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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 day. John Feather locations Britain and her industries in a world industry and examines simply how ‘British’, British publishing fairly is. contemplating not just the publishing itself, but in addition the parts affecting, and suffering from it, Feather strains the historical past of publishing books in Britain and examines: schooling politics expertise legislation faith customized type finance, construction and distribution the onslaught of world enterprises. particularly designed for publishing and ebook background classes, this can be the one ebook to offer an total historical past of British publishing, and may be a useful source for all scholars of this interesting topic.

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These grants of monopolies had their origin in an attempt to control the output of the press both positively and negatively. The King’s Printer (or Queen’s Printer during the reigns of queens regnant) was required to print all those documents which were becoming essential to the efficient operation of the state: proclamations, statutes and the growing quantity of other ‘official’ printing. The later privileges, such as Tottell’s and Grafton’s, had a twofold purpose: to the printer/publisher they gave a commercial monopoly on a profitable class of books, but to the authorities they gave the comfort of knowing that certain sensitive books (especially religious texts) were safely in the hands of printers who had every reason to uphold the royal authority under which they exercised their profitable monopolies.

The office has a continuous history from that year. By 1508, Facques had been succeeded by Richard Pynson; on Pynson’s death in 1530, it passed to Berthelet, and in 1547 from Berthelet to Richard Grafton (d. 1573). By that time, it was a highly lucrative position, but in 1553 Mary I took away certain of the Printer’s rights and conferred them separately on others. This was an important decision, for what Mary did was to grant to Richard Tottell (d. 1593) the sole right to print all common law books, and at the same time to forbid all others to do so.

Moreover, the explicit prohibition on book imports by foreigners was undoubtedly intended 25 THE EARLY MODERN BOOK TRADE 1111 2 3 4 51 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 44111 to prevent the import of books, whether in English or Latin, which were politically or religiously unacceptable to the crown. It marks in fact the beginning of the restrictive controls which were to characterise the English book trade until the end of the seventeenth century and which residually survive even today (Reed 1919).

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