Aaron Pratt on Shakespeare and Spencer, Secondhand

  • 05/10/2024
  • 12:00 PM
  • 5/10/2024 12:00 PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Zoom presentation is free and open to all. Preregistration required via website. Live attendance – Zoom presentation and optional lunch ($35) following. Reservations required by 12 PM CT 5/8/24. Seating is limited to 24.

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May Midday Program



You probably misheard it over the radio. Barbra Streisand wasn’t singing about “Secondhand Rose” … she was belting out “Secondhand Prose.”

Just think about some of the most precious volumes in your collection. The ones that you didn’t purchase fresh off the press, but found in a used book store. Or bought at auction. Or stumbled upon at an estate sale.

This idea of acquiring previously owned books isn’t new, and during our May Midday, Aaron Pratt will draw on the formidable resources of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas to tell the tale of the emergence of trade in secondhand volumes.

Drawing on the Ransom Center’s copies of Seneca His Tenne Tragedies (1581) and Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene (1596), Pratt will transport you to the middle of the 17th entry and introduce you to a specialized trade in plays, poetry, and prose fiction. He’ll also reveal the origins of the narratives that we tell about the reception and ultimate canonization of Shakespeare, Spenser, and select contemporaries.

Much published, Aaron Pratt, serves as the Carl & Lily Pforzheimer Curator of Early Books and Manuscripts at the Harry Ransom Center and as Assistant Professor, English.

Don’t just hear about this program. Experience it first hand. Register today!

Live attendance and optional lunch

View Zoom program on eighth floor, Steel Room, Union League Club. Presentation begins at 12:00 PM CT. Optional lunch immediately following in the fourth floor Rendezvous. $35 includes non-alcoholic beverage, a cup of soup, and your choice of sandwich, salad, or hot entree, tax, and tip.

Zoom presentation is free and open to all.

Zoom begins at 12:00PM CT/1:00 PM ET. Preregistration required via website.

Please forward this notice to anyone who may find it of interest.

Transportation to the Union League Club at 65 West Jackson Blvd., Chicago.

The Union League Club is easily accessible through many public transportation methods. Additionally, the following options are available for those who wish to travel by cab or car.

The Union League Club front desk offers a connection to cab service through Curb. The desk will call cabs for members and all guests while allowing riders to remain inside until the cab arrives. No curb side wait. Cabs will accept all payment forms, following the payment procedures you experience with a street-hailed cab.

If you are traveling by car, the Union League Club offers valet parking for Caxton events at $35.00. You must register and prepay in advance through the Caxton Club. Valet parking options will now be included as an option with all event registrations.

Spot Hero is an independent parking option, generally offering spots at the 318 S. Federal Street garage adjacent to the Union League Club. You may reserve and pay for a guaranteed parking spot through the Spot Hero app or website (spothero.com).



211 South Clark Street,
PO Box 2329,
Chicago IL 60604-9997


Tel: +1 (312) 970-1294
info@caxtonclub.org