The English provincial book trade : bookseller stock-lists, c.1520-1640
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The book world of sixteenth-century England was heavily focused on London. London’s publishers wholly dominated the production of books, and with Oxford and Cambridge the booksellers of the capital also played the largest role in the supplying and distribution of books imported from Continental Europe. Nevertheless, by the end of the sixteenth century a considerable network of booksellers had been established in England’s provincial towns. This dissertation uses scattered surviving evidence from book lists and inventories to investigate the development and character of provincial bookselling in the period between 1520 and 1640. It draws on information from most of England’s larger cities, including York, Norwich and Exeter, as well as much smaller places, such as Kirkby Lonsdale and Ormskirk. It demonstrates that, despite the competition from the metropolis, local booksellers played an important role in supplying customers with a considerable range and variety of books, and that these bookshops became larger and more ambitious in their services to customers through this period. The result should be a significant contribution to understanding the book world of early modern England. The dissertation is accompanied by an appendix, listing and identifying the books documented in nine separate lists, each of which, where possible, has been matched to surviving editions.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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