**Annotated Bibliography** *Brent Werness* This provides an annotated bibliography for the sources consulted when working on this text. While I do believe it is rather in-depth, it is not fully comprehensive, and some texts which did not directly inform my work are omitted. # 16th Century The 16th century is the period *Characterie* itself was published. These sources are the most important ones, and represent the most accurate sources of information on what the system was, and how it was used. They are unfortunately rather sparse. ## Epistle to Titus (1586)
Timothe Bright, Letter to Michael Hicks, 1586.
This is a sample of *Characterie* written by Timothy Bright, and included in a letter written from Vincent Skinner (a friend of Timothy Bright's) written to Michael Hicks (a member of the English government) with the goal to be granted exclusive publication rights for his work by Queen Elizabeth, which he rightfully viewed as being quite novel. In this sample page, Dr. Bright wrote the entirety of the *Epistle to Titus* in an early version of *Characterie*, which can be found copied in ([Keynes 1962]("https://characterie.neocities.org/references.md#20thcentury/dr.timothybright:asurveyofhislifewithabibliographyofhiswritings(1962)"), p.12). This letter is not legible in the final published version of *Characterie*, with distinct characters, methods of dealing with proper nouns, and potentially even a distinct structure (seeming to lack the annotation of synonyms for almost all words). Despite this, it is to the best of my knowledge, the only remaining sample of *Characterie* written by Timothy Bright himself, and is the oldest known document in English shorthand. ## Characterie: An Arte of Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete Writing by Character (1588)
Bright, Timothe. *Characterie: An Arte of Shorte, Swifte, and Secrete Writing by Character.* United Kingdom: I. Windet, 1588. [Bodleian Scan.](./Bodleian.pdf)
This is the original book that defined the system. Most copies or scans that you can find today represent the reprinted edition from 1888 (the best such scan is [Google Books.](https://www.google.com/books/edition/Characterie/-pE-AAAAcAAJ?hl=en&gbpv=0)). Unfortunately, the reprinted edition is riddled with errors, and missing parts, which has been noticed by other authors ([Keynes 1962]("https://characterie.neocities.org/references.md#20thcentury/dr.timothybright:asurveyofhislifewithabibliographyofhiswritings(1962)"), p.36). Most painfully, it is inaccurate in the way it transcribes the scarce examples that it provides, which given that there are only a handful of example sentences having almost all of them being somewhat wrong made learning from this source very hard. Thankfully, the original text is available at the Bodleian Library at Oxford, and their Mediated Copying service both will scan historical texts for very reasonable costs, and allow you to share them as *CC-BY-NC 4.0* license if you provide that license information and attribute them! I *highly* recommend that you use this scan, which includes everything but the *Table of English Words*. Many thanks to the Bodleian Library for providing this service! ## The Divine Prophecies of the Ten Sibylls (1589)
Jane Segar, *The Divine Prophecies of the Ten Sibylls*, a gift to Queen Elizabeth, 1589. [British Library.](https://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/FullDisplay.aspx?index=0&ref=Add_MS_10037) [Archived PDF.](./Segar_Ten_Sibylls.pdf)
This beautiful document is the only surviving contemporary use of *Characterie* that I am aware of. Prepared by Jane Segar as a gift to Queen Elizabeth in 1589, this book contains eleven poems written both in longhand, and in *Characterie*. This is a vital glimpse into how *Characterie* was being written by actual practitioners, and is essentially the only source of example texts, given that the original manual contains none. It is particularly notable as it provides a completely unique method for representing proper nouns as stacked letters, which is distinct from the method proposed in the manual. ## The Writing Schoolmaster (1590)
Bales, Peter. *The Writing Schoolmaster.* United Kingdom: T. Orwin, 1590.
