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Journal Cover
Book History
Number of Followers: 131  
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ISSN (Print) 1098-7371 - ISSN (Online) 1529-1499
Published by Johns Hopkins University Press Homepage  [23 journals]
  • Did Ottoman Sultans Ban Print'
    • Abstract: Did printing transform the Ottoman Empire' And what took the Ottomans so long to print' Much of the scholarship surrounding the topic of Ottoman printing, or the occurrence of printing within the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922), is structured around these two related frameworks. In this essay, I argue that these frameworks are ahistorical because they predicate Ottoman printing on the European experience of print. To support this point, I examine the disproportionate role played by certain early modern European accounts of Ottoman printing within Western and Arabic historiography. In particular, I examine the life cycle of scholars' belief that Ottoman sultans banned printing, which I contrast with extant documentation ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Book Trade in the Colonial Philippines
    • Abstract: The study of books in Spain's overseas colonies has long been a major concern for historians of the Spanish colonial period.1 Predominant among the many scholarly works that have appeared in this field are those elucidating the characteristics and role of the printing press in the ultramarine territories, and the nature and extent of the trans-Atlantic book trade that kept the Spanish colonists and their descendants well stocked with the latest typographical productions of Europe. While the printing, importation, and circulation of European texts in Spanish America—in particular for New Spain and Peru—have received lengthy and detailed consideration, when it comes to the Philippines they have received far less ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Servants, Masters and Seditious Libel in Eighteenth-Century England
    • Abstract: In the early eighteenth century, servants were a problem—that is, according to the sermons, pamphlets, and books that discussed their behavior (and misbehavior) in detail. Some bemoaned the high wages demanded, others pointed to the poor quality of work done, while most simply urged servants to be obedient and respectful to their masters. Yet in the eighteenth-century printing and publishing trades, servants presented an additional problem that went beyond the usual complaints: they could unwittingly bring their masters into legal trouble under the law of seditious libel. Even if a servant acted without orders to print or sell a libelous publication, it was the master who might suffer fines or imprisonment. But ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Travels of a Publisher's Sales Rep, 1775–76
    • Abstract: The commis voyageur (sales rep or commercial traveler) is a shadowy figure in French history.1 Many agents of merchants and manufacturers circulated through the channels of trade under the Ancien Régime, but few left traces in the archives. A notable exception is Jean-François Favarger, a sales rep of the Société typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), whose diaries and correspondence fill a remarkably rich dossier in the papers of the STN, a publisher and bookseller in the Swiss principality of Neuchâtel, just across the French border at the foot of the Jura Mountains.2 Favarger made several tours of France and Switzerland, selling books and negotiating deals with other publishers and booksellers. His accounts of his ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • From Copperplate to Color Lithography: On the Modernization of an
           Illustrated Flora 1800–1900
    • Abstract: "P.S. The leaves must be copied extremely carefully! They are to be printed without contour, in bold color." This urgent request was written by the Swedish botanist Carl Lindman to the lithographer on the original of the Scandinavian flora Bilder ur Nordens flora (Pictures from Nordic flora, 1901–05).1 In 1900 Lindman had been assigned responsibility for the republication of a one-hundred-year old illustrated flora, J.W. Palmstruch's Svensk botanik (Swedish Botany, 1802–43). The old hand-colored copperplates were meticulously examined, corrected, and supplied with new magnified details and then printed in color lithographs (Figure 1). Lindman's request indicates one of the advantages of modern color lithography ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Recirculating Black Militancy in Word and Image: Henry Highland Garnet's
           "Volume of Fire"
    • Abstract: In 1848 African American abolitionist, Presbyterian minister, and colored convention representative Henry Highland Garnet went to a print shop in New York to put into circulation an Address to the Slaves that he had delivered at the national colored convention. Addressed to black Americans in enslavement, Garnet's text fashions itself as having been collectively authored by free people of color in the North. It presses upon the enslaved their status as citizens and proposes a course of action: slaves should confront their "lordly enslavers," insisting on manumission and refusing further labor with the understanding that "there is not much hope of Redemption without the shedding of blood."1 The Address concludes ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • "Q i-jtb the Raven": Taking Dirty OCR Seriously
