Influenced by Enlightenment principles and commercial transformations, the history of the book in the eighteenth century witnessed not only the final decades of the hand-press era but also developments and practices that pointed to its future: ’the foundations of modern copyright; a rapid growth in the publication, circulation, and reading of periodicals; the promotion of niche marketing; alterations to distribution networks; and the emergence of the publisher as a central figure in the book trade, to name a few.’ The pace and extent of these changes varied greatly within the different sociopolitical contexts across the western world. The volume’s twenty-four articles, many of which proffer broader theoretical implications beyond their specific focus, highlight the era’s range of developments. Complementing these articles, the introductory essay provides an overview of the eighteenth-century book and milestones in its history during this period while simultaneously identifying potential directions for new scholarship.
'It is a good selection…Given its scope, the essay's [introduction] coherence and development are remarkable…' The Scriblerian
Contents: Introduction; Part I The Physical Book, or Matters Material: Continental paper wrappers and publishers' bindings in the 18th century, Giles Barber; Notes on 18th-century British paper, Philip Gaskell; The rococo 18th century, John Harthan; Quotation marks, national compositorial habits and false imprints, C.J. Mitchell; The memorandum book of James Coghlan: the stock of an 18th-century printer and binder, Howard M. Nixon. Part II Matters Authorial: French women in print, 1750-1800: an essay in historical bibliography, Carla Hesse; Printing for the author: from the Bowyer printing ledgers, 1710-1775, Keith Maslen; Rewriting the role of the writer: on the 18th century as the age of the author, John A. McCarthy. Part III Trade Matters: Practices and Practitioners: The Stationers' Company in the 18th century, Cyprian Blagden; The publishers and the pirates: British copyright law in theory and practice, 1710-1775, John Feather; Patronage across frontiers: subscription publishing in French in Enlightenment Europe, Wallace Kirsop; The antiquarian trade in Britain 1695-1830: the use of auction and booksellers' catalogues, Richard Landon; The history of the book and publishing in 18th-century Italy, Renato Pasta; Investing in books: the supremacy of the booksellers, James Raven; London trade publishers, 1675-1750, Michael Treadwell. Part IV Periodicals and Newpapers, or Matters Serial: The periodical press in 18th-century English and French society: a cross-cultural approach, Stephen Botein, Jack R. Censer and Harriet Ritvo; Constructing the frameworks of desire: how newspapers sold books in the 17th and 18th centuries, Christine Ferdinand; Review journals and the reading public, Antonia Forster; Locating the serial: some ideas about the position of the serial in relation to the 18th-century print culture, Michael Harris. Part V Reading and Related Matters: Practices of reading: part 1. Literacy and schoolbooks, Ross W. Beales and E. Jennifer Monaghan; Pr