This book is made of three sections, the first of which introduced *Brachygraphy*. This provided the second published system of English shorthand. This system shares much of its structure with *Characterie*, differing primarily in a simplification of the rules, and symbols used to represent the core vocabulary of words. A scan of the majority of the theory is available in ([Matthews 1935]("https://characterie.neocities.org/references.md#20thcentury/peterbales,timothybrightandwilliamshakespeare(1935)"), p.486-8, 502-7). # 17th Century Work in shorthand continued to grow into the 17th century, and many more systems came into use. I include one additional system here to show how quickly, after a period of only fourteen years, shorthand soon shifted to more closely resemble systems as we would recognize them today. ## The Art of Stenographie (1602)
Willis, John. *The Art of Stenographie: or, Short-Writing, by Spelling Characterie.* United Kingdom: R. Cotes, 1602. [Internet Archive.](https://archive.org/details/bim_early-english-books-1641-1700_the-art-of-stenographie_willis-john-stenograph_1644/page/n13/mode/2up)
This is the third published English shorthand system, and it differs greatly from the earlier systems. It is not based directly on *Characterie* or *Brachygraphy*, but rather it is a phonetic system, much more similar to later systems. It has some unique features, such as the way that vowels are represented by relative positioning of the consonants, but overall a modern student of shorthand will find it familiar to learn. Additionally, unlike *Characterie* and *Brachygraphy*, this appears to have had a long and successful publication period, where for instance the scanned edition linked above is actually the 13th edition published in 1644. It is interesting to see how quickly the systems started to shift away from synonym based towards the phonetic/alphabetic basis common today. # 19th Century The 19th century brought the heyday of english shorthand, during with both Pitman and Gregg shorthands were created. It also brought new interest in the history of the system, and the re-discovery of Characterie. ## Early Shorthand Systems (1882)
Westby-Gibson, John. *Early Shorthand Systems: With Illustrations.* United Kingdom: Jas. Wade, 1882. [Google Books.](https://www.google.com/books/edition/_/Jbh24ip-wnYC?hl=en&gbpv=0)
his article surveys early shorthand systems with a focus on English. This is the first source I know of that puts forward the theory that Peter Bales should be awarded greater credit for his contributions to Shorthand, in particular pointing to the *Lineal Alphabet* from 1575 as a cryptographic shorthand (p. 8, 11-13). Although he makes the case that *Brachygraphy* and the *Lineal Alphabet* are not the same, it is not at all clear to me that they are completely unrelated. While the author seems to have found a document he believes to have been written in the *Lineal Alphabet*, he seems not to have read the *Brachygraphy* text himself (p. 11). It also contains a short description of *Characterie*, however seemingly without having read the book, and indeed the second to last paragraph is written explicitly to ask the owner of the only known copy at the time if he could possibly read the book sometime (p. 16)! ## Timothy Bright's, or the First English, Shorthand, 1588 (1885)
Pocknell, Edward. "Timothy Bright's, or the First English, Shorthand, 1588." In *Shorthand: A Scientific and Literary Magazine, Vol. II*, edited by John Westby-Gibson, 126-132. United Kingdom: Jas. Wade, 1885. [Google Books.](https://www.google.com/books/edition/Shorthand/kwMCAAAAYAAJ?hl=en)
This paper reintroduced the details of the system of *Characterie* to the world. It presents the system, along with several points where the original manual falls short. Indeed, in writing this work, I had to struggle with all of the issues that they list, and a few more, and came to some degree of resolution. This was an invaluable resource in the preparation of this work exactly because it provided the input of deeply invested scholars interpretations of the original manual. Moreover, it is of historical significance as it brought the details of the system back to light long after it had vanished from the public view. # 20th Century Interest in Characterie during the 20th century focused primarily on one question: was it used to create the "bad folios" of Shakespeare? One of the primary theories, which remains debated to this day, is that these texts were taken by live dictation at a performance of the play, and then transcribed at a later date. These folios are considered much lower quality, and often contain large omissions, or complete rewrites of scenes compared to later, more authoritative folios. ## Peter Bales, Timothy Bright and William Shakespeare (1935)
Matthews, W. "Peter Bales, Timothy Bright and William Shakespeare." The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 34, no. 4 (1935): 483-510. [JSTOR.](http://www.jstor.org/stable/27704074)