    • Abstract: On November 28, 1849, the Lewisburg Chronicle, and the West Branch Farmer published one of the most popular poems of the nineteenth century, Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven." This reprinting falls somewhere in the middle of an enumerative bibliography of Poe's poem, which was widely printed, reprinted, and parodied in period newspapers. The Lewisburg Chronicle's "Raven" is one version among many produced after Poe's death in 1849—"By Edgar A. Poe, dec'd"—interesting as a small signal of the poem's circulation and reception. It is just such reprinting that we are tracing in the Viral Texts project, in which we use computational methods to automatically surface patterns of reprinting across nineteenth-century newspaper ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Reading, Writing, and Publishing an Obscene Canon: The Archival Logic of
           the Secret Museum, c. 1860–c. 1900
    • Abstract: My conjectures as to the character of the contents of ———'s cabinet were correct! For, my dear, I have found, secured, and appropriated that key. The long sought for, long talked of, is mine at last! And the cabinet has been explored! Oh, it is fearful. I didn't dream there were such books in the world. … You haven't any idea how perfectly awful they are. Why, it's enough to make the very paper they're on blush. … What would the handsome and unsuspecting ———say, if only he knew of a certain young lady's discoveries, and the liberties taken with his treasures' He is still abroad, perhaps getting new rarities for his collection.1What "bad books" lie within the cabinet Lucille discovers in The Story of a Dildoe ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • The Travelling Travel Narrative: The Communication Circuit of Spenser St.
           John's Hayti; or, The Black Republic
    • Abstract: In 1884 the former British consul to Haiti, Spenser St. John, published Hayti; or, The Black Republic. This book purported to be an expose of the near omnipotent presence of "Vaudoux," or Vodou, in Haiti.1 As Helen Tiffin has suggested, St. John framed his analysis of Vodou within the trope of decadence.2 For him Vodou excited the enslaved in the Haitian Revolution, it prevented him from extending his influence over the government, it was secretive and inaccessible, it resulted in child murder and cannibalism, it depressed trade and the population. The influence of St. John's work was far reaching and pervasive. According to J. Michael Dash, it defined Haiti for readers across the Atlantic: "As recently as 2010 the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Inventing Saikaku: Collectors, Provenance, and the Social Creation of an
    • Abstract: The first modern collection1 claiming to comprise a literary author's "complete works" in Japan, the 1894 Kōtei Saikaku zenshū (The Edited Complete Works of Saikaku; hereafter, Saikaku zenshū, or The Complete Works of Saikaku), is that of seventeenth-century author Ihara Saikaku. He is now considered a canonical figure in Japanese literary history but was relatively unknown to general readership before the 1890s.2 These two volumes in the Imperial Library (Teikoku bunko) series of popular literature represented the first time that Saikaku's works were collected as a cohesive oeuvre together, under a single, consistent authorial name, and, I argue, the first time that this genre of collection manifested itself in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • "At the Dawning of the Twentieth Century": W.E.B. Du Bois, A.C. McClurg &
           Co., and the Early Circulation of The Souls of Black Folk
    • Abstract: On April 7, 1903, just as The Souls of Black Folk went to press, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote to the publishing manager at A.C. McClurg & Co., Francis G. Browne, asking to review the book's Forethought, which he had not received in proof copies. Browne responded apologetically, saying that the first edition of The Souls of Black Folk had already been printed. He sent Du Bois an advance copy of the first edition, asking the author to mark changes on it, so that A.C. McClurg might "have it corrected on the second edition."1 Reviewing this copy, Du Bois edited the opening sentence of the Forethought, so that the book would show "the strange meaning of being black here at the dawning of the Twentieth Century," rather than "in ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Katherine Cecil Thurston's John Chilcote, M.P.: Popularity and Literary
           Value in the Early Twentieth Century
