By John Feather
Completely revised, restructured and up-to-date, A historical past of British Publishing covers six centuries of publishing in Britain from ahead of the discovery of the printing press, to the digital period of this present day. John Feather locations Britain and her industries in a world market and examines simply how ‘British’, British publishing rather is. contemplating not just the publishing itself, but additionally the components affecting, and plagued by it, Feather strains the historical past of publishing books in Britain and examines: schooling politics know-how legislations faith customized type finance, construction and distribution the onslaught of worldwide organizations. in particular designed for publishing and ebook heritage classes, this can be the single publication to offer an total background of British publishing, and may be a useful source for all scholars of this interesting topic.
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He engaged in ‘jobbing’ printing, such as the surviving indulgence (see above, p. 16), and also produced a number of small books clearly not aimed at his usual audience. As with the output of all early printers, we have to assume that there was more than survives; popular books were cheap and unregarded, and rarely found their way into the libraries which preserved the great folios and quartos which are so overrepresented in the surviving corpus of fifteenth- and early sixteenth-century printed books.
Printing did not escape. While Richard III’s parliament had encouraged foreigners to come to England to practise the various branches of the book trades (see above, p. 17), Henry VIII (1507–47) issued a proclamation in 1528 which strictly limited the number of aliens employed and forbade aliens from opening new bookshops or printing houses. At the same time, they were strongly encouraged to take English apprentices. In 1534, the 1484 Act itself was repealed, printing restricted to English subjects and strict controls imposed on imports by foreigners (Avis 1972).
The early continental printers sought a Europe-wide market for their wares for precisely this reason (see above, pp. 13–14); the English printers, with their vernacular and even parochial products, had no such option. What they did was to identify markets which they could easily reach and move to be close to them. By the middle of the fifteenth century, the book trades were well established in the area around St Paul’s Cathedral in the heart of the City of London, easily accessible to clergy and laity (especially lawyers) alike (Christianson 1999: 129).
A history of British publishing by John Feather