Latin books published in Paris, 1501-1540
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This is a study of the Parisian Latin book industry in the first four decades of the sixteenth century. It challenges the assumption that the Reformation brought about a profound change in the European print world. Luther’s engagement with a mass audience is believed to have led to an increase in the number of vernacular publications produced by printers throughout Europe. This was not the case in Paris. Parisian booksellers traded on their established expertise with certain genres, such as theological texts, educational books, and works by classical authors, to maximise their readership both in Paris and farther afield. Working in close proximity inspired the Parisian bookmen to unity and collaboration rather than enmity and direct competition. When printers, booksellers and publishers collaborated they were able to undertake bigger and riskier projects. Such projects might have involved testing new markets or technologies (such as Greek or music printing), or simply producing a book which required a high capital investment. The familial unity extended to the widows of printers, some of whom were able to capitalise on this and build substantial businesses of their own. This high level of collaboration and the continued focus on the established Latin market give the Parisian book world its very specific character. It also helped Paris build an international reputation for high-quality books.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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