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Publishing Business in Eighteenth-Century England

Publishing Business in Eighteenth-Century England (Paperback)

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Synopsis

Publishing Business in Eighteenth-Century England assesses the contribution of the business press and the publication of print to the economic transformation of England. The impact of non-book printing has been long neglected. A raft of jobbing work serviced commerce and finance while many more practical guides and more ephemeral pamphlets on trade and investment were read than the books that we now associate with the foundations of modern political economy. A pivotal change in the book trades, apparent from the late seventeenth century, was the increased separation of printers from bookseller-publishers, from the skilled artisan to the bookseller-financier who might have no prior training in the printing house but who took up the sale of publications as another commodity. This book examines the broader social relationship between publication and the practical conduct of trade; the book asks what it meant to be 'published' and how print, text and image related to the involvement of script.

The age of Enlightenment was an age of astonishing commercial and financial transformation offering printers and the business press new market opportunities. Print helped to effect a business revolution. The reliability, reputation, regularity, authority and familiarity of print increased trust and confidence and changed attitudes and behaviours. New modes of publication and the wide-ranging products of printing houses had huge implications for the way lives were managed, regulated and recorded.



JAMES RAVEN is Professor of Modern History at the University of Essex and a Fellow of Magdalene College Cambridge.

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