Patents, Pictures and Patronage: John Day and the Tudor Book Trade, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Patents, Pictures and Patronage

John Day and the Tudor Book Trade, 1st Edition

By Elizabeth Evenden


236 pages

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Hardback: 9780754654803
pub: 2008-07-28
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John Day (1522-1584) is generally acknowledged to be the foremost English printer of the later sixteenth century. As well as printing some of the most important books of his day, most notably John Foxe's Acts and Monuments, he also pioneered enormous advances in English typography and book illustration. Yet despite his revered position in printing history, this book is the first full-length study to look into Day's life and legacy. Scholars have paid much attention of late to the Acts and Monuments but without placing it within the context of Day's overall business strategy. He was a printer whose success and range of titles, like his connections and influence, went far beyond John Foxe. Day may have gained his notoriety as the printer of Foxe's book but in order to understand both the man and his business, as Evenden shows, we must look at the wider range of Day's productions and the motivation behind them. The study begins by setting Day in the context of the sixteenth-century printing industry, examining his disputed origins and his establishment as a London printer. A number of Day's most celebrated Elizabethan productions are then discussed in detail, in order to understand not only his business strategies but also his religious and political affiliations throughout this period; similarly, Evenden examines his connections with the Stranger communities in London, and how they assisted Day's business and helped to enhance his reputation. Throughout the book it is argued that Day's printing empire and wealth were founded on a combination of two crucial factors: outstanding technical skills, and the ability to attract patrons and patents. Day carried out technically demanding printing assignments (most notably the heavily illustrated Acts and Monuments) for leading Elizabethan statesmen and churchmen and was rewarded with exclusive rights to print more lucrative works such as the ABC, Catechism, and Metrical Psalms. Thus, his success rested on both cheap and exp


’Patent, Pictures and Patronage is a valuable and marvelous achievement.’ Renaissance Quarterly ’This is an outstanding study of an exceptionally successful early modern printer/publisher.’ Quadrat ’With this rewarding study Elizabeth Evenden has greatly expanded understanding of John Day, who was the leading English printer active during the Elizabethan age.’ Ecclesiastical History ’Anyone interested in the sixteenth-century English book trade will benefit from the story told in this book.’ English Historical Review ’There have been a number of accounts of the life and career of John Day (c. 1522-84), perhaps best known for his printing of the first four editions of John Foxe’s Acts and Monuments (first publ. 1563), but this monograph provides much the most complete and up-to-date.’ Catholic Historical Review 'Day emerges from Evenden’s meticulous research and cogent presentation as an active participant, helping shape and direct cultural, especially religious, developments.' Archiv für das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen 'This is thorough, crisp, detailed, and no-nonsense book history, albeit with flashes of humour… Virtually every major book sponsored by the early Elizabethan establishment crosses its pages; every scholarly library will need to have a copy.' Sixteenth Century Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: John Day's early activities in the book trade; The reign of Mary Tudor; 1558-1563: the return to Protestant printing; 1563-1568: innovation and reputation; Day's technical achievements: improvements in book illustration; 1569-1576: premier printer to the Protestant regime; 1576 -1584: the final years; Day's achievments and legacy; Select bibliography: Index.

About the Author

Dr Elizabeth Evenden is a Fellow and College Lecturer, Newnham College, Cambridge, UK.

About the Series

St Andrews Studies in Reformation History

With the publication of its 100th book in 2012, the St Andrews Studies in Reformation Studies series celebrated an impressive publishing achievement. Since its establishment in 1995 the series has consistently offered high-quality, innovative and thought-provoking research in the field of early modern religious history. By encouraging authors to adopt a broad and inclusive interpretation of ’Reformation’, the resultant publications have done much to help shape current interdisciplinary interpretations of early-modern religion, expanding attention far beyond narrow theological concerns. Each title within the series has added to a body of international research showing how the ripples of the Reformation spread to virtually every corner of European society, both Protestant and Catholic, and often beyond. From family life, education, literature, music, art and philosophy, to political theory, international relations, economics, colonial ventures, science and military matters, there were few aspects of life that remained untouched in some way by the spirit of religious reform. As well as widening conceptions of the Reformation, the series has for the last fifteen years provided a publishing outlet for work, much of it by new and up-and-coming scholars who might otherwise have struggled to find an international platform for their work. Alongside these monographs, a complementary selection of edited volumes, critical editions of important primary sources, bibliographical studies and new translations of influential Reformation works previously unavailable to English speaking scholars, adds further depth to the topic. By offering this rich mix of approaches and topics, the St Andrews series continues to offer scholars an unparalleled platform for the publication of international scholarship in a dynamic and often controversial area of historical study.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General