discussions of life-writing: identity, subjectivity, autobiography, diary, self. Materials added to almanacs were often later transferred to other texts: diarists often generated a life through a process of shunting material from text to text, starting with an almanac, expanding records with each movement. The production of diaries was less about directly transcribing lived experience, and more the result of revising prior texts. Many features of diaries can be explained through reference back to the almanac as a first or early site where notes on a life began. This founding compositional moment shaped later diaries: the expectations the almanac created, the subjects and vocabularies it induced, informed later written lives.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Creative Arts, Culture and Communication
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2013 10:02
    Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 12:32


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item