Christopher Warren deposited Canst Thou Draw Out Leviathan with Computational Bibliography? New Angles on Printing Thomas Hobbes’ “Ornaments” Edition on Humanities Commons 1 year, 5 months ago
This article attributes one of the three “first” editions of Leviathan to the London printer John Richardson (fl. 1673–1703), revising Noel Malcolm’s attribution to a different printer in the recent Clarendon Edition of Leviathan. We lay out the mystery of Leviathan’s so-called “Ornaments” edition and use evidence from damaged type pieces to say why we attribute its printing to Richardson. We then give a short sketch of Richardson’s life and career and present evidence that supports a new date for the edition, including newly discovered advertisements and evidence from deteriorating type. We conclude with some implications for book history and bibliography, on the one hand, and Hobbes scholarship on the other. We argue that what we call “computational bibliography”—the analysis of bibliographical evidence through computational methods such as machine learning and computer vision— offers new angles for seeing the materiality and craft of clandestine, anonymously-printed books like Hobbes’ Leviathan.