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Jan van der Noot's Het Bosken re-examined

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Hitherto it has been assumed that Jan van der Noot's Het Bosken was printed by Henry Bynneman in London. The present investigation shows that this book was the work of two printers: Bynneman printed quires A-I, a colleague, possibly John Day, quires K-L. This is shown by differences in the typographical material, the make of the paper, the type area, the treatment of signatures and catchwords and the spelling habits of the two compositors. This division of labour between the two printers came about on the author's own initiative as he wished to speed up the printing of his book. This places the printing of Het Bosken in 1571 rather than 1570. Three copies of the book are recorded, apart from a recently discovered reissue (Cologne 1572, entitled Verscheiden Poetixe Wercken). There are individual differences between all the copies in their manner of compilation. These adaptations go back to Van der Noot who prepared every copy for a well-defined addressee. The three copies appear to have been distributed, not any more in England, but in the Rhineland where Van der Noot had moved in 1571.


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