Manuscripts, Market and the Transition to Print in Late Medieval Brittany  book cover
1st Edition

Manuscripts, Market and the Transition to Print in Late Medieval Brittany

ISBN 9780754666233
Published March 4, 2016 by Routledge
490 Pages

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Book Description

Manuscripts, Market and the Transition to Print in Late Medieval Brittany surveys the production and marketing of non-monastic manuscripts and printed books over 150 years in late medieval Brittany, from the accession of the Montfort family to the ducal crown in 1364 to the duchy's formal assimilation by France in 1532. Brittany, as elsewhere, experienced the shift of manuscript production from monasteries to lay scriptoria and from rural settings to urban centers, as the motivation for copying the word in ink on parchment evolved from divine meditation to personal profit. Through her analysis of the physical aspects of Breton manuscripts and books, parchment and paper, textual layouts, scripts and typography, illumination and illustration, Diane Booton exposes previously unexplored connections between the tangible cultural artifacts and the society that produced, acquired and valued them. Innovatively, Booton's discussion incorporates archival research into the prices, wages and commissions associated with the manufacture of the works under discussion to shed new light on their economic and personal value.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; The economics of manuscript-making; The illuminated page; Printing and the market; Ducal patronage and ownership; Breton book collectors; Readership and patterns of collecting; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Indexes.

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Diane E. Booton, Ph.D., is an independent scholar specializing in the history of the book in late medieval and early modern Europe. She has published on manuscript production, illumination and patronage.


Winner, Medieval Academy of America Book Subvention Grant, 2009

'This is an impressive volume, comprehensive in scope yet with a wealth of details about the book industry in Brittany for nearly two centuries, 1350-1535. Booton's investigation of both printed books and manuscripts in conjunction with extensive archival research provides invaluable information about patterns of book collecting, methods of book circulation, and an exhaustive number of book owners and artisans in a geographical region of singular importance. An essential reference both for methodology and information, Booton's book is a landmark study, lucid and superbly documented, that will be emulated by future scholars.' Mary Beth Winn, State University of New York, Albany, USA

'An unusually fine volume, in terms of the breadth of scholarship, and quality of the images, this volume offers a thorough survey of the creation and use of manuscripts and early printed books in Brittany and among Breton readers living in other cities...Impressive for its scope, clarity of organization, and lucid writing style, this volume sets a high standard for histories of the book.' Reference and Research Book News

'Everyone who studies the history of the book should be grateful to [Booton] for the years of painstaking research that went into the making of this book. The result is an important local study, based on firsthand examination of all available evidence. For that reason alone, as a convenient repository of evidence clearly presented, this book will surely remain unsurpassed for a long time.' H-France Review

'This book provides remarkably thorough documentation and analysis of both manuscripts and printed books over a span of 150 years. The author's detailed reconstruction of the circulations of books of all kinds, not only among nobles, but also a fascinating set-piece demonstration of how much can be learned from an exacting reconstruction of the full range of evidence available - a treasure trove of information.' Bulletin Codicologique

'Historians of the book and of cultural history in general will be very grateful to Booton for this work and its apparatus.' Library and Information History

'These authors were all considering Brittany within a wider context and concentrating on manuscripts. In devoting a volume to Brittany that considers the continuum of manuscript and print through both visual and documentary evidence, Diane E. Booton has drawn significant conclusions from an important body of material.' Burlington Magazine

'...any scholar working on book history of Brittany would find much useful information in this volume.' Comitatus

'Booton's book is an invaluable resource and exemplar for the identification and examination of late medieval books as well as their owners, makers, and worth - her book admirably encourages future case studies of early book production, marketing, circulation, and consumption in other regions of Western Europe and beyond.' The Library

'The level of detail is astounding, and will be indispensable for other scholars working in this field to come. There is much for the general reader too, and the detail never overwhelms the broader picture being presented... deliver[s] much of what historians of the book have theorized about this discipline over the last 30 years, this fine work of scholarship will stand out as a model for other scholars in the field to emulate.' Sharp News

'...the information presented in the book and especially in the accompanying appendices testifies to an impressive amount of archival research that, taken together, should substantially increase our knowledge of the book market in late medieval Brittany, and provide important information that will enable further scholarly study in this area.' Bulletin du bibliophile