A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 1476-1558

A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 1476-1558

Edited by Vincent Gillespie, Susan Powell





First full-scale guide to the origins and development of the early printed book, and the issues associated with it.
The history of the book is now recognized as a field of central importance for understanding the cultural changes that swept through Tudor England. This companion aims to provide a comprehensive guide to the issues relevant to the early printed book, covering the significant cultural, social and technological developments from 1476 (the introduction of printing to England) to 1558 (the death of Mary Tudor). Divided into thematic sections (the printed book trade; the book as artefact; patrons, purchasers and producers; and the cultural capital of print), it considers the social, historical, and cultural context of the rise of print, with the problems as well as advantages of the transmission from manuscript to print. the printers of the period; the significant Latin trade and its effect on the English market; paper, types, bindings, and woodcuts and other decorative features which create the packaged book; and the main sponsors and consumers of the printed book: merchants, the lay clientele, secular and religious clergy, and the two Universities, as well as secular colleges and chantries. Further topics addressed include humanism, women translators, and the role of censorship and the continuity of Catholic publishing from that time. The book is completed with a chronology and detailed indices.

Vincent Gillespie is J.R.R. Tolkien Professor of English Literature and Language at the University of Oxford; Susan Powell held a Chair in Medieval Texts and Culture at the University of Salford, and is currently affiliated to the Universities of London and York.

Contributors: Tamara Atkin, Alan Coates, Thomas Betteridge, Julia Boffey, James Clark, A.S.G. Edwards, Martha W. Driver, Mary Erler, Alexandra Gilespie, Vincent Gillespie, Andrew Hope, Brenda Hosington, Susan Powell, Pamela Robinson, Anne F. Sutton, Daniel Wakelin, James Willoughby, Lucy Wooding

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January 2014
32 black and white illustrations
402 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
ISBN: 9781843843634
Format: Hardback
BISAC LIT004120, LIT000000, LIT019000
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Table of Contents

Introduction - Vincent Gillespie
From Manuscript to Print: Continuity and Change - Julia Boffey
Printers, Publishers and Promoters to 1558 - Tamara Atkin and A S G Edwards
The Latin Trade in England and Abroad - Alan Coates
Materials: Paper and Type - Pamela Robinson
Bookbinding and Early Printing in England - Alexandra Gillespie
Woodcuts and Decorative Techniques - Martha W. Driver
Merchants - Anne F. Sutton
The Laity - Mary C. Erler
The Secular Clergy - Susan Powell
The Regular Clergy - James G. Clark
Universities, Colleges and Chantries - James Willoughby
Humanism and Printing - Daniel Wakelin
Women Translators and the Early Printed Book - Brenda M. Hosington
The Printed Book Trade in response to Luther: English Books Printed Abroad - Andrew Hope
Thomas More, Print and the Idea of Censorship - Thomas Betteridge
Catholicism, the Printed Book and the Marian Restoration - Lucy Kostyanovsky


Each chapter is richly referenced and densely informative and I can quite see that this volume will become (if it is not already) the go-to compendium for students of early printed books, of book history more generally, and of reading and reception studies and histories in medieval and early modern Britain and beyond. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

The Companion is a book about books that adds to the character and history of early print by weaving together a set of essays and notes that delight in the details and make much of the early printed resources available in the British Isles and on the Continent; its contribution to the field is theatrically embodied in the weight of the pages that dictate the force of our grip. COMITATUS Authoritative. LIBRARY

A Companion to the Early Printed Book in Britain, 1476-1558 is an essential volume and deserves a place on every shelf. This is a book that no one will regret acquiring and whose insights should definitively shape future discussion of this subject. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

Offers a useful overview of print in this period, while pointing to the high stakes of some key issues. HUNTINGDON LIBRARY QUARTERLY

The editors are to be congratulated in pulling together such a significant amount of the recent academic endeavor within this fascinating field of study. SIXTEENTH CENTURY JOURNAL

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