Beginning with one of the crucial technological breakthroughs of Western history - the development of moveable type by Johann Gutenberg - The History of the Book in the West 1455-1700 covers the period that saw the growth and consolidation of the printed book as a significant feature of Western European culture and society. The volume collects together seventeen key articles, written by leading scholars during the past five decades, that together survey a wide range of topics, such as typography, economics, regulation, bookselling, and reading practices. Books, whether printed or in manuscript, played a major role in the religious, political, and intellectual upheavals of the period, and understanding how books were made, distributed, and encountered provides valuable new insights into the history of Western Europe in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries.
’the volume serves as testament to Gadd’s ability to select judiciously…the volume is comprehensive in the way it traces the backbone of book history scholarship. It is unlikely to be superseded for quite some time.’ Renaissance Studies '…a representative sample of the many different approaches to book history scholars have undertaken over the past several decades…The editor is to be praised for executing well a very difficult job.' College & Research Libraries 'This volume is in every respect…a solid and useful collection and addition to the growing literature on book history'. Notes and Queries 'Gadd has done fine scholarly service in this compilation, and his introduction is itself a wonderful entry point to the type of study of book history that is becoming more and more in vogue.' Journal of the Early Book Society
Contents: Introduction; Part I Typography: Temporary matrices and elemental punches in Gutenberg's DK type, Blaise AgÃ¼era y Arcas; The Aldine italic, Nicolas Barker. Part II The Impact of Print: Some conjectures about the impact of printing on Western society and thought: a preliminary report, Elizabeth L. Eisenstein; The importance of being printed, Anthony T. Grafton; The Roman Inquisition and the Venetian press 1540-1605, Paul F. Grendler; Printing at the dawn of the sixteenth century, Jean-FranÃ§ois Gilmont; The Reformation and the book: a reconsideration, Andrew Pettegree and Matthew Hall; Orality lost: text and voice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Roger Chartier. Part III Practice: A trade union in sixteenth-century France, Natalie Zemon Davis; Inquisitional trials and printing-workers in sixteenth-century Spain, Clive Griffin; Printers of the mind: some notes on bibliographical theories and printing-house practices, D.F. McKenzie. Part IV Selling: 'Omnium totius orbis emporiorum compendium': the Frankfurt book fair in the early modern period, John L. Flood; The market for scholarly books and conceptions of genre in Northern Europe, 1570-1630, Ian Maclean; Bibliographical note: the survival and loss rates of Psalms, ABCs, Psalters and Primers from the Stationers' stock 1660-1700, John Barnard. Part V Reading: The impact of the early printed page on the history of reading, Paul Saenger; 'Studied for action': how Gabriel Harvey read his Livy, Lisa Jardine and Anthony Grafton; Books as totems in seventeenth-century England and New England, David Cressy; Name Index.