Guide The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain, Volume 4: 1557-1695

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There is a reasonably full index which goes beyond simply listing authors, titles of books and places, although entries such as 'scribes: as copyists ' or 'scribal culture: medieval The book lacks an index of manuscripts cited, which is rather a pity since this is often the easiest and fastest way to discover whether a particular subject has been covered in a book of this kind.

The question of what kind of book it is should not be too difficult to resolve. There are helpful and stimulating essays at the beginning of it by the editors and at the end by Margaret Aston, which by argument and summary seek to weave the twelve essays in the volume together. The essays themselves are helpfully divided into four sections, each containing three contributions.

The 'script' and 'print' elements in the book are well balanced by a concern with the oral, both spoken and sung. With the exception of David d'Avray's more continental concerns and some brief excursions for Reformation and Marian exiles, the contributors are mainly concerned with English matters. Their time frame, stretching from to , certainly allows the reader to take a long view of these matters, but as the editors rather optimistically say, 'The disciplinary frontline between historians of medieval and early modern culture is steadily withering away. Yet even with the best efforts of the editors and Margaret Aston, the volume has a slightly heterogeneous feeling to it.

This is almost bound to be the case with these kinds of essay collections, organised around such large and general topics. Nevertheless, several distinctive concerns emerge in the course of the book and help to make it one of those volumes in which one can learn something of use and interest from every essay.

One of the strongest threads running through it is a repeated concern to show that Elizabeth M. Eisenstein's arguments for a 'shift "from script to print"' need to be modified. Just as disciplinary frontlines are said to be withering away, so 'the boundaries between the cultures of speech manuscript and print' can be refined, and the continuities as well as the interactions between the three can be brought out.

In some ways the book is most successful when it addresses received ideas relating to religion and to religious dissent. The focus here is mainly on the Reformation, but Anne Hudson's important work on the Lollards rightly plays a major part in determining how the subject is approached. Did the Reformation succeed, where medieval heretical movements had not, through the ability of the printing press to disseminate texts in numbers and ways not possible for scribal copyists?

Of course there is no simple answer to this, but it does suggest profitable ways of thinking about the role of books in history. In a characteristically well-informed essay Thomas S.

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Freeman deals with some of these when he considers 'the scribal culture of the Marian martyrs'. In particular he is concerned with why they 'relied more heavily on the written than the printed word as a means of communicating with their followers'. The advantages of manuscript over the clandestine press were that it was less visible and so safer to use, but also that letters and documents could be edited to conform to agreed doctrines and the current political position: 'problematic and embarrassing passages' could be 'all air-brushed away'. The new religion, Alexandra Walsham shows, did not 'disdain to use print as a vehicle for pursuing their vicious internal quarrels' or for disseminating the new faith.

Rather, she is concerned with 'The bias of dissenting groups towards script and print', when so much reformed religion placed such emphasis and value on the spoken word. She argues clearly that this was often the result 'of expediency and pragmatism, less a match made in heaven than a marriage of convenience'. In a world in which Protestant ministers were harassed and persecuted, 'books and manuscripts could stand in for faithful shepherds and wear the shoes of spiritual directors'. Beyond London: Production, Distribution, Reception: Scotland Jonquil Bevan; Wales Philip Henry Jones; British books abroad: the Continent Paul Hoftijzer; The stationers and the printing acts at the end of the seventeenth century Michael Treadwell; Statistical appendices: 1.

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Statistical tables; 2. Stationers' company apprentices C. Review quote 'The bibliography is extensive and detailed, and the index comprehensive and thorough. A rich group of illustrations All the contributors, as well as Cambridge University Press, must be congratulated on this splendidly comprehensive volume It should also stimulate a broader acknowledgment of the importance of the book and the book trade.

The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain: - Google книги

Apart from its knowledgable analyses - often aided or illustrated by charts and diagrams - the volume offers an authoritative source of knowledge and data not widely known or readily available elsewhere. And it is perhaps a healthy sign of a rapidly evolving field that even pages offer only a taste of its full scope.

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Through archival virtuosity rarely matched, Kesselring has forced us to acknowledge that the state was not without its own extremely effective techniques in the negotiations over power that have recently dominated the field. This book should, I believe, become as crucial a statement of the linkage between social and political history for the next decade as Cynthia Herrup's classic The Common Peace was for the last.

It admirably records the extrordinary impact of the trade in printed and manuscript books that, as John Barnard observes in the introduction, 'was out of all proportion to its economic significance. All the essays are superb. The entire book is fascinating-an education in the Renaissance. McKenzie was amongst the most influential bibliographers of his generation. Rating details. Book ratings by Goodreads. Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book.

Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter. Sign up now. Follow us. English law books and legal publishing J. Baker-- ABCs, almanacs, ballads, chapbooks, popular piety and textbooks R. Simmons-- Books for daily life: household, husbandry, behaviour Lynette Hunter-- The Business of Print: Printing and publishing constraints on the London book trades D.

McKenzie-- The economic context James Raven-- French paper in English books John Bidwell-- The old English letter foundries Nicolas Barker-- Bookbinding Mirjam M. Foot-- Birrell-- Part VII. Beyond London: Production, Distribution, Reception: Scotland Jonquil Bevan-- Wales Philip Henry Jones-- British books abroad: the Continent Paul Hoftijzer-- The stationers and the printing acts at the end of the seventeenth century Michael Treadwell-- Statistical appendices: 1.

Statistical tables-- 2. Stationers' company apprentices C.

Hellinga and J. Trapp-- 1. Literacy, books and readers J. Trapp-- 2. Foreign illuminators and illuminated manuscripts J. Alexander-- 3. Printing L. Hellinga-- 4. Bookbinding M. Foot-- 5. The rise of London's book trade C. Paul Christianson-- 6. The customs rolls as documents for the printed-book trade in England Paul Needham-- 7. King-- 8.

The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain: Volume 4, 1557-1695

Importation of printed books Margaret Lane Ford-- 9. Private ownership of printed books Margaret Lane Ford-- Monastic libraries: David N. Bell-- The royal collections to Jenny Stratford-- Carley-- The humanist book J.


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