This paper examines the degree to which Peter Bales' *Brachygraphy* could have been used to take transcription of Shakespeare's plays, in addition to *Characterie*. It makes the case that: 1. it is essentially the same system, so just as capable of taking performing the task, and 2. that there are sufficient differences between the two systems that one could in principle tell them apart. This resource provides a nearly complete transcription of the *Brachygraphy* manual (p.486-8), and a full scan of the table of brachygraphic words (p.502-7). This provided an important contemporary comparison point when correcting the dictionary, as it is clear that *Brachygraphy* and *Characterie* share the same core vocabulary, however that the vocabulary of *Brachygraphy* was more internally consistent. ## The Third (1600) Edition of Bales's 'Brachygraphy.' (1938)
Hoppe, Harry R. “The Third (1600) Edition of Bales's 'Brachygraphy.'” The Journal of English and Germanic Philology 37, no. 4 (1938): 537-41. [JSTOR.](http://www.jstor.org/stable/27704437)
This article details the third and final edition of Peter Bales' *Brachygraphy*, which replaces the system discussed here with a simple alphabetic abbreviation based shorthand. The reasons are unknown, but it is rather clear that this system is nowhere near as capable as the original two editions. ## Dr. Timothy Bright: A survey of his life with a Bibliography of his Writings (1962)
Keynes, Geoffrey. *Dr. Timothy Bright: A survey of his life with a Bibliography of his Writings.* United Kingdom: Wellcome Historical Medical Library, 1962. [Internet Archive.](https://archive.org/details/b20457224/)
This article is a survey of Timothy Bright's life and works. It focuses primarily on his most important works, namely the early study of depression as a medical condition, however it also covers his work with *Characterie*. There are two historical artifacts which are most easily found in this text: 1. the copy of the *Epistle to Titus* which was sent to Queen Elizabeth as evidence of the value of the system (p. 13), and 2. a chart entitled *A General View of the Art of Charactery* (p. 16) which lays out the structure of the text. It also contains the interesting note on the reprint stating that, "Carlton notes that this reprint, purporting to be an exact facsimile of the original in every detail, is in fact very inaccurately done." This provides evidence that, perhaps, a copy of the original text from the Bodleian Library may prove to have significantly fewer errors. # 21st Century While interest has slowed significantly, there remains a significant body of work examining the systems and their relationship to Shakespeare. Hopefully, this list will soon be woefully out-of-date. ## 'Several Keys to Ope' the Character': The Political and Cultural Significance of Timothy Bright's 'Characterie.' (2005)
Patricia Brewerton. "'Several Keys to Ope' the Character': The Political and Cultural Significance of Timothy Bright's 'Characterie.'" The Sixteenth Century Journal 33, no. 4 (2002): 945-61. [JSTOR.](https://doi.org/10.2307/4144116)
A wonderful paper placing $the advent of *Characterie* into the social and political context of the time. It argues that the one of the primary purposes was likely secret religious writings. It also examines in part the way that structure of the system reflects the beliefs of the time in the way that it selects what word should be given preference over the others. A fascinating look which examines the importance of the system beyond the surface level of a system which provides fast writing, but instead through the lens of the people who made it, learned it, and used it. ## Shakespeare, Playfere, and the Pirates (2015)
Crockett, Bryan. “Shakespeare, Playfere, and the Pirates.” Shakespeare Quarterly 66, no. 3 (2015): 252-85. [JSTOR.](http://www.jstor.org/stable/24778523)
This text re-opens the discussion of the use of *Characterie* as being used in the recording of Shakespeare's work. Previously, the consensus opinion was that the shorthand systems available in the 16th century were inadequate for the task of recording a full play live. This text argues that the reasons used to draw this conclusion were not particularly convincing (namely: 1. that the plays were too long to write continuously through, 2. the actors spoke too quickly, 3. that the theaters were too loud to hear clearly, and 4. they wouldn't have let audience members take notes in a theatre) and that by looking to contemporary sermons which are believed to have been taken by *Characterie* that it instead should be possible. For my own view, I indeed do not find the arguments against particularly convincing, and that *Characterie* is a sufficiently advanced form of writing to be able to produce transcriptions of the plays, particularly to the level of veracity normally attributed to the "bad quartos." I will say however, that there are words in the bad quartos which are difficult to represent in *Characterie*, and so I am not at all convinced that it was used. This article also does a fantastic job of painting a vibrant image of how shorthand systems were taking the world by storm. An imprint of "taken by Characterie" was meant to indicate that it was likely more authentic to the original presentation than one that was not, and shorthand systems had so gripped the general public that people were selling their own systems on street corners. --------
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