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From Pierre de Fermat to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Graham Greene, readers have related to books through the tes they write in the margins. In this pioneering book--the first to examine the phemen of marginalia--H.J. Jackson surveys an extraordinary range of antated books to explore the history of marginalia, the forms they take, the psychology that underlies them, and the reactions they provoke. Based on a study of thousands of books antated by readers both famous and obscure over the last three centuries, this book reveals the intensity of emotion that characterizes the process of reading. For hundreds of years, readers have talked to other people in the margins of their books--t only to authors, but also to friends, lovers, and future generations. With an infectious enthusiasm for her subject, Jackson reflects on the cultural and historical value of writing in the margins, examines works that have invited passionate antation, and presents examples of some of the most provocative marginalia. Imaginative, amusing, and poignant, this book will be treasured by--and maybe even antated by--anyone who cares about reading.
H. J. Jackson is professor, Department of English, University of Toronto. She has published extensively on Romantic literature, and her book Marginalia was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award in literary criticism.