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Book History
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ISSN (Print) 1098-7371 - ISSN (Online) 1529-1499
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press Homepage  [23 journals]
  • Counting Scribes: Quantifying the Secularization of Medieval Book
           Production
    • Abstract: The mode of book production is one factor by which we judge the character of any literate society. The commercially produced printed book has been, and remains, a quintessential symbol of the modern era—of the Renaissance, the Reformation, mass literacy, and the democratization of knowledge. In contrast, medieval bookmaking was long seen as a predominantly monastic activity, emblematic of the power of the Church over information and thought, and indeed this idea still has wide currency among the general public. Medievalists and specialists of the early printed book are of course well aware that the disparity between medieval and early modern book culture was not quite so stark.1 Several studies have demonstrated ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • A Communal Tree of Life: Western Sephardic Jewry and the Library of the
           Ets Haim Yesiba in Early Modern Amsterdam
    • Abstract: Mass production of books in the early modern period broadened the quest for learning, promoted the invention of new educational tools, and generated wider social networks. As wealthy individuals assembled vast collections of texts, and institutions formed new spaces as centers of specialized scholarship, an increasingly large and diversified readership gained access to, utilized, and shaped knowledge on a grand scale. Semipublic libraries developed into cultural hubs, at once enabling and driving intellectual, social, and religious developments in Europe.In the first decades of the seventeenth century, a book collection belonging to the Ets Haim Yesiba (Tree of Life Seminary), the scholastic arm of Western ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Politics of the Print Medium: The Professional Code and the 1764
           Paxton Boys Debate
    • Abstract: On 14 December 1763, during a period of renewed hostilities between white and Indian communities, fifty-seven white colonists from western Pennsylvania attacked the Conestoga manor and massacred the six Native American residents there. At the time, a further fourteen residents of Conestoga had been away selling baskets, and after hearing of the murders, they fled to Lancaster town where the local elites offered them refuge in the county jail. Two weeks later, on 27 December 1763, a group of fifty white Pennsylvanians rode into Lancaster to finish off the remaining Conestoga residents. The colonists broke open the jail and killed the fourteen Indians sheltering there. The brutality of the two attacks terrified ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The English Mercurie Hoax and the Early History of the Newspaper
    • Abstract: In 1794 the Scottish antiquarian George Chalmers (1742–1825) undertook research into the origin of newspapers, "those pleasant vehicles of instruction, those entertaining companions of our mornings" for his biography of the Scottish publisher and scholar Thomas Ruddiman (1764–1757). After assessing the historical evidence, he declared that the first newspaper, which he defined as a regularly printed gazette of news, was English.It may gratify our national pride to be told, that mankind are indebted to the wisdom of Elizabeth and the prudence of Burleigh for the first news-paper. The epoch of the Spanish Armada is also the epoch of a genuine news-paper. In the British Museum, there are several news-papers, which had ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Reading for Fun in Eighteenth-Century Aleppo: The Hanna Dy├ób Tales of
           Galland's Mille et une nuits
    • Abstract: The Arabian Nights entered European consciousness in the opening years of the eighteenth century, when Antoine Galland (1646–1715) translated, edited, and greatly expanded the stories from a fifteenth-century Arabic-language manuscript titled Alf Layla wa Layla ("Thousand Nights and One Nights").2 Into this story collection Galland inserted non-Nights material, such as stories from Sindbad the Sailor, which had also long been popular in the Levant, as well as novellistic material about whose history and use we still know very little. His last insertions were based on several stories told to him in 1709 by a young Syrian named Hanna Dyâb (c1689–after 1764).3 The expanded collection was published in twelve volumes as ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Reconstructing and Gendering the Distribution Networks of Godey's Lady's
           Book in the Nineteenth Century
    • Abstract: On July 10, 1843, lawyer John A. Rockwell visited Morgan Safford's store-front on Main Street in Norwich, Connecticut. Safford had become a fixture in the community, having sold newspapers and magazines in eastern Connecticut for more than a decade. Rockwell called on Safford to make a payment on his subscription to Godey's Lady's Book, which his wife, Mary, might have read when she had a spare moment from her duties as a wife and mother of three young boys. Safford fetched a paper slip to record the transaction. He served so many subscribers to women's magazines—in addition to the Lady's Book, there was the Lady's Companion, Ladies' Garland, and Lady's Pearl—that he had pre-printed receipts where he simply filled ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Lewis Carroll, Art Director: Recovering the Design and Production
           Rationales for Victorian Editions of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
    • Abstract: Lewis Carroll created not only the Alice texts, but the Alice books.1 He was both author and art director. Carroll art directed the first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ([1865] 1866), and he went on to segment the Victorian children's literature market by strategically repackaging the story in a further three distinct editions.Design and production values include the cover design, typography, paper, binding and so on that constitute the look and feel of the book. These values are some—if not the only—unique selling points of books that are published in multiple editions.2 Alice is a 154-year-old material girl; she is dressed in countless guises, from interactive board books for toddlers to paperback ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Mark Twain and "the Pope's Book": The Charles Webster Company's
