Publishing in Paris, 1570-1590 : a bibliometric analysis
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This thesis is an examination of the printing industry in Paris between 1570 and 1590. These years represent a relatively under-researched period in the history of Parisian print. This period is of importance because of an event in 1572 – the St Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, and an event in 1588 – the Day of the Barricades and the subsequent exit from Paris of Henry III. This thesis concerns itself with the two years prior to 1572 and two years after 1588 in order to provide context, but the two supporting frames of this investigation are those important events. This thesis attempts to assess what effect those events had upon the printing industry in the foremost print centre of both France and Western Europe. With the religious situation in Paris quietened was there any concrete change in the 1570s and 1580s regarding the types of books printed in Paris? Was there any attempt to exploit this religious stability by pursuing the ‘retreating’ Protestant confession, or did the majority of printers turn away from confessional arguments and polemical literature? What were the markets for Paris books: were they predominantly local or international? The method by which these questions have been addressed is with a bibliometric analysis of the output of the Paris print shops. This statistical approach allows one to address the entire corpus of a city’s output and allows both broad surveys of the data in terms of categorisation of print, but also narrower studies of individual printers and their output. As such this approach allows the printing industry of Paris to be surveyed and analysed in a way that would otherwise be impossible. This statistical approach also allows the books to be seen as an economic item of industrial production instead of purely a culture item of artistic creation. This approach enhances rather than reduces the significance of a book’s cultural importance as it allows the researcher to fully appreciate the achievement and investment of both finance and time that was necessary for the completion of a well printed book.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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