Hidden histories from friendship books
The tradition of keeping an autograph album, or friendship album, began in Germany in the early 16th century. For the owner, such an album, when filled with messages from friends and acquaintances, was much like today’s photograph album or scrapbook. And, while in progress, it was the early modern equivalent of social networking. Surviving examples of alba amicorum contain inscriptions from major figures of the day as well as watercolour illustrations, and many provide fascinating traces of Shakespeare’s London.
June Schlueter, Professor Emerita of English at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and author of The Album Amicorum and the London of Shakespeare’s Time discusses this precursor of today’s social media in her illustrated talk.
Her talk accompanies the display in the British Library Treasures Gallery, Friendship Before Facebook: Social Networks in a Pre-digital Age (open until 12 May 2019).
|Name:||Shakespeare's London: Stories from Alba Amicorum|
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