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« Brief note: Joseph Knight | Main | Numbers »

August 22, 2006


Jenny Davidson

And you know, there was a guy who set up entrepreneurially & had sermons printed in a typeface that resembled handwriting in its size and shape, so that clergymen too lazy to write their own sermons wouldn't be (a) publicly shamed in front of their parishioners or (b) (more likely) forced to copy them out again!


Some people thought that Simeon's skeleton sermons, instead of solving the problem of sermon plagiarism, actually made it worse. G.V. Cox remarked that 'almost all Low-Church sermons .. seemed to me alike -- all, that is, cast in the same mould, and that, probably, the mould prepared for them by Mr Simeon, the pious, good man of Cambridge. These moulds were called by him 'skeletons', i.e. dry bones, to be clothed .. but still when thus dressed up, they had all a strong family likeness' (Recollections of Oxford (1868), p. 25).

The first edition of Claude's Essay (1796) is in octavo, but later editions (e.g. that of 1844) are in a smaller duodecimo format, which may mean that clergymen took them into the pulpit and preached directly from the book. John Henry Newman told his publisher, Rivington, in 1833 that he wished his sermons to be published in octavo rather than duodecimo, because 'the duodecimo form is used, I believe, for the sake of reading in the pulpit .. [and] I have no wish to be spouted over the kingdom'.

John Rodgers

Rev. John Tusler was the one who published sermons in a script font

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