Book Publishing

Edited by John Feather

© 2011 – Routledge

1,816 pages

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Hardback: 9780415490092
pub: 2011-05-03
US Dollars$1325.00

About the Book

Books are the cornerstone of our culture. They disseminate ideas, and preserve and transmit literature. Their contents underpin great religions, and have been responsible for wars and revolutions. They lie at the heart of education and scholarship. They have brought pleasure (and some pain) to countless millions of people for nearly three millennia.

The systematic study of books and the means by which they are created and distributed began in the eighteenth century, but it is only in the last 150 years or so that it has developed into an important field of scholarship. After an intellectual transformation in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the history of books—and particularly the commercial history of books—is now a vibrant and widely practised area of study and research. Literary scholars, historians, and many others in the humanities and social sciences, have a keen interest in how texts have reached us, how they were created, marketed and distributed, and what impact the commercial processes of publishing had on their contents.

As serious academic work on and around publishing and the printed book continues to flourish as never before, this new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a growing and ever more complex corpus of literature, and to provide a map of the area as it has emerged and developed. It is a landmark collection of foundational and the best cutting-edge scholarship in the field and is organized in four volumes.

Volume I (‘Concepts and Theories: Issues in Book History’) deals with the discipline itself, its parameters, its theoretical foundations, and the issues and controversies which have helped it to develop and which are still carrying it forward. Volume II (‘Publishing and the Book Trade’), meanwhile, focuses on the development of the publishing industry, the commercial heart of the book world, and the engine of its evolution. In the third volume (‘Publishers and Authors’), the emphasis is on the extremities of the chain of production and distribution—the authors who create books, and the readers who use them—and on the complex relationships between both and the publishers. The final volume (‘Printing and Book Production’) is concerned with the history of printing—the most important single technological development in the whole history of the book.

The materials gathered in this collection exemplify schools of thought and the development of ideas about the discipline, as well as embodying some of the key results of scholarship, to give a coherent view of its achievements and of its potential for further development. For the novice or advanced student, the collection will be particularly useful as an essential database allowing scattered and often fugitive material to be easily located. And, for the more advanced scholar, it will be welcomed as a crucial tool permitting rapid access to less familiar—and sometimes overlooked—texts. For both, Book Publishing will be valued as a vital one-stop research and pedagogic resource.

Table of Contents


Volume I: Concepts and theories: issues in book history

General Introduction

Introduction to Volume I: ‘Bibliographical Scholarship: History and Development’.

History and Development

1. W. W. Greg, ‘What is Bibliography?’, Transactions of the Bibliographical Society, 1911–13, 12, 39–53.

2. W. W. Greg, ‘Bibliography: A Retrospect’, The Bibliographical Society 1892–1942: Studies in Retrospect (The Bibliographical Society, 1949), pp. 23–31.

3. Fredson Bowers, ‘Bibliography Revisited’, The Library, 1969, 24, 2, 90–128.

4. G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Bibliographical History as a Field of Study’, Studies in Bibliography, 1998, 41, 33–63.

5. G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Issues in Bibliographical Studies Since 1942’, in Peter Davison (ed.), The Book Encompassed: Studies in Twentieth-Century Bibliography (Cambridge University Press, 1992), pp. 24–36.

6. Joan Shelley Rubin, ‘What is the History of the History of Books?’, Journal of American History, 2003, 90, 2, 555–75.

7. Hope Mayo, ‘The Bibliographical Society of America at 100: Past and Future’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 2004, 98, 4, 425–48.

Bibliographical and Textual Theory in the Mid-Twentieth Century

8. W. W. Greg, ‘The Rationale of Copy-Text’, Studies in Bibliography, 1950, 3, 19–36.

9. Fredson Bowers, ‘Greg’s "Rationale of Copy-Text" Revisited’, Studies in Bibliography, 1978, 31, 90–161.

The Impact of Postmodern Thought

10. Ross Atkinson, ‘An Application of Semiotics to the Definition of Bibliography’, Studies in Bibliography, 1980, 33, 54–73.

11. Peter L. Shillingsburg, ‘Text as Matter, Concept, and Action’, Studies in Bibliography, 1991, 43, 31–82.

12. G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Textual Criticism and Literary Sociology’, Studies in Bibliography, 1991, 43, 83–143.

The History of Printing and Publishing

13. John Sutherland, ‘Publishing History: A Hole at the Centre of Literary Sociology’, Critical Inquiry, 1988, 14, 3, 574–89.

14. Michael Winship, ‘The Art Preservative: From the History of the Book Back to Printing History’, Printing History, 1995, 17, 1, 14–23.

The History of the Book

15. John Feather, ‘Cross-Channel Current: Historical Bibliography and L’histoire du Livre’, The Library, 1980, 2, 1, 1–15.

