The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.1227  Friday, 2 July 1999.

From:           Hardy Cook <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Friday, 02 Jul 1999 08:00:14 -0400
Subject:        Francis Sandford's Coronation of King James II now

Dear SHAKSPEReans:

A few months ago I purchases the Archival Edition of the Octavo Warnock
Library CD-ROM facsimile of the Benson 1640 edition of the POEMS. I am
extremely satisfied with the product. This CD at the highest resolution
provides much more information than one interested in original texts
would find in any print facsimile. In this case, electronic technology
clearly surpasses print. The Octavo POEMS comes in a reading version
($25) and an archival version ($50), which has a resolution of at least
800 dpi, enabling magnifying down to the smallest detail. I must warn
everyone that this CD-ROM requires upper end PCs with lots of RAM and
lots of speed. Please do not purchase to use on anything computer slower
than 300 MHz.

With that said, I thought some might be interested in this announcement
I received today.

Announcing Octavo's latest Edition:
Francis Sandford. The History of the Coronation of King James II.
London, 1687.

James II enjoyed one of the most sumptuous coronations and one of the
shortest reigns in the history of English monarchy. Newsbooks and
diaries recorded the event; panegyrics, songs, and broadsides publicized
it; and Francis Sandford's festival book described its ceremonies and
sites - from the intricate descriptions of habit, ornament, and regalia
through the numbingly detailed catalogues of meats and confections drawn
up for the coronation feast, to the procession, installation, and
magnificent closing fireworks. The coronation was designed to make the
king as welcome to the heart as to the eye; nothing was spared in
Sandford's book, no ornament or expense, that "could do to the making of
the Spectacle, Dazling and Stupendous." The chief instrument of
Sandford's spectacle was the suite of engraved plates that recorded the
events of April 23, 1685.

Festival books had long been popular on the Continent, but nothing so
elaborate as this volume had ever been produced for the installation of
an English monarch. Adorned with twenty-seven plates and three large
images of crowns and scepters, Sandford's History of the Coronation was
a major publishing endeavor. Indeed, it was nearly two years in the
making; the book finally appeared just in time for the Glorious
Revolution. Sandford and his collaborator, Gregory King, were barely
able to recoup the costs of its production. The market for the book
abruptly disappeared after November 1688, and although Sandford and King
were experienced hands in such enterprises, the expense and timing of
The History of the Coronation nearly bankrupted Sandford, who died in
debtor's prison in 1694.

--excerpt from the commentary by Steven N. Zwicker on the CD

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Octavo Corporation (http://www.octavo.com?r=emanncsfdckj) is a publisher
of rare books and manuscripts with digital tools and formats through
partnerships with libraries, museums, and individuals. Using
high-resolution digital imaging technology, Octavo releases digital rare
books on CD-ROM as Adobe PDF files which can be viewed on and printed
from almost any computing platform. You can view each page and the
binding on your computer screen, zoom in to view detail up to 800% in
some cases, and search, copy and paste the "live" text placed invisibly
behind the page images which is available for selected Editions. Also
included in each edition is the work's collation and provenance, as well
as commentary by a noted expert in its field.

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