Space Between Words: The Origins of Silent Reading (Figurae: Reading Medieval Culture)
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Silent reading is now universally accepted as normal; indeed reading aloud to oneself may be interpreted as showing a lack of ability or understanding. Yet reading aloud was usual, indeed unavoidable, throughout antiquity and most of the middle ages. Saenger investigates the origins of the gradual separation of words within a continuous written text and the consequent development of silent reading. He then explores the spread of these practices throughout western Europe, and the eventual domination of silent reading in the late medieval period. A detailed work with substantial notes and appendices for reference.