16. Robert Darnton, ‘What is the History of Books?’, The Kiss of Lamourette: Reflections in Cultural History (Faber and Faber, 1990), pp. 107–35.

17. Nicolas Barker, ‘Reflections on the History of the Book’, Form and Meaning in the History of the Book: Selected Essays (The British Library, 2003), pp. 269–78.

18. David L. Van de Meulen, ‘How to Read Book History’, Studies in Bibliography, 2003–4, 56, 171–93.

Current Issues and Controversies

19. Michael J. Suarez, ‘Historiographical Problems and Possibilities in Book History and National Histories of the Book’, Studies in Bibliography, 2003–4, 56, 141–70.

20. Kate Longworth, ‘Between Then and Now: Modern Book History’, Literature Compass, 2007, 4/5, 1428–43.

Volume II: Publishing and the Book Trade

Introduction to Volume II: ‘The Commerce of the Book’.

The Early History of the Book Trade

21. Graham Pollard, ‘The Company of Stationers before 1557’, The Library, 1937, 17, 1, 1–38.

22. C. Paul Christianson, ‘A Century of the Manuscript-Book Trade in Late Medieval London’, Medievalia et Humanistica: Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Culture, 1984, 12, 143–65.

23. C. Paul Christianson, ‘The Stationers of Paternoster Row, 1534–1557’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 1993, 87, 1, 81–91.

24. A. S. G. Edwards and Carol M. Meale, ‘The Marketing of Printed Books in Late Medieval England’, The Library, 1993, 15, 2, 95–124.

The Evolution of Publishing

25. Graham Pollard, ‘The English Market for Printed Books’, Publishing History, 1978, 4, 7–48.

26. Peter Garside, ‘J. F. Hughes and the Publication of Popular Fiction, 1803–1810’, The Library, 1987, 9, 3, 241–58.

27. Thomas F. Bonnell, ‘Bookselling and Canon-Making: The Trade Rivalry over the English Poets, 1776–1783’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 1989, 19, 53–69.

Publishing in the Nineteenth Century

28. John Sutherland, ‘The Institutionalisation of the British Book Trade to the 1890s’, in Robin Myers and Michael Harris (eds.), Development of the English Book Trade, 1700–1899 (Oxford Polytechnic Press, 1981), pp. 95–105.

29. James L. West III, ‘Book-Publishing 1835–1900: The Anglo-American Connection’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 1990, 84, 4, 357–75.

30. Alexis Weedon, ‘An Analysis of the Cost of Book Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain’, Analytical & Enumerative Bibliography, 1995, 9, 1–2, 24–48.

31. Simon Eliot, ‘Patterns and Trends and the NSTC: Some Initial Observations, I–II’, Publishing History, 1997, 42, 79–104; 43, 71–112.

Twentieth-Century Developments

32. Alexis Weedon, ‘From Three-Deckers to Film Rights: A Turn in British Publishing Strategies, 1870–1930’, Book History, 1999, 2, 188–206.

The Development of Bookselling

33. Richard G. Landon, ‘"Small Profits Do Great Things": James Lackington and Eighteenth-Century Bookselling’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 1976, 5, 387–99.

34. James Raven, ‘Selling Books Across Europe, c. 1450–1800’, Publishing History, 1993, 34, 5–19.

35. Eric De Bellaigue, ‘Post-War Mergers and Acquisitions’, British Book Publishing as a Business Since the 1960s: Selected Essays (The British Library, 2004), pp. 3–11.

36. Eric De Bellaigue, ‘Statistical Appendix to Mergers and Acquisitions’, in British Book Publishing as a Business Since the 1960s: Selected Essays (The British Library, 2004), pp. 228–9.

Volume III: Publishers and Authors

Introduction to Volume III: ‘Authors and Authorship’.

The History of Professional and Commercial Authorship

37. Richard J. Schoek, ’Scholar and Publisher’, Scholarly Publishing, 1972, 4, 19–28.

38. Jeanne Rosenmayer Fahnestock, ‘Geraldine Jewsbury: The Power of the Publisher’s Reader’, Nineteenth-Century Fiction, 1973, 28, 3, 253–72.

39. Jan Fergus and Janice Farrar Thaddeus, ‘Women, Publishers and Money, 1790–1820’, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture, 1987, 17, 191–207.

40. Daniel Shealy, ‘The Author-Publisher Relationships of Louisa May Alcott’, Book Research Quarterly, 1987, 3, 1, 63–74.

41. John Sutherland, ‘Trollope, Publishers and the Truth’, Prose Studies, 1987, 10, 3, 239–49.

42. Jo Haythornthwaite, ‘A Victorian Novelist and Her Publisher: Margaret Oliphant and the House of Blackwood’, The Bibliothek, 1988, 15, 2, 27–50.

