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[Perspectives] The marginal notes of John Dee

In 1546, when the 19-year-old John Dee was a student at Cambridge University, he bought a volume of Ovid’s love poetry. It cost him 12 pence. We know this, because he wrote his name on the title page, and added the date and the price. He probably saw these jottings as fairly inconsequential, other than to assert his ownership of the volume, an expensive item for a student. But for early modern historians, they contribute to a dense tapestry of information about Dee and the time in which he lived.