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A Companion to the History of the Book

Simon Eliot (Editor), Jonathan Rose (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-4051-2765-3
616 pages
June 2007, Wiley-Blackwell
A Companion to the History of the Book (1405127651) cover image
From the early Sumerian clay tablet through to the emergence of the electronic text, this Companion provides a continuous and coherent account of the history of the book.
  • Makes use of illustrative examples and case studies of well-known texts
  • Written by a group of expert contributors
  • Covers topical debates, such as the nature of censorship and the future of the book
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List of Illustrations viii

Notes on Contributors x

Introduction 1
Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose

Part I Methods and Approaches 7

1 Why Bibliography Matters 9
T. H. Howard-Hill

2 What is Textual Scholarship? 21
David Greetham

3 The Uses of Quantifi cation 33
Alexis Weedon

4 Readers: Books and Biography 50
Stephen Colclough

Part II The History of the Material Text 63

The World before the Codex 65

5 The Clay Tablet Book in Sumer, Assyria, and Babylonia 67
Eleanor Robson

6 The Papyrus Roll in Egypt, Greece, and Rome 84
Cornelia Roemer

The Book beyond the West 95

7 China 97
J. S. Edgren

8 Japan, Korea, and Vietnam 111
Peter Kornicki

9 South Asia 126
Graham Shaw

10 Latin America 138
Hortensia Calvo

11 The Hebraic Book 153
Emile G. L. Schrijver

12 The Islamic Book 165
Michael Albin

The Codex in the West 400–2000 177

13 The Triumph of the Codex: The Manuscript Book before 1100 179
Michelle P. Brown

14 Parchment and Paper: Manuscript Culture 1100–1500 194
M. T. Clanchy

15 The Gutenberg Revolutions 207
Lotte Hellinga

16 The Book Trade Comes of Age: The Sixteenth Century 220
David J. Shaw

17 The British Book Market 1600–1800 232
John Feather

18 Print and Public in Europe 1600–1800 247
Rietje van Vliet

19 North America and Transatlantic Book Culture to 1800 259
Russell L. Martin III

20 The Industrialization of the Book 1800–1970 273
Rob Banham

21 From Few and Expensive to Many and Cheap: The British Book Market 1800-1890 291
Simon Eliot

22 A Continent of Texts: Europe 1800–1890 303
Jean-Yves Mollier and Marie-Françoise Cachin

23 Building a National Literature: The United States 1800-1890 315
Robert A. Gross

24 The Globalization of the Book 1800-1970 329
David Finkelstein

25 Modernity and Print I: Britain 1890-1970 341
Jonathan Rose

26 Modernity and Print II: Europe 1890-1970 354
Adriaan van der Weel

27 Modernity and Print III: The United States 1890–1970 368
Beth Luey

28 Books and Bits: Texts and Technology 1970–2000 381
Paul Luna

29 The Global Market 1970–2000: Producers 395
Eva Hemmungs Wirten

30 The Global Market 1970–2000: Consumers 406
Claire Squires

Part III Beyond the Book 419

31 Periodicals and Periodicity 421
James Wald

32 The Importance of Ephemera 434
Martin Andrews

33 The New Textual Technologies 451
Charles Chadwyck-Healey

Part IV Issues 465

34 New Histories of Literacy 467
Patricia Crain

35 Some Non-textual Uses of Books 480
Rowan Watson

36 The Book as Art 493
Megan L. Benton

37 Obscenity, Censorship, and Modernity 508
Deana Heath

38 Copyright and the Creation of Literary Property 520
John Feather

39 Libraries and the Invention of Information 531
Wayne A. Wiegand

Coda 545

40 Does the Book Have a Future? 547
Angus Phillips

Index 560

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Simon Eliot is Professor of the History of the Book in the Institute of English Studies, part of the School of Advanced Study in the University of London, and Deputy Director of the Centre for Manuscript and Print Studies. He is General Editor of the new multivolume History of Oxford University Press and editor of the journal Publishing History. His publications include Literary Cultures and the Material Book (2007) and Some Patterns and Trends in British Publishing, 1800–1919 (1994).

Jonathan Rose is Professor of History at Drew University. He was the founding president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing and is co-editor of the journal Book History. His publications include The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes (2001), The Holocaust and the Book: Destruction and Preservation (2001), and British Literary Publishing Houses, 1820–1965 (1991).

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  • A coherent, transcontinental account of the history of the book
  • Ranges from the early Sumerian clay tablet through to the emergence of electronic text
  • Makes use of illustrative examples and case studies of well-known texts
  • Written by a group of expert contributors
  • Covers topical debates, such as the nature of censorship and the future of the book
See More
"This companion will provide a sound point of reference for situation the book, whatever it may yet become, in its proper historical and sociological context." (Australian Academic & Research Libraries, March 2010)

"This is a must-have volume for anyone (or any library) with an interest in the history of books and book culture." (Libraries & the Cultural Record, Winter 2009)

"This book has many uses for book historians as a reflection of the field now, in its present state." (Library Quarterly, May 2009)

"Eliot and Rose have produced a definitive survey to which specialists as well as lay readers will find themselves returning frequently for information and analytical insight." (SHARP News, Winter 2008)

"Eliot and Rose have recruited some exceptional contributors.... The round-the-world coverage also makes for an enjoyable and dippable compendium." (Times Literary Supplement, November 2008)

"The considerable learning distilled in these pages is worn lightly and the result is a volume that will appeal to experts and non-specialists alike. It will also prove to be a valuable teaching resource." (Zeitschrift fur Anglistik and Amerilanistik, October 2008)

"A Companion to the History of the Book provides a wealth of information to readers of all levels in a well laid out and written volume." (The Bonefolder, Autumn 2008)

"Academic libraries with any kind of interest in the history of the book or the history of publishing will want this 'companion' on their shelves." (Publishing Research Quarterly, July 2008)

"As a stimulating overview of the multidimensional present state of the field, the Companion has no peer. Recommended." (CHOICE)

"An exceptional resource for anyone working in fields such as literature, history, cultural studies or media studies—to name a few. Drawing on a large group of experts, Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose have compiled a selection of essays that guide readers through many episodes in the long history of books, both inside and outside the Western tradition.... A Companion to the History of the Book is just that—a companion … an essential text for students and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines who are led to ask questions about the commissioning, publication, distribution and consumption of books. This book is a milestone in the history of the book for it makes the first attempt to map the field like no other book before it." (Script and Print)

"If you want to understand how cultures come into being, endure, and change, they imply, then you need to come to terms with the rich and often surprising history of the book.... Eliot and Rose have done a fine job. Their volume can be heartily recommended as the best available starting point for any historian interested in learning about this enterprise.... The Companion does not restrict itself to chronicling the development of the book itself. It also devotes attention to regimes of regulation and jurisdiction—censorship, intellectual property, and the like—and to systems of storage and taxonomy: libraries and bibliography." (Technology and Culture)

"This book serves as a coherent guide to the study of the history of the book. The experts bring the latest research to their work." (Umbrella Magazine)

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