‘I have a book on accountancy that is often mistaken for a Bible’, Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell tells Harry Percy in Bring Up the Bodies (2012: 358). ‘Especially by you’, Percy responds. In placing an accounting book in her fictional Cromwell’s library, and in linking it to the Bible, Mantel gestures towards a relationship between accounting books, the printing of the Bible in English, the writing of Tudor history, and English humanism, a relationship which this article will suggest is closer and more complex than she probably realised. Some of those connections are explored here through a study of the works of James Peele, The maner and fourme how to kepe a perfecte reconying (1553 – henceforth ‘The maner and fourme’), which is the earliest surviving work on double-entry book-keeping by an English writer, and The Pathe waye to perfectnes, in th’accomptes of debitour and creditour (1569 — henceforth ‘The Pathe waye to perfectnes’). This article proposes that Peele’s first work, The maner and fourme, is an attempt to integrate number work into the reformed humanist publication strategy of the printer Richard Grafton. As twenty-first century readers, we have a distinct sense of authorial identity; the opening sentence of this article refers to ‘Hilary Mantel’s Thomas Cromwell’ in the expectation that the reader will know immediately that Mantel is referred to as an author, and as such, is the key figure identified as producing the book in question. In the mid sixteenth-century, acknowledgement of authors was rare, except in the case of legal and medical texts (Hellinga and Trapp 1999: 86). Read for the signs of Peele’s assertion of his authorial identity as a humanist scholar, The Pathe waye to perfectnes illustrates the developing importance of authorship in the sixteenth-century. Following the ‘material turn’ in book history, this article focuses on the title pages of Peele’s works and other volumes published by Grafton to examine the ways in which these two texts position accountancy as a practice and seek to fashion its cultural capital.
 When writing about early books on accounting, academics have generally taken one of two paths. Histories that deal with the technical development of accounting practice and with commercial matters are usually not concerned with the impact of a wider cultural context on the production of books on double-entry book-keeping. Conversely, among sociologists, literary scholars and cultural historians, a profound (and, in some cases, possibly over-stated) relationship has been posited between double-entry book-keeping and its contribution to religious and social change in early modern Europe.
 The association between nascent capitalism, ‘the protestant work ethic’ and early accounting texts was first made by Max Weber, who argued that ‘capital accounting, according to the methods of modern bookkeeping and the striking of a balance’ (double-entry book-keeping), was one of the ‘general requisites for the existence of capitalism’ (1905, 1923: 276). The connection made by Weber between double-entry book-keeping and religious, social and economic developments of the early modern period, although contentious, remains the starting point for much recent thinking about the impact of early modern book-keeping texts by writers including Mary Poovey (1998) and Natasha Korda (2011). The link theorised by Weber between rational capitalism, Protestantism and double-entry book-keeping has been countered by James A. Aho (2005), who points out that the system originated in pre-capitalist medieval Italy and links it instead to the Catholic practise of confession and a neurotic ‘scrupulism’ in accounting for one’s deeds to God. Studies that embrace a less wide-ranging target than capitalism and ‘the protestant ethic’ suggest, for example, that the careful process of writing which double-entry book-keeping requires was a creator of mercantile credit (Sullivan 2002) and a model for early modern life-writing (Smyth 2010).
 Historians of accounting have expressed reservations regarding the feasibility of tracing a significant early modern cultural impact of what was, until the eighteenth century, actually a little-known and rarely-used practice. Their objections arise partly because they perceive in some scholarship an imprecise lack of distinction between the double-entry system of keeping books and other ‘single-entry’ accounting systems which also use the terminology of ‘debit’ and ‘credit’. The accounting historian Basil Yamey challenges the developing interest in the cultural impact of the accounting system by expressing a sceptical inability to discern ‘that inherent in double-entry book-keeping there is some crucial rationalizing effect, some scientific or mathematical principle or notion, or some abstract ideas which could not fail to influence ideas, attitudes, behaviour or practices outside the narrow confines of record-keeping and simple administration.’ (1989: vii; see also his highly sceptical 2005 article.)
 This article directs its attention to an aspect of the works of James Peele that has not previously received critical attention either from those interested in the technical developments of accounting practice, or from the cultural historians seeking evidence of the impact of double-entry book-keeping on the wider culture. Noting that ‘the non-textual features of a document carry their own semantic weight’ (Lesser 2004: 16), it uses the paratextual material of Peele’s books, and especially their frontispieces, as, in Gérard Genette’s term, ‘thresholds of interpretation’ through which to consider the material and cultural conditions of their production (1997). In doing so, Peele’s works are placed more precisely in their historical and cultural moment, while also being made to point to the wider significance of the number work that they do. As with all books, the works of James Peele were shaped by what Daybell and Hinds term ‘the material concerns’ of their production; that is, both the physicality of the texts and ‘the materiality of the socio-cultural contexts in which they were produced, transmitted and consumed’ (2010: 2). Although, as Genette remarks, paratext considered in the absence of its text is ‘a mahout without an elephant, a silly show’ (1997: 410), this article will nevertheless attend to paratextual aspects of Peele’s works to argue that they were not intended to be read solely as texts of applied number work for utilisation by artisans. These works make a claim for the intellectual place of numbers and number work among the liberal arts and for the status of the specialised form of writing that is double-entry book-keeping alongside other works of Elizabethan literary scholarship.
 Elizabeth Eisenstein argues that the claims made by early printers of accounting manuals that double-entry book-keeping was good for the common-weal and one’s own soul were mere posturing in order to increase sales; ‘one more variation on a theme’, she states, ‘which had been used to promote accountancy books from the first Renaissance blurb writers on’ (1979: 384). In response this article will take seriously the claims made by these books about their place in the intellectual moment from which they emerged. While accepting that printers, of course, needed to make a profit from the works that they produced, it follows studies by, among others, Zachary Lesser (2004), Peter McCullough (2008) and Kirk Melnikoff (2009), in arguing that a printer’s own religious and/or political ideology also influenced the publication choices he made. The role of authorship in the sixteenth century remains opaque; the contrasting presentation of Peele’s two works provides a striking case study of the shifting importance accorded to the author. Where The maner and fourme appears to form part of a larger humanistic programme directed by Richard Grafton, this article will argue that in his second work, The Patheway to perfectness, printed some sixteen years later, Peele was able to assert himself as author.
The maner and fourme (1553)
 The starting point for this reading of Peele’s books is the impressive title page of The maner and fourme (see figure 1, below). The rebus of its printer, Richard Grafton, appears prominently at the bottom of the page, depicting a ‘tun’ or barrel, from which issues a grafted tree, probably the tree of knowledge, the whole being a pun on his surname.
 As is not unusual in a mid-sixteenth century book, the printer’s rebus is large and striking, while Peele’s name does not appear anywhere on the title page; this book is intended to be seen as the work of its printer, rather than that of its author. In 1553, when Peele’s text was being prepared for print, Richard Grafton was the King’s Printer, a major figure who had been pivotal in the promotion of the English Reformation through print, and in shaping the evolving relationship between the Court and the City of London (Gadd and Ferguson 2004). Grafton had a long association with Protestant reformers including Thomas Cranmer and Thomas Cromwell. His ‘sometimes incautious combination of reformist commitment and commercial activity made him one of the most eye-catching evangelicals of the period’ according to Alec Ryrie (2003:19). Imprisoned three times during the 1540s for printing religious books, at a time when Henry VIII was struggling to exert control over the process of reformation, Grafton was closely involved, with his partner Edward Whitchurch, in the production in Antwerp of Coverdale and Tyndale’s English Bible and in the printing of the first official bible in English, the Great Bible of 1539 (Devereux 1990; Ryrie 2004; Ferguson 2004). The famous title page of the Great Bible demonstrates that Grafton understood the importance of paratextual images in controlling the way in which the contents of a book were understood. There, Henry VIII is depicted as the embodiment of temporal and spiritual authority, received directly from God, and also as the distributor of the word of God in English. It conveys in a single image everything that the King wanted to say about the Church of England and Henry’s place in a reformation that was to be achieved, at least in part, by the Bible to which the frontispiece was attached.
 Following his return to England in 1539, Grafton, with Whitchurch, had been given space at the dissolved Greyfriars’ property to set up a print business, as well as monopolies on the production of English scripture and service books (Sisson 1930, Ferguson 2004). During Edward VI’s reign he was the King’s sole printer of year books, statutes and other official documents, and of the authorised works closely associated with the dissemination of religious writings in English, including the earliest editions of The Book of Common Prayer (Cummings 2011). Peele’s first work was therefore prepared for production by a famous and prestigious printer whose entire career was shaped around producing books that supported Protestant reform in England, for which he had, more than once, gone to prison.
 It has not been previously noted (as far as the author is aware) that The maner and fourme may have been the book that Grafton had on the press when he was imprisoned for printing the proclamation of Lady Jane Grey as Queen on 10 July 1553. McKerrow and Ferguson note, without comment, that although the title page is dated ‘1553’, the printing of The maner and fourme appears to have been completed in 1554 by John Kingston (Grafton’s former apprentice) and Henry Sutton (1932: 28). The STC and ESTC agree that Grafton printed only the title and verso of the book and note that the assumption that the work was completed in 1554 is essentially conjecture. Assessments of Grafton’s motivations for printing the proclamation of Jane Grey vary; David Womersley describes it as an example of Grafton’s ‘recklessness of political consequence when religion was the cause’ (2010:46), while James Raven merely shrugs it off as a misjudgement that ‘hardly proved his wisest undertaking’ (2007:34). E.J. Devereux dryly notes that nine days later Grafton ‘learned that he had effectively resigned his office’ as Queen’s Printer (1990: 41); he was imprisoned by Queen Mary and his printing business disbanded.
 Only one complete copy of The maner and fourme, held by The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, is known to survive. The other copy listed in the ESTC, held at the British Library, is incomplete: it contains the explicatory text but has lost all of its model ledger pages. There are several possible explanations for the low rate of survival of Peele’s work. Texts that were used, particularly as learning aids, may have become worn and annotated to the extent that they were eventually discarded. For example, only eight copies of what must have been very many Elizabethan printings of the basic educational text, the ABC, survive, presumably because they were used to destruction (Farmer and Lesser 2013). Perhaps few copies of Peele’s first book have survived because they were used to learn from and eventually became worn out. In 1588 John Mellis produced A Briefe Instruction and maner how to keepe bookes of accompts after the order of debitor and creditor in which he claimed to reproduce the first book in English about double-entry book-keeping, Hugh Oldcastle’s 1543 A Profitable Treatyce called the Instrument or Boke to learn to know the good order of the keepying of the famouse reconynge called in Latyn, Dare and Habdare, and in English, Debitor and Creditor. No original copy of Oldcastle’s book has survived, and Mellis, who was a teacher of accounting and mathematics, claims that he has reproduced it because his own ‘ancient old copie’ was thirty years old and he wanted to make the work more widely available (1588: A2v). Evidence that Peele’s works were used as working text books is offered by the copy of The Pathe waye to perfectnes held at the Huntington Library, which has annotations (in the hand of the second Earl of Bridgewater) that appear to show a reader engaged with learning from the text (Travitsky 1999). The maner and fourme includes a large number of almost blank pages, marked up as ledgers. Perhaps, paper being expensive, they were appropriated and used as a working ledger, a conjectural explanation that would account for the pages missing from the British Library copy.
 It is possible that few copies of The maner and fourme survive because few were printed to start with. Some comparison might be made with Pacioli’s Summa de arithmetica, geometria, proportioni et proportionalità (1494) of which Alan Sangster has estimated that between one and two thousand copies of the first edition were printed (2007). The comparison is not very helpful, however, because the Summa, which was produced at a much earlier stage of the development of print technology, was a complete anthology of mathematics of which the accountancy element formed only a part, and it was made for the Italian market; each of these is sufficient reason to frustrate direct comparisons between the two books. Franklin B. Williams, Jr. estimated that some four thousand entries in the STC are known only by a single copy; he also noted that it is rare for valuable books cared for in libraries to entirely disappear (1978). Information about the price of mid-sixteenth century books is scarce and there is no indication of how much either of Peele’s books would have sold for, but both are folios and are printed on high quality paper, and in comparison to, say, A Briefe Instruction, which is a quarto volume, and of lower quality paper, they are expensive books. Although the rate of attrition for early books is high, the scarcity of surviving copies of The maner and fourme, a large and relatively expensive book, suggests that its initial print run was small, perhaps because Grafton’s successors were not as interested in it as he was. The maner and fourme is dedicated to the ‘the right worshipfull Sir William Densell, knight’ and the company of Merchant Adventurers of which he was Governor. Usually referred to as ‘Damsell’, Sir William was knighted at Queen Mary’s coronation, despite signing the devise altering the succession in favour of Lady Jane Grey, and this dedication to him as ‘knight’ is further evidence that printing of the book was completed after Grafton lost his business (Bisson 1993: 6). Pacioli’s Summa was probably produced for the instruction of wealthy merchants and their sons educated through the Italian abbaco system (Sangster, Stoner & McCarthy 2008). Although, as noted above, comparisons between the two books are far from conclusive, it seems likely that Peele’s The maner and fourme was similarly intended for a market of wealthy merchants in London, including the Merchant Adventurers.
 If Peele’s book was intended as an instruction book for merchants, then it disrupts the assumption, commonly made about books of this type, that they were low-status trade manuals with little ideological or intellectual ambition. Although James Raven argues that a surprisingly large output of ephemera and hack work was an important source of funding for many printing houses, in Grafton’s business the profits were supported by his monopolies as King’s Printer (2007). This lucrative position enabled Grafton to specialise in high-quality works; taken together with his ideological commitments, it would be reasonable to conclude that The maner and fourme was not an anomaly in his output, a lone example of a low status trade manual amongst his other, more ambitious work. Grafton’s biography strongly indicates that the texts he selected for printing were meaningful to him, and that his output forms a collective body of work sharing certain qualities that confer that meaning. It is therefore appropriate to consider The maner and fourme alongside Grafton’s other publications, and also to consider whether it reflects an ideological commitment, beyond simple commercial gain.
 Scholars of early modern books with no interest in double-entry book-keeping may nonetheless recognise the title-page compartment used by Grafton for The maner and fourme. It depicts the youthful Edward VI with his courtiers of both Lancaster and York allegiances who, as Hall’s Chronicles (1548) described, had been united in the person of Edward’s father, ‘the high and prudent prince kyng Henry the eight, the undubitate flower and very heire of both the sayd linages’ (McKerrow 1913). Woodblocks of the type used for this page, unlike metal engraved plates, allowed the title inside the decorative frame, or compartment, to be changed, so that the block could be used for different books and titles (Corbett & Lightbown 1979: 6). This folio-sized block was used frequently by Grafton, including for the title pages of the first edition of Edward Hall’s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustrate Famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (1548 – henceforth ‘Chronicle’); John Marbeck’s Concordance to the English Bible (1550); the second, most radically Protestant, version of The Book of Common Prayer (1552); and seven editions of yearbooks and statutes between 1548 and 1553. Indeed, this woodblock was used so often by Grafton that the bibliographers McKerrow and Ferguson rather dejectedly comment that owing ‘to the difficulty of distinguishing and identifying the various editions, it has been thought better to make no attempt at a complete list here’ (1932: 70). The image of the King in council suggests that the block was prepared primarily for the official legal works which were the products of the council meetings that it depicts. The other books for which Grafton used it were also important to a regime that consciously promoted the use of print to maintain itself (Alford 2002: 116). Hall’s Chronicle, edited and issued by Grafton after Hall’s death, is a history of England that confirms the validity of the Tudor reign over England and Henry VIII’s role in the reformation of its church; and the Concordance and the Book of Common Prayer were instrumental in the Edwardian project of Protestant reformation (Devereux 1990). Richard Totell, Grafton’s son-in-law, acquired some of Grafton’s equipment and materials in 1553 and continued to use the woodblock for statutes and year-books until at least 1575. The last example of its use available on Early English Books On-Line appears to be Totell’s edition of the statutes of Henry IV, printed in 1575 (STC 9609).
 There is some evidence that Grafton did have access to other folio-sized title page compartments around 1553. A 1552 edition of the Book of Common Prayer held at the Bodleian (STC 16286.5, via EEBO) has two additional title pages preceding the one featuring the ‘King in council’. These are much more elaborate in style, and include four putti, caryatids, shields and the royal coat of arms. This block apparently belonged to Grafton’s long-term business associate, Edward Whitchurch, whose initials ‘E’ and ‘W’ appear in the lower corners. Whitchurch had used the block for the title pages for his two-volume edition of The paraphrases of Erasmus, printed in 1548 and 1549. The 1552 Book of Common Prayer includes a sub-title that seems to have been adapted for Peele’s work the following year: ‘the fourme and maner of makynge and consecratynge Bisshoppes, Priestes and Deacons’ (A2r). Other than this apparent borrowing from Whitchurch, Grafton’s folio-sized works from 1548 onwards most often utilise the ‘King in council’ block.
 The use and re-use of an image of Tudor authority for many different texts illustrates how practical, commercial and ideological matters all influence the material qualities of an early book. Large and decorative woodblocks were a valuable asset in a printing business and needed to be used as intensively as possible. As a businessman, Grafton would have been concerned to ensure that his prestigious and valuable position as King’s Printer was maintained and enhanced. Although The maner and fourme is the only work that does not have an overt religious or political content for which the title page is used, at first glance an unbound copy would have looked just like one of Grafton’s editions of the law of the land or one of the key texts of Tudor authority and Edwardian religious reformation.
 A further example confirms the association between Grafton, books on double-entry book-keeping, and Hall’s Chronicle. Prior to printing The maner and fourme, and at around the time he had become King’s Printer to Edward VI, Grafton had printed the English version of Jan Ympyn Christoffels’ book on double-entry book-keeping, A notable and very excellente woorke (1547). This is the earliest surviving work on double-entry book-keeping in English; if Thomas Cromwell did indeed own a book on accountancy in 1536, it was most likely to have been written in Italian or possibly Dutch, and the translation history of Christoffels’ work, from Italian to Dutch, and then into French and subsequently English, broadly traces the progress of the double-entry book-keeping system itself across Europe (Sullivan 2002). The title page of Grafton’s English translation of Christoffels’ book uses the well-known ‘Tudor Rose’ title-page compartment which symbolically represents Henry VIII as the culmination of the union of the red and white roses of Lancashire and York (see figure 2, below). The design of the pedigree as a vine may be that referred to by John Foxe when he writes that ‘certayne there were which resorted to hym, [Grafton] of whom some were drawers for his petigree and vineat, some were gravers, the names of whom were John Bets, and Tyrrall’ (Foxe 1576: 581). Agreeing with the conclusion of the nineteenth-century bibliographer William Lowndes, Graham Pollard attributes the design to Betts, and the woodcarving to Tyrrall (Pollard 1933:17). This compartment, with its emphasis on the genealogy of Henry VIII, was surely prepared for Hall’s Chronicle, but was not used for the first (1548) edition, appearing instead in the 1550 edition.
 The long and complex publishing history of Hall’s Chronicle is beyond the scope of this article, but editions completed and edited by Grafton after Hall’s death appeared in 1548 and 1550 (Pollard 1933, Devereux 1990). Assuming that the date given on the Christoffels’ title page is correct, then the title-page block had been made by 1547, and it is not clear why Grafton would have used this title page for a book on accounting but not for the first edition of the Chronicle for which it was so carefully prepared, which appeared in 1548. For this, he selected the ‘King in Council’ block that he also used for The maner and fourme. The title-page compartments that Christoffels’ and Peele’s works share with the Chronicle, a work of major propaganda significance to the Tudor monarchy, suggest that Grafton regarded books on double-entry book-keeping as intellectually significant and perhaps even as instrumental in the Tudor reformist project.
 In addition to his official religious and legal output, Grafton also published books that would appeal to buyers with an interest in humanism. In 1542 he had printed Nicolas Udall’s English translation of Erasmus’s Apophthegmes, and he seems to have embarked on a programme of publishing humanistic texts, perhaps following the model of the successful Aldine Press of Venice. Further translations of Erasmus and of Aristotle’s Ethics, and An abridgement of the notable woorke of Polidore Vergile appeared between 1545 and 1547, along with A prognostication for this yere M.D.xlvi written by the German humanist, Achilles Permis Gasser (1547). In the period from 1551 until the effective end of his business in 1553, Grafton also produced a set of secular books that included John Caius’ Counseill against the Sweate (1552); Thomas Wilson’s The Rule of Reason (1551) and The Art of Rhetorique (1553); and Peele’s The maner and fourme (1553). These books share the common characteristic of being concerned with translating into English the latest ideas emerging from Renaissance Europe, either in the form of rediscovered classical texts (Wilson) or contributions to the ‘common weal’ (Caius and Peele).
 Wilson’s The arte of rhetorique is a synthesis and adaptation of the major ancient rhetorical works, including Cicero and Quintilian, together with various works of Erasmus. It is cited by Charles Nauert as an English example of ‘the victory of humanism as an essential part of the education of all who aspired to hold influential positions in the royal courts of northern Europe’ (2006: 192). The dedication of Wilson’s The rule of reason describes a close relationship between the writer and Grafton:
Notwithstandyng I must nedes confesse, that the Printer hereof your Majesties servaunt provoked me firste hereunto, unto whome I have ever founde my selfe greately beholdyng, not onely at my beyng in Cambrige, but also at all times els, when I moste neded helpe.
The references to being ‘greately beholdyng’ and in need of help suggest a specific obligation beyond the usual rhetorical trope of submission to a patron. In addition, Wilson’s dedication is to his printer as patron, whereas the standard appeal is to a member of the nobility or other eminent personage, and often seems to seek to mitigate the stigma of print. Wilson, a master of rhetoric, would have been well aware of the implications of this expression of gratitude to Grafton. A pupil of Nicholas Udall’s at Eton College, Wilson remained his friend after leaving for Cambridge, apparently supported by Grafton, where he was part of the Protestant humanist circle that surrounded John Cheke (Doran & Woolfson 2008). Until their deaths from the sweating sickness in 1551, Wilson was tutor to Henry and Charles Brandon, sons of the Duke of Suffolk, who were members of the young humanist-educated elite surrounding Edward VI. He edited an obituary for the Brandon brothers written in Latin by another member of the Cambridge circle, Walter Haddon, which was printed by Grafton in 1551. Caius’ work on the latest treatments for sweating sickness, printed by Grafton in 1552, may also have been a response to their deaths. Also in 1552, Grafton published Haddon’s Sive Exhortatio ad literas, a Latin oration which publicly celebrated the Protestant erudition of the five daughters of Anthony Cooke, the eldest of whom, Mildred, was married to William Cecil (Goodrich 2008). Both Haddon and Grafton were eventually buried, in 1571 and 1573 respectively, at Christ’s Church, Greyfriars’, close to where Grafton, and later James Peele, lived and worked (Sisson 1930). The works printed by Grafton throughout this period indicate his association with a network of authors who shared social links and intellectual concerns, and through Grafton, Peele is also connected to this group of English humanist intellectuals.
 Given that Grafton was imprisoned on at least three occasions for the ideological content of the works he printed, Eisenstein’s evaluation of the positioning of both printers and texts of ‘business arithmetic’ seems unfairly dismissive, at least as far as Grafton and The maner and fourme are concerned:
Early printers in their prefaces did all they could to reinforce the impression that theirs was an unusually elevated calling. At the same time they catered to the needs of other merchants by issuing handbooks and manuals that were also dignified by the addition of poetical prefaces and an abundance of classical allusions. By artful references to Boethius, Pythagoras, and the muses, business arithmetic could be elevated to the rank of a liberal art and linked to the wisdom of the ancient philosophers.
Eisenstein implies that the humanistic paratextual apparatus of early modern books on accounting is inappropriately used to dignify handbooks, manuals and business arithmetic for merchants, commercial works that she feels should not aspire to be ‘elevated to the rank of a liberal art.’ The likelihood of making a profit on a book was an undeniably important part of any publishing decision, and Grafton may have commissioned a new and improved book on accounting from Peele, based on a successful venture in publishing the Christoffels’ text. The profit motive and other reasons for publishing a work are not, however, mutually exclusive.
 Tracey Hill has observed that ‘the production of culture in early modern London invariably went on in ways which have been stigmatised as those relating to “hack” writing’, that is, in collaboration and for financial reward (2010: 6). The snobbery about commercially inflected civic culture, which Hill identifies as anachronistically diminishing the artistic significance of city pageants, has possibly also served to reduce the intellectual status of Peele’s works. It would seem difficult to make the argument that Peele’s book is a lone exception to Grafton’s collection of religious, official and humanist works, tainted by its commercial applications and produced for an intellectually inferior audience. Wilson’s dedication points to Grafton’s role in ‘provoking’ the author into preparing a text for publication, and it is possible that Grafton encouraged Peele to write The maner and fourme because a book on double-entry book-keeping was a suitable addition to his series of texts that aimed at disseminating the humanities in a socially useful way. Just as Wilson’s The arte of rhetorique and The rule of reason aimed to strengthen the English vernacular by making the useful arts of rhetoric and dialectic reasoning available to those not able to study them in Latin (Mack 2002: 79), so The maner and fourme made available the practical application of mathematics to any reader of English.
 An image of ‘Reason’ and the other liberal arts that appears in both the Counseill against the sweate (Caius 1552: sig.E8r) and the 1553 edition of The Rule of Reason (Wilson 1553: sig.Aaiv) illustrates the place that the number work of The maner and fourme takes among the humanistic texts published by Grafton. The use of the image in Caius’ and Wilson’s texts shows that they were intended to be read in this larger intellectual context and it also reminds us that arithmetic holds equal status to the other liberal arts. In the emblem (see figure 3) the central personification of Reason, or Logic, holding an open book, is supported by Grafton’s mark and surrounded by figures representing the other arts. Arithmetic takes a prominent place, supporting both Grafton’s mark and Logic, and opposite Grammar in the geometrical layout.
 Wilson’s works on rhetoric and logic are easily located in this scheme, and Caius’ Galenist medicine is also reflected in the arts of logic and astrology. A verse from Wilson’s The Rule of Reason suggests that Peele’s work on business arithmetic belongs, with Logic, among the liberal arts, and, more specifically, that ‘reckoning’, as the particular application of arithmetic that can make things ‘even’, enjoys an equal status with rhetoric and logic.
A brief declaration in meter, of the vii liberal artes, wherin Logique is comprehended as one of them:
Grammer dothe teache to utter wordes.
To speake bothe apt and playne,
Logiquely art settes furth the truth,
And doth tel what is vayne.
Rethorique at large paintes wel the cause,
And makes that seme right gaie,
Whiche Logique spake but at a worde,
And taught as by the waie.
Musike with tunes, delites the eare,
And makes us thinke it heaven,
Arithmetique by number can make
Reconinges to be eaven.
Geometry thinges thicke and brode,
Measures by Line and Square,
Astronomy by sterres doth tel,
Of foule and eke of fayre.
(Wilson 1551: sig. B4, author’s italics)
 Wilson’s description of arithmetic, which ‘by number can make reconinges to be eaven’ is an evocation of the ‘reckoning by pen’, the use of written numbers, which was in the process of superseding the old-fashioned method of ‘reckoning by counters’, and which is described in Peele’s instructions on ‘how to kepe a perfect reconying’. The use of number arithmetic, and the move away from counters, allowed for the use of zero and the development of a more abstracted form of arithmetic through the sixteenth century (Thomas 1987; Rotman 1987; Jaffe 1999).
 Peele’s first book, then, was a product of both of its author’s applied knowledge of accounting and Grafton’s ideological project of producing a collection of high quality humanist texts, directed at a readership that was not university educated, and therefore wanted to read these works in the vernacular. In addition to being a work that effected the practical application of numbers, attention to the paratextual and contextual information supplied by the material form of The maner and fourme directs us towards reading it as part of the humanist intellectual current of the mid-sixteenth century.
The Pathe waye to perfectnes (1569)
 The maner and fourme illustrates the dominant role of the printer in producing mid-sixteenth century books. A close study of the paratextual and material qualities of Peele’s second book, the optimistically titled The Pathe waye to perfectnes, in th’accomptes of debitour and creditour, shows how Peele’s self-fashioning as a humanist author exemplifies the transition towards the assertion of authorial identity during the late sixteenth century. In elevating himself to the level of scholar, Peele makes the claim that his text is also scholarly. This article proposes that the features that Eisenstein dismisses as ‘artful references’ are integral to Peele’s text and that this reading enables us to reassess Peele as an illustrative example of the possibility of humanist education to enable self-fashioning. Further, in contrast to the interweaving of royal images of power and accounting texts in Grafton’s work, the exclusive focus of The Pathe waye to perfectnes on the City and its social structures and institutions shows that self-fashioning in the sixteenth century did not always happen in reference to the Court and royalty.
 By 1569, when The Pathe waye to perfectnes was published, Grafton’s printing business had collapsed, although he continued to live on the old Greyfriars’ site, most of which had been converted into Christ’s Hospital after 1553 (Sisson 1930). Grafton was instrumentally involved in the setting up and running of the Hospital, where he lived until he died in 1573. Having been appointed Clerk of the Hospital in 1562, Peele was his neighbour, and lived there until his own death in 1585 (Prouty 1952). Grafton may have helped Peele get the job as Clerk, and they would both have worshipped at Christ’s Church, where they were buried and Peele’s children were christened and married. As well as being Clerk, Peele was paid to teach arithmetic and writing at the Christ’s Hospital school and seems also to have continued to keep a private school on the premises. (Prouty 1952).
 The Pathe waye to perfectnes was printed and sold by Thomas Purfoote, a less prestigious printer with more diverse commercial interests than Grafton, but even so an established businessman who had been one of the freemen listed in the Charter of the Stationers’ Company when it was incorporated in 1557. Purfoote had some business dealings with Grafton’s son-in-law, Richard Tottel, but no further relationship with Peele has been identified (Pantzer 1991). Purfoote judged that it was worth investing in the bespoke design of the title page of The Pathe waye to perfectnes (see figure 4, below), which signals that its printer is up to date with the latest fashions in book styling and also serves to advertise the prestige of the book within. The frontispiece displays several coats of arms connected to Peele and his work, ranked by their relative importance, with those of Elizabeth I shown at the top, and below them and slightly smaller, the arms of London. The remaining coats of arms are those of the Merchant Adventurers, the Merchants of the Staple, the recently founded Russia Company and those of Peele’s own Salters’ Company. A coat of arms related to the Peele family is shown in the lattice window behind the figure of Peele himself (Prouty 1953). The frontispiece celebrates the various merchant companies to which the work is dedicated and whose members were among its intended purchasers, and Peele’s place among them. Six complete or partial copies of this book are listed in the ESTC. The copy held at the Huntington Library appears to have been annotated by John Egerton (1623-1686), the second Earl of Bridgewater (Travitsky 1999), indicating that it retained its interest some considerable time after being printed in 1569, and also that its circulation had spread beyond the merchants of the City.
 As with Grafton’s title-page blocks, this one also enjoyed a long life after the publication of the book for which it was first made. For an edition of The Life and Death of Hector (STC 5581.5) printed by Thomas Purfoot (junior) in 1614, Elizabeth’s arms were replaced by those of James I, Tudor roses and thistles were added to the top of the page, and the company arms were replaced with animal symbols representing the four continents, Europe, Asia, Africa and America. For one of the seven editions of The Whole Book of Psalms printed in 1615 for the Stationers Company (STC 2550), the animals at the corners have been replaced with the four evangelists. In both cases, Peele remains, and with his identifying coat of arms erased, he has come to represent the generic figure of the author.
 Placed on the frontispiece as if guarding the threshold to The Pathe waye are classical personifications of Wisdom and Science who, the motto below states, ‘prevent indigence.’ A portrait of Peele is placed in the midst of the web of the various London institutions that are represented in the design, suggesting that he was a known figure who, in himself, is a guarantee of the quality of his work. In contrast to his total absence from the title page of The maner and fourme, both Peele’s name and some biographical details are given: ‘James Peele, Citizen and Salter of London, Clercke of Christes Hospitall, Practizer and teacher of the same’. The portrait of the author is an unusual feature in books of this period, and its presence represents an effort to fashion Peele as a public intellectual, and to elevate his work with numbers to a status above that of a practical manual. Peele’s image appropriates the social status made available to those without wealth or aristocratic lineage through teaching and learning by English humanism. Peele is shown writing, surrounded by books and implements, his attention focused on his work. The iconography of the portrait can be read in part through the absence of certain signifiers. Peele is shown alone, in a closet too small and confined to admit others, and certainly in the absence of any pupil, adult or child, other than the reader. This is not Peele portrayed as a teacher of book-keeping. Although the books in front of Peele may be read as ledgers, the other elements of the emerging iconography of sixteenth century merchants’ portraits in London identified by Tarnya Cooper are absent (2012). These include books, and especially prayer books and ledgers; loose papers such as manuscripts, letters and bills; memento mori, including skulls and clocks, symbols of the vanity of worldly goods; money boxes and coins; and, in particular, a recognisable expression of watchfulness, caution, and perhaps mistrust. Represented as neither teacher nor merchant, Peele’s image aligns more closely with the tradition of portraits of scholarly saints like Jerome, and most significantly, it adopts the iconography of portraits of Erasmus, the most influential humanist in Northern Europe, whose image was widely circulated throughout the sixteenth century in the form of engravings. As is usual in depictions of Erasmus, Peele is depicted in a confined space, a closet or a study, his eyes cast down as he writes, his attention focused on his work, rather than the viewer. There is none of the merchant’s watchfulness, and certainly no money or the reminders of the vanity of wealth and of impending death that are seen in the portraits of pious London merchants. Substituted for memento mori are the works that will confer immortality on the writer after his death. This is Peele portrayed as an aspiring humanist scholar, and, by extension, the book on which he works is presented as a humanist text.
 In addition to the links between Peele and other humanist scholars that can be traced through Richard Grafton, some connections between Peele and sixteenth-century literary culture more generally can be made. An anonymous commendatory poem at the front of Path waye to Perfectness appears to have been written by Arthur Golding, author of the highly influential translation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses which had been published two years previously in 1567 (Tomlin 2012; Pincombe 2013). In 1566 and 1569, Peele was paid by the Ironmongers’ Company to prepare the ‘posies, speeches, and songs that were spoken and sung by the children’ in the Lord Mayor’s show (Prouty 1953; Bergeron 1971: 128; Hill 2010). Peele’s contribution does not survive, but the use of speech in the mayoral shows was a recent innovation in 1566; the earliest pageant text seems to date only from 1561, and so Peele’s would have been among the first few of what Lawrence Manley describes as ‘new attempts to disseminate, more widely and in verbal form, the ideology of the city elite’ (1995: 266). Peele’s son George, who was to become the successful playwright, was born in 1556 and educated at Christ’s Hospital and later at Oxford (Prouty 1953). Probably as a consequence of his father’s earlier involvement in the shows, and his connections in the City, George Peele wrote the texts for up to six Lord Mayor’s shows between 1585, the year that his father died, and 1595 (Hill 2010). Based on the marriage of James Peele’s daughter Isabel to a Matthew Shakespeare in 1569 (the year in which The Pathe waye to Perfectness was published) it has been suggested that the Peele family may have been distantly related to William Shakespeare (Salkeld 2012).
 Although Peele nowhere makes reference to his humanist predecessor, Luca Pacioli, in his second book he aligns the method he describes with the other rediscovered ancient texts recovered by the humanists and translated into the vernacular:
This order is both auncient and famous: and doubtles grounded altogether uppon reason, for tyme out of mynde, it hath bene and is frequented, by divers nacions, and chiefelye by suche as have bene and be the most auncient and famous Merchauntes.
(1569: sig. *3v)
On the links between humanism and Pacioli, Richard Macve has argued that the treatise on double-entry book-keeping was included in the Summa because it is a closed and balanced system, that reflected Pacioli’s ‘Neo-Platonic and mystical interest in “perfect forms” that contain the quintessence of the cosmos’ (1996:8, see also Yamey 1994). Close links between double-entry book-keeping as a method, and rhetoric, the central art of humanist practice, have been explored by other scholars. Aho (2005) traces the origins of the debit and credit balancing system of double-entry book-keeping back to Ciceronian rhetorical techniques. Mary Poovey (1998) and Ceri Sullivan (2002) both argue, to different ends, that the process of book-keeping is itself a rhetorical exercise, in which the merchant engages in order to create credit, an indispensable asset in a culture of trade (Muldrew 1998). Elizabethan humanism was strongly influenced by Cicero’s conceptions of learning and its effect on the human character, and English theorists of the sixteenth century were particularly exercised by the idea that liberal education must bear ‘fruit’ that is of practical value to the state (Crane 1993, Pincombe 2001).
