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The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book
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Book description

Throughout human history, the world's knowledge and fruits of the creative imagination have been produced, circulated and received through the medium of the material text. This Companion provides a wide-ranging account of the history of the book and its ways of thinking about works from ancient inscription to contemporary e-books, discussing thematic, chronological and methodological aspects of this interdisciplinary field. The first part considers book cultures from local, national and global perspectives. Part two, organized around the dynamic relationship between the material book and the mutable text, develops a loosely chronological narrative from early writing, through manuscript and early printing, to the institution of a mechanized book trade, and on to the globalization of publishing and the introduction of the electronic book. A third part takes a practical turn, discussing methods, sources and approaches: bibliographical, archival and reading experience methodologies, as well as pedagogical strategies.


‘Francis Bacon said ‘some books should be tasted, some devoured, but only a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly'. This book is firmly in the latter category. My own copy is already looking somewhat mauled and well used, with ample marginalia, highlighted lines and references, and bookmarks sticking out of key sections. I cannot think of a better way to show how highly I recommend it.’

Samantha J. Rayner Source: English

'As a whole, the collection accomplishes what it sets out to do: it is an effective introduction to the field and its issues and practices, and it points the way toward new and exciting developments.'

Marta Kvande Source: Papers of the Fall Bibliographical Society of Canada

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Margaret Atwood edited by Coral Ann Howells

W. H. Auden edited by Stan Smith

Frances Burney edited by Peter Sabor

Chaucer edited by Piero Boitani and Jill Mann (second edition)

Cicero edited by Catherine Steel

Joseph Conrad edited by J. H. Stape

Emily Dickinson edited by Wendy Martin

John Dryden edited by Steven N. Zwicker

William Faulkner edited by Philip M. Weinstein

Henry Fielding edited by Claude Rawson

F. Scott Fitzgerald edited by Ruth Prigozy

Brian Friel edited by Anthony Roche

Robert Frost edited by Robert Faggen

Thomas Hardy edited by Dale Kramer

D. H. Lawrence edited by Anne Fernihough

David Mamet edited by Christopher Bigsby

Edgar Allan Poe edited by Kevin J. Hayes

Alexander Pope edited by Pat Rogers

Ezra Pound edited by Ira B. Nadel

Pushkin edited by Andrew Kahn

Philip Roth edited by Timothy Parrish

Spenser edited by Andrew Hadfield

American Women Playwrights edited by Brenda Murphy

The Literature of London edited by Lawrence Manley

Modern Spanish Culture edited by David T. Gies

Modernism edited by Michael Levenson (second edition)

Pride and Prejudice edited by Janet Todd

The Sonnet edited by A. D. Cousins and Peter Howarth

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S. J. Shep , ‘Books without Borders: The Transnational Turn in Book History’, in R. Fraser and M. Hammond (eds.), Books Without Borders. Vol. I: The Cross-National Dimension in Print Culture (Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 13–37

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A. McLaren , ‘Rethinking Republicanism: Vindiciae, contra tyrannos in Context’, Historical Journal 49 (2006), 23–52

George Garrett Vindiciae, contra tyrannos: A Vindication’, Historical Journal 49 (2006), 877–89

A. Pettegree and M. Hall , ‘The Reformation and the Book: A Reconsideration’, Historical Journal 47 (2004), 785–808

A. Rauch , Useful Knowledge: The Victorians, Morality, and the March of Intellect (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2001), esp. ch. 1

S. J. Potter , News and the British World: The Emergence of an Imperial Press System, 1876–1922 (Oxford University Press, 2003)

C. Seville , Literary Copyright Reform in Early Victorian England: The Framing of the 1842 Copyright Act (Cambridge University Press, 1999), 266–8

S. Shep , ‘Imagining Post-national Book History’, Papers of the Bibliographical Society of America, 104 (20) (2010), 253–68

A. McCleery , ‘The Paperback Evolution: Tauchnitz, Albatross and Penguin’ and ‘Tauchnitz and Albatross: A “Community of Interests” in English-Language Paperback Publishing, 1934–51’, in The Library: The Transactions of the Bibliographical Society Sept 7 (3) (2006), 297–316

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J. Drucker , Speclab: Digital Aesthetics and Projects in Speculative Computing (University of Chicago Press, 2009), 1–10, 166, 165–74

N. K. Hayles , ‘Translating Media: Why We Should Rethink Textuality’, Yale Journal of Criticism 16:2 (2003), 270

R. Siemens et al., ‘Toward modeling the social edition: An approach to understanding the electronic scholarly edition in the context of new and emerging social media’, Literary and Linguistic Computing 27(4) (2012), 445–61

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F. Blouin and W. G. Rosenberg , Processing the Past: Contesting Authority in History and the Archives (Oxford University Press, 2011)

S. Eliot , ‘Very Necessary but Not Quite Sufficient’, Book History 5 (2002), 283.

P. Joshi , ‘Quantitative Method, Literary History’, Book History 5 (2002), 272

R. Darnton . ‘Book Production in British India, 1850–1900’, Book History 5 (2002), 256

C. H. Feinstein and M. Thomas , Making History Count: A Primer in Quantitative Methods for Historians (Cambridge University Press, 2002)

F. A. Black , B. H. MacDonald and J. M. W. Black , ‘Geographic Information Systems: A New Research Method for Book History’, Book History 1 (1998), 11–31

