Between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries, the assembly of printed sheets into ordered books had a textual aid: a few letters printed in the bottom-right margin of each page that anticipated the first word at the top of the following page. A quick glance could confirm that the ‘catch-word’ matched the start of the next page’s text, and therefore that the sequencing and pagination were correct.
This book gathers the catch-words in the first edition of Samuel Richardson’s landmark novel Clarrisa, or, the history of a Young Lady (1748). Their new arrangement follows the structure of its source: each catch-word becomes a line, each gathering a stanza, each volume a canto. The process repeats in the manner of a musical catch until, finally, all 883,716 of Richardson’s words are gone.
Features the 8 page supplement, ‘Directions for Reading‘.