Download A History of British Publishing by John Feather PDF

By John Feather

This accomplished heritage (first released in 1987) covers the entire interval within which books were revealed in Britain. even though Gutenberg had the sting over Caxton, England quick demonstrated itself within the vanguard of the overseas e-book exchange. The sluggish strategy of copying manuscripts gave solution to an more and more refined exchange within the revealed note which introduced unique literature, translations, broadsheets and chapbooks or even the Bible in the purview of an more and more extensive slice of society. strong political forces persisted to regulate the e-book exchange for hundreds of years sooner than the primary of freedom of opinion used to be confirmed. within the 19th and early 20th centuries the contest from pirated united states versions - the place there have been no copyright legislation - supplied a robust possibility to the alternate. this era additionally observed the increase of remaindering, affordable literature, and plenty of different 'modern' gains of the exchange. the writer surveys most of these advancements, bringing his heritage as much as the current age.

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In turn, that meant that the publishers had to find authors who would write their books for them. The professional author, like the professional publisher, is a product of the age of the printed book. By the end of the fifteenth century books were being written which would not have been written had there not been a press on which to print them and a book trade through which to sell them. It was already apparent that the long-term development of the book trade would depend upon the willingness of authors to write books which the public would wish to buy.

The ban on provincial printing was not explicit, but the Charter restricted the right of owning a press to members of the Company; by definition the freemen were citizens of London, and in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were normally resident there. In practice, this had little meaning in 1557. 12 Although the provision was to be slightly modified in future years, printing was henceforth effectively confined to London until the end of the seventeenth century. The Stationers had their 30 THE FOUNDATION OF AN INDUSTRY own reasons for supporting this policy; the English market for printed books was so small that even limited and localised competition was unwelcome.

The trade itself became involved in the process of causing books to be written, beginning the shift away from patronage to payment. Almanacs were compiled by astrologers whose income came from other sources, such as casting the horoscopes of the wealthy,37 but the manuals of advice on a multitude of secular subjects, and the growing number of versions and translations of popular stories, were written by men who sought their financial rewards from the printer and publisher rather than the patron.

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