1st Edition

The British Publishing Industry in the Nineteenth Century Volume III: Authors, Publishers and Copyright Law

Edited By David Finkelstein, Andrew Nash Copyright 2024

    This volume assembles documents that illustrate the changing relations between authors and publishers in the nineteenth century, and the impact of copyright reform on publishing practices. The enormous expansion in the scale and variety of the marketplace for print after 1815 provided new opportunities for authors and prompted debates over intellectual property and the working relations between authors and publishers. The volume documents the impact of these changes on the publishing industry and its markets, focusing on key moments such as the emergence of the professional literary agent in the late 1870s and the formation of the Incorporated Society of Authors in 1883. It also includes key contemporary material related to copyright and intellectual property, which were major battle grounds affecting nineteenth-century textual circulation, author/publisher relations, financial sustainability, competitiveness in international markets, and industrial relations. The British publishing industry’s attempts to control piracy and unrestricted circulation of their titles in the US and elsewhere found expression in a number of pressure campaigns, formal government commissions, legal acts, and contributions to public debate through journal articles, pamphlets, speeches, and newspaper accounts, of which a representative selection are featured in this volume.

    Volume 3: Authors, Publishers and Copyright Law

    Volume 3 Introduction



    1. ‘Books, Booksellers and Bookmakers’, London Magazine, Vol. 10 (February 1828), pp. 254-60.
    2. ‘Authors and Publishers’, The New Quarterly Review and Digest of Current Literature, British, American, French, and German (January 1854), pp. 9-17.
    3. ‘Introduction’, The Search for a Publisher; or, Counsels for a Young Author (1855; London: Provost & Co., repr. 1882), pp. 3-19.
    4. James Spedding, Publishers and Authors (London: Printed for the Author by John Russell Smith, 1867), pp. 1-55.
    5. ‘An Interview with Mr A.P. Watt’, Bookman (October 1892), pp. 20-2.
    6. William Heinemann, ‘The Middleman as Viewed by a Publisher’, Athenaeum (11 November 1893), p. 663
    7. T. Werner Laurie, ‘Author, Agent, and Publisher by one of "The Trade"’, Nineteenth Century (November 1895), pp. 890-5.
    8. Walter Besant, 'The Literary Agent', Nineteenth Century (December 1895), 979-86.
    9. Robert Buchanan, Is Barabbas a Necessity? A Discourse on Publishers and Publishing (London: Robert Buchanan, Author & Publisher, 1896), pp. 3-31.

    11. Robert Maugham, extract from A Treatise on the Law of Literary Property (London and Edinburgh: Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, and Green; Henry Dixon; Adam Black, 1828), pp. vii-xviii.
    12. ‘The Copy-Right Law’, Monthly Review (January 1838), pp. 52-63.
    13. W. and R. Chambers, ‘Brief Objections to Mr Talfourd’s New Copyright Bill’, Times (25 April 1838), p. 3.
    14. Letter from Robert Chambers to the Times (18 May 1838), p. 3.
    15. ‘New Copyright Bill’, Times (31 May 1838), p. 4.
    16. [Routledge v Low], ‘Literary and Musical Copyright’, Athenaeum (16 December 1865), pp. 845-6.
    17. John Camden Hotten, extracts from Literary Copyright: Seven Letters Addressed by Permission to the Right Hon. The Earl Stanhope (London: John Camden Hotten, 1871), pp. 15-46, 91-102, 135-55
    18. Matthew Arnold, ‘Copyright’, Fortnightly Review (March 1880), 319-34.
    19. Edward Marston, extract from Copyright, National and International: with some remarks on the position of authors and publishers by a publisher (London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle & Rivington, 1887), pp. 5-44.
    20. Charles James Longman, ‘A Publisher’s View of International Copyright’, Fraser’s Magazine (March 1881), pp. 372-8.
    21. Wilkie Collins, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’, Author 2 (June 1890), pp. 31-5.
    22. C. J. Longman, ‘The American Copyright Bill’, Economic Review (April 1891), pp. 203-8.
    23. G. Herbert Thring, ‘Recent Attempts at Copyright Legislation’, Fortnightly Review (March 1898), pp. 461-7.
    24. Augustine Birrell, ‘The Present Situation’, in Seven Lectures on the Law and History of Copyright in Books (London: Cassell & Co., 1899), pp. 205-23.

    26. Extracts from The Grievances Between Authors and Publishers. Being the Report of the Conferences of the Incorporated Society of Authors held at Willis’s Rooms, in March 1887 with Additional Matter and Summary (London: Field & Tuer; Simpkin, Marshall & Co., Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1887), pp. 7-46, 52-61, 127-85.
    27. ‘The Mysteries of Publishing: An Interview with Messrs Chatto and Windus’, Pall Mall Gazette (9 March 1887), pp. 1-2.
    28. J. Neville Porter, ‘The Relations Between Authors and Publishers’, Time (1887), pp. 399-411.
    29. ‘Archdeacon Farrar and the Publishers’, correspondence from the Times, 7-14 October 1890. [Letter from J. Russell Endean, 7 October; letters from F.W. Farrar and Cassell and Company, 8 October; letters from Walter Besant, F.W. Farrar and J Russell Endean, 9 October); letter from Andrew W. Tuer, 10 October; letters from An Author, Harry Quilter, and E. Marston, 11 October; letters from Walter Besant, S.S. Sprigge, and Facing Both Ways, 13 October; letters from George Lock and Andrew W. Tuer, 14 October].
    30. Extracts from William Heinemann (ed.), The Hardships of Publishing: Letters to ‘The Athenaeum’ (London: Privately Printed, 1893), pp. 3-28; 30-32; 42-57; 59-62; 95-113.
    31. Walter Besant, extracts from The Pen and the Book (London: Thomas Burleigh, 1899), pp. 145-86, 200-13.
    32. ‘Am I a Thief? A Publisher’s Reply to Sir Walter Besant’, article and correspondence published in Outlook (Original article, 14 January; Letters by Walter Besant, Another Publisher, Thomas Pinkerton, 21 January; Letter by Another Publisher, 28 January; Letters by A Publisher, A London Bookseller, 11 February 1899).




    Professor David Finkelstein (BA, PhD, FEA, FRHistS, FRSA) is a cultural historian who has published over 90 books, essays and refereed journal articles in areas related to nineteenth-century cultural history, print culture and media history, several of which have won awards. His most recent work includes Movable Types: Roving Creative Printers of the Victorian World (Oxford University Press, 2018), and the 850 page edited Edinburgh History of the British and Irish Press, volume 2: Expansion and Evolution, 1800-1900 (Edinburgh University Press, 2020). Current projects include a co-edited volume on the colonial periodical press, as well as work on print workplaces in Edwardian visual culture.

    Dr Andrew Nash (MA, MSc, PhD) is Reader in Book History and Deputy Director of the Institute of English Studies in the University of London’s School of Advanced Study where he directs the MA in the History of the Book and the London Rare Books School. In addition to monographs on Victorian literature and Scottish literature, he has edited or co-edited many works in the field of book and publishing history including The Culture of Collected Editions (2003), Literary Cultures and the Material Book (2007), New Directions in the History of the Novel (2014) and, most recently, The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, vol. 7: the Twentieth Century and Beyond (2019). He is part of a new Leverhulme-funded research project on the early history of the Society of Authors (2020-24).