J. Drucker and B. Nowviskie , ‘Speculative Computing: Aesthetic Provocations in Humanities Computing’, in S. Schreibman , R. Siemens and J. Unsworth (eds.), A Companion to Digital Humanities (Oxford: Blackwell, 2004), available at:

J. Gardner , ‘A Technophile’s Doubt’, American Periodicals: A Journal of History, Criticism, and Bibliography 17.1 (2007), 123–5

Australian Journal of French Studies 23 (1986), 5–30

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J. Pearson , Women’s Reading in Britain 1750–1834: a Dangerous Recreation (Cambridge University Press, 1999)

K. Flint The Woman Reader 1837–1914 (Oxford University Press, 1995)

E. M. King and M. A. Hill (eds.), Women’s Education in Developing Countries: Barriers, Benefits, and Policies (Published for The World Bank. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993), 26

H. Adoni and H. Nossek , ‘Between the Book and the Reader: The Uses of Reading for the Gratification of Personal Psychosocial Needs’, in R. Crone and S. Towheed (eds.), The History of Reading Vol. III: Methods, Strategies, Tactics (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 49–65

I. Desai , ‘Books Behind Bars: Mahatma Gandhi’s Community of Captive Readers’, in S. Towheed and W. R. Owens (eds.), The History of Reading Vol. I: International Perspectives, c.1500–1990 (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 178–9

S. Eliot , ‘From Expensive and Few to Cheap and Many: the British Book Market 1800–1890’, in S. Eliot and J. Rose (eds.), A Companion to the History of the Book (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), 291–302

H. J. Jackson , Romantic Readers: the Evidence of Marginalia (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2005), 61

S. Dehaene , F. Pegado , L. W. Braga , P. Ventura , G. N. Filho et al., ‘How Learning to Read Changes the Cortical Networks for Vision and Language’, Science 330: 6009 (3 December 2010), 1359–64

C. Haynes , ‘Reassessing “Genius” in Studies of Authorship: The State of the Discipline’, Book History 8 (2005), 288

M. Esbester , ‘Nineteenth-century Timetables and the History of Reading’, Book History 12 (2009), 156–85

A. Grafton , E. L. Eisenstein and A. Johns , ‘AHR Forum: How Revolutionary was the Print Revolution’, American Historical Review 107 (2002), 84–128

L. Erne , Shakespeare and the Book Trade (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

T. Ballantyne , Webs of Empire: Locating New Zealand’s Colonial Past (Wellington: Bridget William Books, 2012).

E. T. Bannet , Transatlantic Stories and the History of Reading, 1720–1810: Migrant Fictions (Cambridge University Press, 2011).

K. Bode , Reading by Numbers: Recalibrating the Literary Field (London: Anthem Press, 2012).

C. J. Brokaw and K. Chow (eds.), Printing and Book Culture in Late Imperial China (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005).

A. Burton (ed.), After the Imperial Turn: Thinking With and Through the Nation (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2003).

Cambridge History of Libraries in Britain and Ireland (3 vols.), Vol. I: To 1640, E. Leedham-Green and T. Webber (eds.); Vol. II:1640–1850, G. Mandelbrote and K. A. Manley (eds.); Vol. III: 1850–2000, A. Black and P. Hoare (eds.) (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

C. S. Clegg , Press Censorship in Elizabethan England (Cambridge University Press, 1997).

C. S. Clegg , Press Censorship in Caroline England (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

I. Gadd , S. Eliot and W. R. Louis (eds.), History of Oxford University Press (3 vols.) (Oxford University Press, 2013).

C. Griffin , Journeymen-Printers, Heresy, and the Inquisition in Sixteenth-century Spain (Oxford University Press, 2005).

D. D. Hall , Ways of Writing: The Practice and Politics of Text-making in Seventeenth-Century New England (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008).

K. Halsey , Jane Austen and Her Readers, 1786–1945 (London: Anthem Press, 2012).

A. Iriye and P.-Y. Saunier (eds.), The Palgrave Dictionary of Transnational History (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009).

A. Johns , The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago Press, 1998).

A. Johns , Piracy: The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates (University of Chicago Press, 2009).

J. König , K. Oikonomopolou and G. Woolf (eds.), Ancient Libraries (Cambridge University Press, 2013).

H. Love , Scribal Publication in Seventeenth-Century England (Oxford University Press, 1993).

M. Manoff , ‘Theories of the Archive from Across the Disciplines’, Portal: Libraries and the Academy 4.1 (2004), 9–25.

M. L. McGill , American Literature and the Culture of Reprinting, 1834–1853 (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003).

W. Ong , Orality and Literacy: The Technologizing of the Word (London: Methuen, 1982).

J. Raven (ed.), Lost Libraries: The Destruction of Great Book Collections since Antiquity (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).

D. Rehberg Sedo (ed.), Reading Communities from Salons to Cyberspace (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).

P. H. Round , Removable Type: Histories of the Book in Indian Country, 1663–1880 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2010).

A. A. Seyed-Gorab (ed.), The Great ‘Umar Khayyam: A Global Reception of the Rubaiyat (Leiden University Press, 2012).

M. Suarez and H. R. Woudhuysen (eds.), the Oxford Companion to the Book (Oxford University Press, 2010); abridged edition, The Book: A Global History (2013).

H. R. Woudhuysen , Sir Philip Sidney and the Circulation of Manuscripts 1558–1640 (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1996).


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