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Shakespeare and the Book Trade follows on from Lukas Erne's groundbreaking Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist to examine the publication, constitution, dissemination and reception of Shakespeare's printed plays and poems in his own time and to argue that their popularity in the book trade has been greatly underestimated. Erne uses evidence from Shakespeare's publishers and the printed works to show that in the final years of the sixteenth century and the early part of the seventeenth century, 'Shakespeare' became a name from which money could be made, a book-trade commodity in which publishers had significant investments and an author who was bought, read, excerpted and collected on a surprising scale. Erne argues that Shakespeare, far from indifferent to his popularity in print, was an interested and complicit witness to his rise as a print-published author. Thanks to the book trade, Shakespeare's authorial ambition started to become bibliographic reality during his lifetime.Read more
- The fullest treatment of the publication, dissemination and reception of printed Shakespeare in his own time
- Shows how Shakespeare was disseminated not only in the theatre but also through the book trade
- Comprises the Lyell Lectures in Bibliography of 2012, giving readers access to an expanded version of the prestigious lecture series
- Follows on from Lukas Erne's Shakespeare as Literary Dramatist, named a Times Literary Supplement 'Book of the Year' in 2003
Reviews & endorsements
"Erne presents some surprising and compelling statistics about Shakespeare's role in the literary marketplace …"
Around the GlobeSee more reviews
"… the first work to make a broad study of Shakespeare's presence in the book trade during his life and his own utilization of the trade … a must-read for anyone interested in Shakespeare."
CILIP Rare Books Newsletter
"… [an] impressive collocation of facts about Shakespeare's presence in print during and shortly after his lifetime … So thorough is Erne's research here that this study has claims on being, like the work of Chambers and Schoenbaum, central to research in the field."
"Clearly argued, with plenty of supporting evidence and written in an elegant and eminently reasonable style."
The Times Literary Supplement
"Shakespeare and the Book Trade advances our understanding of its subject at every turn."
Paul Dean, English Studies
"A valuable reference work for scholars and students of Shakespeare, early modern drama, and book history."
Claire M. L. Bourne, SHARP News
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- Date Published: May 2013
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521765664
- length: 316 pages
- dimensions: 236 x 156 x 22 mm
- weight: 0.6kg
- contains: 25 b/w illus. 21 tables
- availability: In stock
Table of Contents
1. Quantifying Shakespeare's presence in print
2. Shakespeare, publication and authorial misattribution
3. The bibliographic and paratextual makeup of Shakespeare's Quarto playbooks
4. Shakespeare's publishers
5. The reception of printed Shakespeare
Appendix A. The publication of playbooks by Shakespeare and his contemporaries to 1660
Appendix B. Printed playbooks of professional plays, including reprints, 1583–1622
Appendix C. Shakespeare's publishers, 1593–1622.
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