Early English Books Online (EEBO) contains digital page images of virtually every work printed in the English language as well as works printed in Great Britain and its dependencies from 1473-1700 in any language.
Prof. Smith has identified and recommends that you choose one of the following sources:
The noble tryumphaunt coronacyon of quene Anne wyfe vnto the moost noble kynge Henry the .viij. London: Wynkyn de Worde, 1533. Account of the coronation of Anne Boleyn.
Parr, Catharine. The lamentacion of a synner, made by the moste vertuous Lady quene Caterine.
London: Edward Whitchurche, 1548. Spiritual autobiography of Henry VIII’s last queen. This is a
longer one, so you might focus on one part of the text.
A rehearsall both straung and true, of hainous and horrible actes committed by Elizabeth Stile
alias Rockingham, Mother Dutten, Mother Deuell, Mother Margaret, fower notorious witches. London: J. Kingston, 1579. Account of the “Windsor Witches” of Abingdon.
Norton, Thomas. A declaration of the fauourable dealing of her Maiesties commissioners appointed
for the examination of certain traitours and of tortures... London: Christopher Barker, 1583.
Justification of the use of torture as a means of safeguarding the Elizabethan state.
Barrough, Philip. The method of phisick. London: Thomas Vautroullier, 1583. A bestselling medical handbook.
A Discouerie of the treasons practised and attempted against the Queenes Maiestie and the realme, by Francis Throckmorton. London: C. Barker, 1584. Account of the Throckmorton plot to overthrow Elizabeth.
A true copie of the proclamation lately published by the Queenes Maiestie, vnder the great seale of
England, for the declaring of the sentence, lately giuen against the Queene of Scottes. London:
Christopher Barker, 1586. Official justification for the execution of Mary Stuart.
Orders appointed to be executed in the cittie of London, for setting roges and idle persons to worke,
and for releefe of the poore. London: Hugh Singleton, 1587. Elizabethan injunctions governing begging and vagabondage.
Orders, set dovvne by the Duke of Medina, Lord general of the Kings fleet, to be obserued in the
voyage toward England. London: Thomas Orwin, 1588. English translation of the Spanish plan and justification for the Armada.
A declaration of the Queenes Maiesties will and commaundement…against the excesse of apparell.
London: Christopher Barker, 1588. A compendium of Tudor sumptuary laws.
Hortop, Job. The Rare Trauailes of Job Hortop, an Englishman. London: William Wright, 1591.
Narrative of an Englishman shipwrecked off the African coast and made a Spanish galley-slave.
Raleigh, Walter. The sea-mans triumph. London: R. Bourne, 1592. Account of the capture of the Spanish galleon Madre de Dios, the most famous prize-ship of the day.
Stubbes, Phillip. A christal glasse for christian women. London: T. Orwin, 1592. Biography of London widow Katherine Stubbs, presented as the ideal woman; one of the bestselling pamplets of the century.
Chute, Anthony. Tabacco. London: William Barlow, 1595. Promotion of the supposed benefits of the newly-discovered tabacco.
Brereton, John. A briefe and true relation of the discouerie of the north parte of Virginia. London:
George Bishop, 1602. First English account of what would become New England, by the navigator of the Gosnold expedition.
Askew, Anne. The lattre examinacyon of Anne Askewe latelye martyred in Smythfelde, by the wycked Synagoge of Antichrist, with the Elucydacyon of Iohan Bale. Wesel: Printed by D. van der Straten, 1547.
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The English Short Title Catalogue, when used in conjunction with EEBO, can let you learn more about printers, translators, authors, and editions.
Here's one example:
Suppose you are intrigued by the following text that you've discovered in EEBO:
A maruelous hystory intitulede, beware the cat Conteyning diuers wounderfull and incredible matters. Very pleasant and mery to read. , Imprinted at London : In Fleetestrete at the signe of the Faulcon by Wylliam Gryffith: and are to be sold at his shop in S. Dunstons Church-yarde, Anno. 1570.
You look up this work in the English Short Title Catalogue: full record (see partial image below)
An author link will show you what else this individual has written. This can be very useful especially with very common names and can help you better identify the author.
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For research beyond what's available in subject encyclopedias, here are a few good strategies to use: