english emblem books
An emblem book contains images and text. An emblem creates dialogue or tension between image and word. Frequently allegorical in theme, emblems were designed to engage, challenge, and instruct the audience.
Today, emblem books seem to be an unfamiliar textual form. An emblem book represents a particular kind of reading. Unlike today, the eye is not intended to move rapidly from page to page. The emblem arrests the sense, leads into the text, both image and word, to the richness of its associations. An emblem is something like a riddle, a "hieroglyph" in the Renaissance vocabulary -- what many readers considered to be a form of natural language.