           Subscription Publication of the Life of Leo XIII
    • Abstract: "The Pope's canvassing-book would sell a Choctaw Bible, it is so handsome. … That book is going to go, sure.""The Pope's book is ours," Mark Twain wrote his wife Olivia in April 1886, "& we'll sell a fleet load of copies." Twain encouraged Olivia Clemens to order the "costly sofa" she had been longing for: "You can order 1000 such sofas now, if you want to—the future bank account will foot the bill and never miss it."2 Getting the rights to "the Pope's book," Father Bernard O'Reilly's biography of Pope Leo XIII, pontiff from 1878 to 1903, seemed a coup, and Twain bragged of it to many, including his Congregational pastor, Joe Twichell, who wrote in his diary, "The issue of this book will be the greatest event in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Digital Discovery and Fake Imprints: Unmasking Turn-of-the-Century
           Pornographers in Paris
    • Abstract: By the end of the nineteenth century there was a flourishing cross-border trade in pornographic books in Western Europe. The production center was Paris, where the law of 29 July 1881 guaranteed considerable freedom of the press and where the book, in particular, benefitted from special cultural protections under the country's obscenity law of 2 August 1882. Producers of pornographic books, however, could still be criminally prosecuted in the country's highest court on the grounds of immorality. As a consequence they carefully concealed their identities and publishing activities. One of the most visible of these publishers was Charles Carrington (1867–1921), an Englishman who in 1895 relocated to Paris, where he ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Origins of the Broadbrow: Hugh Walpole and Russian Modernism in 1917
    • Abstract: In his London Letter of May 1929 in the New York Herald Tribune, Hugh Walpole described the selection committee of the newly formed Book Society as "broadbrow".1 The term is an important one for the emerging mediums of the early twentieth century: radio, film, and their overlap with the older forms of theatre and the novel. This article focuses on the cultural construction of the term broadbrow and the artistic influence of Walpole's sojourn in Russia during the First World War on his novels which adopt symbolism and ekphrasis.2 Walpole used the word "broadbrow" describe the intellectual combination of the playwright and actress Clemence Dane,3 academic Professor George Gordon, and authors Sylvia Lynd, J. B. ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • The Post-Liberation Resurgence of the Livre d'artiste in France: A
           Quantitative Analysis
    • Abstract: This paper establishes that the livre d'artiste experienced a hitherto unrecorded resurgence in France in the decades following the Second World War. The reasons for the resurgence are complex, but its overarching driving force was the postwar creative environment fostered by the French government and the cultural authorities, as they sought to generate national unity from a divided nation and to regain France's past artistic leadership. A loose confederation of artists, writers, and publishers responded to this call and generated an unprecedented outpouring of livres d'artistes in the years following the war.The resurgence was fuelled partly by an outpouring of post-liberation publications by the artists who ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Making Reading Popular: Cold War Literacy and Classics Illustrated
    • Abstract: In 1949, The Nation self-importantly (and incorrectly) claimed, "We would be the first to acknowledge that a generation of Americans has been driven several degrees toward illiteracy by the 'comic' book. And it is appalling that 60 million comic books are sold in this country every month." This publication vocalized what many left- and right-leaning cultural critics were claiming in the immediate postwar period: that comics were not only making readers stupid but they were also making America worse. Although comics had played the role of scapegoat for cultural anxieties since the nineteenth century, Cold War America's attack on and increasingly vociferous condemnation of comics for threatening America's youth ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • "A New Form of the Book": Modernism's Textual Culture and the Microform
           Moment
    • Abstract: Imagine two objects in a museum of early twentieth-century media. The first is a book made of metal, its fifteen thin tin leaves measuring a little under ten inches square. The leaves turn along a cylindrical spine; even more noticeable than the jarring colors of its lithography are the words that travel across the pages, expanding and shrinking and sometimes spiraling as if out of control. This unusual book, insistent upon its material embodiment, stands as a monument to the sensuality and tactility of its medium. The second object in our imaginary exhibit is a strip of paper, roughly two and a half inches wide by twenty-three and a half inches long. The text on this paper is arranged in three uniform columns ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
  • Twenty-First Century Book Studies: The State of the Discipline
    • Abstract: During the 25th annual Society for the History of
      Authors hip, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) conference in 2017, held at the University of Victoria, Canada, Stevie Marsden and Rachel Noorda moderated a workshop on the topic of "The Twenty-First Century Book." Six scholars (Beth Driscoll, Per Henningsgaard, Simone Murray, DeNel Rehberg-Sedo, Simon Rowberry and Claire Squires), whose research is predominantly positioned within the twenty-first century, were invited to discuss the challenges and opportunities for studying the twenty-first century book. The 2017 SHARP conference, "Technologies of the Book", seemed the perfect setting to hold this workshop. Not only did the conference theme complement many of the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2019-10-24T00:00:00-05:00
       
 
 
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