 The aphoristic banners which frame Peele’s portrait on the frontispiece of The Pathe waye to perfectnes read ‘Wisdome and Science, Prevent Indigence’ and ‘Practise procureth perfection.’ They both control, and confer authority on, Peele’s image, demonstrating his capacity to utilise the axiomatic form central to the humanist education process. (Crane 1993; Smyth 2004, 2010). These are not the mere ‘artful references to Boethius, Pythagoras, and the muses’ that Eisenstein dismisses; for those who had the education that enabled them to produce the appropriate aphorism in the right time and place, ‘aphoristic citations of classical and sacred texts demonstrated intellectual and doctrinal credentials’ and created a form of intellectual capital (Crane 1993: 95). ‘Wisdome and Science, Prevent Indigence’ is an axiom that captures the humanist understanding that the combination of ‘wisdom and science’ in the form of knowledge was a kind of capital that could compensate for the lack of material wealth or aristocratic birth. The same sentiment is expressed in the first stanza of Peele’s prefatory poem to The maner and fourme, ‘An exhortation to learne sciences….’:
As lacke of Science causeth povertie
And dooeth abate mans estimation,
So learnyng dooeth brynge to prosperitie
Suche as of goodes have small possession.
Peele presents double-entry book-keeping as a technique that might be learned, and as such, a process by which cultural capital, good credit, and financial capital or ‘prosperitie’ can be acquired, even by those who ‘of goodes have small possession’. It promises social mobility, or at least financial security, as the reward for diligence and learning.
 Besides its obvious application to the smooth-running of the merchants’ businesses, Peele suggests that his own contribution to the ‘common weal’ is the avoidance of disputes among friends and neighbours that a proper system of accounting will enable:
For emongest althynges nedefull in any nacion, touchying worldly affaires, betwene man and man, it is to be thought that true and perfect reconying, is one of the chief, the lacke wherof, often tymes causeth, not onely great discencion but also is an occaision of greate losse of time, and empoverishment of many, who by lawes, seke triall of suche thynges, as neither partie is well hable to expresse, and that for lacke of perfecte instruccion in their accompt, whiche thyng might, if that a perfecte ordre in reconyng were frequented of all men, right well be avoided [….] Wherefore my desire is that this my travaill herein taken, might be so beneficiall to all menne, that at all tymes eche man with other, frendly maie conferre their reconynges, and therby to staie suche variances, as els maie ensue.
Peele promotes orderly book-keeping as a contribution to civic order because it will prevent dissension, suspicion and litigation between business men, who he, crucially, terms ‘frende or neighbour’. Craig Muldrew’s influential study described an early modern community held together by a personal and ubiquitous network of credit relations (1998). Even in London, with its rapidly growing population, business relationships were based on family and kinship networks, and neighbourhoods and communities policed relationships of trust and obligation (Raven 2007). Grafton and Peele appear to have been neighbours at Christ’s Hospital for many years, as well as business contacts, and their relationship exemplifies the communal nature of business relationships in sixteenth century London. Close bonds and social connections are not, of course, necessarily harmonious and business in pre-capitalist, early modern London was not usually based on impersonal, alienated transactions but instead was deeply personal and potentially divisive; Peele recognises that far from being a force for cohesion, the social connections created by poor book-keeping may be those of resentment and dispute. The wish to avoid disputes among neighbours was more than an abstract desire to contribute to the ‘common-weal’; curates were instructed not to allow parishioners to take communion if they were in dispute with their neighbours: ‘those betwixt whom he perceiveth malice, and hatred to reigne, not suffering them to be partakers of the Lordes table, until he knowe them to bee reconciled’ (Cummings 2011: 124). Good neighbourly relations were not only financially and socially desirable, they were a spiritual requirement.
 Peele points out that where records are badly kept, it is not even possible for a man to know for certain if he has been cheated. The festering resentment of someone who thinks he has been done wrong but cannot prove it, or indeed, of one who cannot prove his honesty, destroys the desired fellowship of man:
For often times the lawes is attempted of some one man against his frende or neighbour, but even of suspicion. For that his reconynges, through want of a perfecte ordre, have been negligently kepte, fearyng that he hath been deceived, when that he is not thoroughly hable to saie (with clear consience) whether he have been deceived in any thyng at all, or not.
The uncertainty caused by imperfect reckonings could cause suspicion and unease, not just between neighbours, but within a man’s own mind when he suspected but could not prove that he had been cheated. Ordered accounts enable ‘friendly’ reconciliation of differences and avoid ‘descencion’; they also permit a man to pursue his debts with a clear conscience, certain that his reckonings are in perfect order. The fictional Merchant of The pathe waye to perfectnes, whose accounts are in disorder, cannot be at peace with himself; he says that he is ‘at discorde with my selfe’ and that he needs the Schoolmaster ‘to helpe me to renewe the frendship betwene me and my selfe.’ (1569: A1).
 Peele writes of his system of book-keeping as an instrument to eliminate discord and, like any utopian scheme aimed at ‘perfectnes’, it is almost certainly doomed to fail. Smyth comments on the gulf between the theory articulated by writers including Peele and the actual financial records that he has studied: ‘after such encomiums of accounting methods, extant manuscript accounts often appear bathetic, disordered, half-hearted, thin’ (Smyth 2010: 100). Despite Peele’s efforts, and the appearance of at least six manuals of double entry book-keeping in English by 1600, the system was not widely adopted until several centuries later (Yamey 1982, 1999).
