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- 1 2017-05-22T18:03:58-07:00 Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a A Battle! A Battle! - Advertisement (Closing) Will Fenton 1 (annotation) plain 2017-05-22T18:03:58-07:00 Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a
- 1 2016-12-04T13:34:35-08:00 Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a An Answer to the Pamphlet Entitled "The Conduct of the Paxton Men" - 9 Will Fenton 1 (annotation) plain 2016-12-04T13:34:35-08:00 Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a
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- 1 2016-08-19T17:13:10-07:00 Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a A Battle! A Battle! Will Fenton 5 A battle! A battle! A battle a squirt; where no man is kill'd, and no man is hurt! : To the tune of Three new blue beans, in a new blue blown bladder; rattle bladder rattle bladder! To which is added, The Quaker's address, versify'd; and King Wampum, or Harm watch harm catch. [Four lines of verse] gallery 2018-02-12T00:59:30-08:00 [Philadelphia, Pa.] : Printed [by Andrew Steuart] and sold at the Blue-Nose, near Brazen-Nose-College, Germantown.,  Call number: Am 1764 Bat 795.D.23 Ascribed to the press of Andrew Steuart and dated 1764 by Evans. Library Company of Philadelphia. Will Fenton 82bf9011a953584cd702d069a30cbdb6ef90650a
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While errata may have operated imperceptibly, advertisements were less subtle interventions in the reading behaviour of audiences. Advertisements are interesting because they suggested what a reader should do after reading the text. These advertisements sometimes marketed goods, services, or other books. Whereas errata asked the reader to revisit the text in a potentially superficial way, book advertisements asked the reader to reflect on what they have read and think about whether they will follow the recommendation on where to go next. That is, advertisements provide some insight into what the printer thought the audience for one piece would want from another text. Determining the reading history of a specific person requires very detailed evidence that is usually difficult to procure, but book advertising provides a perspective on the commercial world of print and the various pathways connecting texts.
The two examples of book advertising from the Paxton Boys debate were both from the same printer, Andrew Steuart. Steuart was the second most prolific printer in the debate and, according to his fellow printers, he was notorious for being "not over nice as it respected the work of others" (Thomas 57). In keeping with this characterisation, Steuart published an edition of A Battle! A Battle! that competed with another edition of the text from the most prolific printer of the debate, Anthony Armbruster.
A Battle! A Battle! was a bawdy and satirical version of the more serious conspiracy arguments that the Quaker peace testimony disguised self-interest. A Battle! A Battle! brought together three different poems to the same effect. At the end of Steuart's edition, he included an advert soliciting subscriptions to publish a miscellany version of the three-volume The History of the Travels of the Chevalier John Taylor. There are no surviving examples of the proposed Philadelphia edition, so it is unlikely that Steuart was successful. Yet we can still learn something about the book business from the advert. John Taylor was a self-aggrandising eye surgeon who told many fantastic tales in his long-winded work. Steuart planned to condense these works into a shorter, thrilling piece. Steuart's motivations for including the subscription are difficult to discern from this distance. However, given that both A Battle! A Battle! and History of the Travels were more salacious than serious, Steuart may have believed that readers interested in the scurrilous accusations in A Battle! A Battle! would enjoy Taylor's barely credible anecdotes. This association of text and book advertisement, which seldom survives in the documentary record, reminds researchers that printers used their position to influence the reading behaviour of audiences.
Although rare, Digital Paxton preserves another advertisement connected to a text, again from Andrew Steuart. Quaker Unmask'd was one the most controversial pieces published during the pamphlet war, and there were many rejoinders written to refute its argument that Quakers were unsuited to govern. In his second edition of the text, he included an advertisement for fourteen (erroneously listed as fifteen) pamphlets 'relative to the Disputes in this Province.' The page was numbered sequentially to follow the last page of Quaker Unmask'd so it was specifically intended to sit at the end of the pamphlet. Three pamphlets were doggerel verses like A Battle! A Battle! and ten were pairs of rejoinder texts. Steuart did not print all the pamphlets himself, so by advertising the texts for sale he was effectively curating the debate for his audience. The fact that he chose to concentrate on the contentious nature of the dispute by offering pairs of rejoinder texts is important for understanding how Steuart encouraged his audience to engage with the texts.
Advertisements are a reminder that the Paxton Boys debate was a commercial exchange. As fraught as all the ideas were, print professionals generated revenue from the sale of these texts and used the debate as a business opportunity. However, advertisements also give us a sense about what else readers might have read. Ultimately, readers were affected by what they had read previously and what they were reading when they encountered an advert, these together affected what they read next.
One strength of Digital Paxton is that it provides access to material that eighteenth-century readers would have encountered the texts. While a digital facsimile is not the same as the physical object it stands in for, the digital object can be easily searched and broadly disseminated without overlooking the fact that the text was a material object. More than words on a page, this materiality provides key insights into the text itself, its production, circulation, and reception.
This article will analyse how materiality enables readers to discern between the 'main' body of a text and the texts that surround it, called paratexts. Few texts started from the first line of the argument; instead there was usually a heading, date or a title page that would provide context for what the audience read. Longer and more complex texts typically had more paratexts to surround them such as dedications, prefaces, contents page, indices, footnotes, and epilogues. The common purpose of each paratext is to explain in some way how the words on the page relate to the social world of the reader.
The relationship between reader and text was both commercial and intellectual. In many cases, readers bought texts in order to engage in debates. Consequently, debates were not just intellectual, they took place in a commercial medium, in which business concerns affected the trajectory of the dispute. Paratexts also had significant intellectual implications. Paratexts could highlight aspects of the 'main' argument to help readers better understand the author's interpretation of the world.
In this article, I want to demonstrate the value of paratexts for analysing a debate like the Paxton Boys, and by extension, to underscore the value of resources like Digital Paxton, which provide access to digital facsimiles that attend to the materiality of printed objects. I will concentrate on back matter, the material that comes at the end of a piece. Typical backmatter include appendices, indices, errata, advertisements, coda, epilogues, and postscripts.
I argue that back matter encouraged readers to reflect on and revisit the text in contrast to other forms of paratexts. For example, whereas backmatter rhetorically responded to the main text, front matter (at the beginning of a piece) was rhetorically preparatory. Front matter framed the argument to give readers an indication of what will be important in the text: the title page, contents page, or preface prepared the reader for significant points in the main text that followed.
This article will trace how backmatter in the form of errata, advertisements, supplementary material, and postscripts encouraged the reader to revisit and reinterpret a text. Attending to such paratexts opens up new ways to read Paxton Boys printed materials.