43. Dorothy W. Collin, ‘Edward Garnett, Publisher’s Reader, and Samuel Rutherford Crockett, Writer of Books’, Publishing History, 1991, 30, 89–121.

44. Peter Lindenbaum, ‘Authors and Publishers in the Late Seventeenth Century: New Evidence on their Relations’, The Library, 1995, 17, 3, 250–69.

45. Peter Lindenbaum, ‘Authors and Publishers in the Late Seventeenth Century, II: Brabazon Aylmer and the Mysteries of the Trade’, The Library, 2002, 3, 1, 32–57.

46. Heidi Thomson, ‘The Poet and the Publisher in Thomas Gray’s Correspondence’, Yearbook of English Studies, 1998, 28, 163–80.

47. Simon Eliot, ‘Author, Publisher and Literary Agent: Making Walter Besant’s Novels Pay in the Provincial and International Markets of the 1890s’, Publishing History, 1999, 46, 35–65.

48. Andrew Nash, ‘A Publisher’s Reader on the Verge of Modernity’, Book History, 2003, 6, 175–95.

49. Heather Hirschfield, ‘Early Modern Collaboration and Theories of Authorship’, PMLA, 2001, 116, 3, 609–22.

50. Joseph Loewenstein, ‘The Script in the Marketplace’, Representations, 1985, 12, 101–14.

51. Robert J. Griffin, ‘Anonymity and Authorship’, New Literary History, 1999, 30, 877–95.


52. John Feather, ‘The Book Trade in Politics: The Making of the Copyright Act of 1710’, Publishing History, 1980, 8, 19–44.

53. Martha Woodmansee, ‘The Genius and the Copyright: Economic and Legal Conditions of the Emergence of the "Author"’, Eighteenth-Century Studies, 1984, 17, 4, 425–48.

54. Vanden Bossche, ‘The Value of Literature: Representations of Print Culture in the Copyright Debate of 1837–1842’, Victorian Studies, 1994, 37, 1, 41–68.

55. Richard Freebury, ‘"Pirates" or "Honourable Men": British Perceptions of American Attitudes to Literary Property as Reflected in The Bookseller, 1858–1891’, Publishing History, 2008, 63, 5–66.

56. Jacqueline Rhodes, ‘Copyright, Authorship, and the Professional Writer: The Case of William Wordsworth’, Cardiff Corvey: Reading the Romantic Text, Vol. 8 (

Volume IV: Printing and Book Production

Introduction to Volume 4: ‘The Manufacture of Books’.

The Early History of Printing

57. Luigi Balsalmo, ‘The Origins of Printing in Italy and England’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1976–7, 11, 48–63.

58. Norman Blake, ‘Caxton: The Man and his Work’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1976–7, 11, 64–80.

59. G. Thomas Tanselle, ‘Printing History and Other History’, Studies in Bibliography, 1995, 48, 269–89.

60. Nigel F. Palmer, ‘Blockbooks: Texts and Illustrations Printed from Wood Blocks’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 2008, 11, 5–24.

Technical Developments Before the Twentieth Century

61. James Moran, ‘The Columbian Press’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1969, 5, 1–23.

62. Elizabeth Harris, ‘The American Common Press’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1972, 8, 42–52.

63. Anthony Dyson, ‘The Rolling Press: Some Aspects of its Development from the Seventeenth Century to the Nineteenth Century’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1982/3, 17, 1–30.

64. Michael Winship, ‘Printing with Plates in the Nineteenth-Century United States’, Printing History, 1983, 5, 2, 15–26.

65. David A. Preece, ‘Social Aspects and Effects of Composing Machine Adoption in the British Printing Industry’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1983–4, 18, 5–35.

66. David Pankow, ‘Dungeons and Dragon’s Blood: The Development of Late 19th- and Early 20th-Century Platemaking Processes’, Printing History, 1988, 10, 1, 21–35.

67. Michael Twyman, ‘Two Centuries of Printing: Book Production History Diagrams’, Publishing History, 1994, 36, 103–14.

68. Philip J. Weimerskirsch, ‘The Beginning of Lithography in America’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1998, 27, 48–67.

The Evolution of Modern Production Systems

69. Basil Kahan, ‘A Brief Account of the Development of the Linotype and its Early Use in the United Kingdom’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 1997, 26, 70–93.

70. Andrew Boag, ‘Monotype and Phototypesetting’, Journal of the Printing Historical Society, 2000, 2, 57–77.

71. Frank Romano, ‘The Phototypesetting Era’, Printing History, 2003, 23, 2, 36–55.

About the Series

Critical Concepts in Media and Cultural Studies

This extensive series from Routledge Major Works draws upon a broad range of academic interest within the diverse field of Media and Cultural Studies. The series explores key areas of research, such as Advertising and Radio and shines a spotlight on the study of Cinema, with collections analyzing the cinema of various geographic areas, including French Cinema and Chinese Cinema.

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