 The double-entry system, by which an authoritative set of financial records is constructed from ‘parcels’ of transactional information, mirrors the educational method of ‘gathering’ and ‘framing’ aphoristic extracts of canonical works in order to create the authoritative humanist subject (Crane 1993). The manner in which Peele instructed the books of account to be prepared would seem familiar to those educated in the grammar schools, where the schoolmaster provided texts of Latin classics from which sentences were translated to supply the controlled and authoritative fragments that filled pupils’ commonplace books. In the accounting system described by Peele, the original record is the Memorial, which is a common book which ‘serveth for every servant of the house, to write therin all suche thynges as are by them received or delivered in the absence of the master, or the accompt keeper’ (1553: A4). The compilation of the Memorial as a comprehensive book of record is required, ‘wherinto all things for trafique in occupyinge are to be entered at large uppon the present doing: eyther by the master him selfe, thaccompte keper, or anie other of the servantes, as often and when so ever anie of them have occasion to deale therin […] to thintent, that nothinge should slippe oute of memorie, or be left unwritten.’ (1569: A5v) From this source book, which contains the records of all members of the household who are able to write and to receive or deliver goods, the account keeper condenses his entries ‘oute of the saide memoriall boke into percelles with the phrase and order of debitour and creditour’ (1553: A5v). The Journal or daily book kept by the account keeper is an ordered list of fragments, or ‘parcelles’, taken from the larger and more digressive Memorial, and is therefore, like the book of common-places compiled by the humanist scholar, a distillation of the larger text into its nuggets of essential information. Double-entry book-keeping is an attempt to realise a stable and authoritative financial record, by processes of ‘gathering’ parcels and ‘framing’ them using a prescribed methodology, just as the humanists tried to establish a stable and authorative use of language by gathering and framing axiomatic extracts from classical works in their commonplace books (Crane 1993). This process of writing and re-forming of data in the double-entry system has been described as ‘an exemplary model of production that informed and shaped the movement of other kinds of texts’ (Smyth 2010:10). Integrated into, rather than separate from, a literary production of ‘self’ through life-writing, accounting manuals like Peele’s ‘established a strong link between particular methods of arranging financial records, and ideas of reliability and truthfulness’ which served as a template that life-writers could adopt when selecting relevant facts, shaping and forming them into a narrative (Smyth 2010: 4).
 The dialogue form that Peele adopts in The Pathe waye to perfectnes was a fairly common expository device in sixteenth century instructional texts, used, for example, by Robert Recorde in The Ground of Arts (1543). Peele’s, however, has a more than usual amount of characterisation; in his text, the exposition is enlivened by a tetchy schoolmaster, a rueful merchant and a bumptious student, whose dialogue defines their entries and exits, almost as if in a play. Peele uses his fictional characters to convey the message that acquiring social capital through education is laborious; the serious demeanour of the humanist is seen to confer and justify power, in contrast to the inborn ease with which aristocratic courtiers were expected to dignify their status. The Merchant who has lost control of his accounts is rebuked when he inappropriately adopts courtly sprezzatura in claiming to effortlessly understand the method that has just been explained to him. He is sharply rebuked by the Schoolmaster who ‘loves no jest’:
Marchaunte. This is profitable in dede, and as playne & pleasaunt as maye be, and utterlye voyde of the tedious circumstances that I have harde hath belonged therunto, but if ther be no more curiositie then herin apeareth, I understande this verie well.
Scholemaster. I am glad that you have so quicklie conceyued it, but yet I praye you let me heare how you understand of the same?
Marchaunt. Nay soft sir you shoute verie swyft: I perceave you love no jest.
The humourless Schoolmaster is only returned to equanimity when the Merchant defers to his role as teacher and the precedence of laborious learning over his inappropriate courtly ease is restored. Peele emphasises his own labour when he writes of ‘my peines and diligence herin’ and instructs his reader to ‘read therefore and use this my labour for thy commoditie, I doubte not but it shalbe as profitable to thee as to me painfull.’ (1553: A3); ‘Practise’ is required to ‘procure perfection’ declares the title page, while the Preface to The pathe waye to perfectnes refers to ‘my great and paynfull travell’ (1569: *4) and in the verse ‘A Brefe admonition’, ‘Godes bountie’ is earned ‘with diligent care and studious paine.’ (1569: *2V).
 In the ‘Epistle to the Reader’ of The Pathe waye to perfectnes, Peele responds to the Ciceronian duty to share his knowledge for the common good:
In consideration (gentle Reader) that no man is borne to benefite him selfe onelye: But that all men in there callinge are bounde to further others, as theye wolde others sholde further them: Therfore to the intente that I woulde not bee idle and negligente amonge the reste, which travelith to profet the common weale. I have (in the facultie, which I professe) travayled and set forthe this worke.
Peele stresses the laborious nature of the work and his lack of self-interest; he had already made similar claims in the ‘Epistle to the Company of Merchant Adventurers’ in The maner and fourme: ‘I do not so muche seke my private commoditie, as I have respect to the commune profite of my countrey, and your thankefull love’ (1553: A2V). Of course, it would not be unreasonable to regard this rather generic self-deprecation with a certain amount of scepticism; no doubt Peele’s private commodity and the communal profit were not mutually exclusive and the Merchants’ ‘thankefull love’ may well have been expressed financially.
 Aspects of the contents and form of The Pathe waye to perfectnes support the notion that Peele was attempting to fashion himself as a humanist scholar. His stated intention to contribute to the common weal, the use of humanist educational techniques such as the dialogic form and the parcel method, and the serious diligence of his Schoolmaster avatar all support the hypothesis that the image of Peele on the frontispiece is intended to be read as a portrait of a writer engaged in a serious intellectual project.
 In conclusion, while we are unlikely to confuse them with the Bible, the number work that Peele’s books promote, as a specialised form of writing, is elevated to the status of the other sixteenth-century humanist texts and reformist works. The material features of The maner and fourme, which are shared with Richard Grafton’s other publications, direct the careful reader to see double-entry book-keeping as part of a wider intellectual programme. Further, they demonstrate the possibilities offered by English humanism for self-fashioning, both to an author like Peele, and to the students to whom he hoped to teach his method. In practical application their influence was limited, but as representatives of sixteenth-century intellectual discourses Peele’s works have been unfairly neglected. Reading Peele’s works with attention to their material manifestation as books establishes their previously over-looked position in the cannon of English humanism.
Birkbeck, University of London
My thanks are due to Adam Smyth, Richard Macve and the two anonymous reviewers for their help in preparing this article; all faults remaining are, of course, my own.
 There are two copies of Christoffels’ book (ESTC S95937) listed in the English Short Title Catalogue. The copy listed as being held at the library of Columbia University is in fact a reverse negative photostat* of the apparently unique copy is held in the State Public Historical Library, Moscow. This usage of the compartment does not appear in McKerrow & Ferguson’s catalogue, probably because they were not able to access the Moscow copy in 1932. A high quality photocopy is held by the ICAEW in London. At the present time, the book does not appear on Early English Books Online. *My thanks to Jane Siegel of the University of Columbia Rare Books Library for her confirmation of this point. [back to text]
Pre-1600 works are printed by Richard Grafton, in London, unless otherwise stated.
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