    • Abstract: When Katherine Cecil Thurston published her second novel, John Chilcote, M.P. (London: Blackwood, 1904), it soon became "the novel of the season" across the English-speaking world. Upon her death in 1911, she was widely described as "The Popular Novelist" but the status and meaning of this popularity was not at all clear to contemporary readers and critics. The Academy began its review of her third novel with an expression of bewilderment about just what kind of writer she was:Owing to the striking yet uncertain character of her previous stories the announcement of a new book by Mrs Thurston arouses more than ordinary expectation and curiosity. "John Chilcote" had a vogue to which the whole world of readers ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • Reading "Babylon Revisited" as a Post Text: F. Scott Fitzgerald, George
           Horace Lorimer, and the Saturday Evening Post Audience
    • Abstract: Historian and belletrist Bernard DeVoto's oft quoted 1937 Saturday Review of Literature article "Writing for Money," begins with the notion that "there are two classes of writers who do not write for The Saturday Evening Post: those who have independent means or make satisfactory incomes from their other writing, and those who can't make the grade."1 He goes on to outline in great detail the difficulties of earning a living based purely on writing novels and contends that to "maintain a home and rear a family" most novelists "must either get a job and write novels in [their] spare time, or devote [their] spare time to writing for the slicks."2 While acknowledging that "people do not read the slicks to encounter the ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • "Books That Civilize as Well as Satisfy": Surveying Children's Reading
           Habits in 1940s and 1950s Australia and New Zealand
    • Abstract: In 1906, New Zealand journalist and strident imperialist Constance Barnicoat published the results of a survey of colonial girls' reading habits from across the empire in popular British journal Nineteenth Century and After.1 In choosing to focus on "colonial girls," Barnicoat was fighting against the prevailing idea that colonial girls would not be as intelligent as those girls from the British Isles. Yet Barnicoat concluded that the results of the survey were quite positive, noting that many girls read Charles Dickens, Sir Walter Scott and Jane Austen.2 She defended the few "inferior" results of the survey in comparison with a similar survey of British girls by arguing that the responses of country girls and ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • From Public Library Prankster to Playwright: Joe Orton and Postwar
           Britain's Nanny State
    • Abstract: Months ahead of the London 2012 Olympics, bleary-eyed Tube passengers who looked up from their iPhones and Metro copies came face to face with exhortatory advertisements. Walk part of your journey to avoid queues (Transport for London); "Set a new personal best" by conserving shower water (Thames Water); forgo holiday travel to stay home and cheer at the telly (British Airways)—all ways to support Team GB.1 The ad for the Mayor of London's Capital Clean-up (co-sponsored by Procter & Gamble) showed a brick wall covered with graffiti:You know when your mum's coming round to your flat and you give the place a quick tidy' Well, that's exactly what we're doing. Except our "flat" is London and our "mum" is the rest of ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • "Capital Intraconversion" and Canadian Literary Prize Culture
    • Abstract: Frontier College, Canada's longest running adult literacy organization, is a key institution in the nation's development of English-as-a-second-language and citizenship education initiatives. The college was inspired in large part by the educational work that organizations such as the YMCA undertook among immigrants throughout the nineteenth century in Britain, the United States, and Canada. By the turn of the nineteenth century, Alfred Fitzpatrick, a Presbyterian minister influenced by the social gospel movement, Presbyterianism's insistence on literate parishioners, and the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment's privileging of democracy and practicality in education, was determined to bring such efforts out ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
  • "While all Scholarly Communities have a Forum": Journals and the
           Development of Book History in Germany, 1840–2009: The State of the
    • Abstract: The roots of the study of the book in Germany can be traced to the first half of the nineteenth century. In the midst of the political turmoil that secularization had created, more books than ever before were suddenly available to scholars. This led librarians, scholars of literature, and historians, as well as bibliophiles and book collectors, to start research projects related to the history of the book. Literary scholars compiled bibliographies of authors, librarians studied the history of their collections, and historians prepared the first studies of the book trade and its mechanics. Those that were involved in this emerging field would surely not have agreed on a shared scholarly agenda. Neither did they ... Read More
      PubDate: 2017-10-26T00:00:00-05:00
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