When we read a text, we think we know who wrote it, but in the early modern period, manuscript production was often a collaborative or ‘socialised’ enterprise involving secretaries and scribes who physically wrote what the author dictated.
- Nadine Akkerman
- ERC Consolidator Grant
By learning how to distinguish between the authorial and the scribal voice, Nadine Akkerman’s FEATHERS project will restore the voices of those whose words were mediated, whether they were a monarch dictating to a secretary or a milkmaid talking to a court official.
These handwritten texts were often the result of collaboration between an author and a scribe. Like a modern secretary, these scribes would often correct, edit and amend the words given them by their employer as they put their goose feather quills to paper. Akkerman will analyse these texts in order to disentangle the different voices that may therefore appear in a manuscript.