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The Cambridge Companion to the History of the Book


Part of Cambridge Companions to Literature

Leslie Howsam, Karen Attar, Trish Loughran, Sydney Shep, Peter Stoicheff, Margaret J. M. Ezell, Adrian Johns, Cyndia Clegg, James Raven, Alistair McCleery, Jon Bath, Scott Schofield, Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Katherine Bode, Roger Osborne, Mary Hammond
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  • Date Published: December 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107625099

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Provides an accessible but challenging introduction to the field, with contributions from leading international scholars
    • Discusses a wide range of approaches from thematic, chronological and methodological perspectives
    • Includes a chronology, glossary of technical terms and guide to further reading
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '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, 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, Papers of the Fall Bibliographical Society of Canada

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107625099
    • length: 302 pages
    • dimensions: 226 x 150 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.41kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. The study of book history Leslie Howsam
    Part I. Book Cultures, Local, National and Global:
    2. Books in the library Karen Attar
    3. Books in the nation Trish Loughran
    4. Books in global perspectives Sydney Shep
    Part II. The Material Book and the Mutable Text:
    5. Materials and meanings Peter Stoicheff
    6. Handwriting and the book Margaret J. M. Ezell
    7. The coming of print to Europe Adrian Johns
    8. The authority and subversiveness of print in early modern Europe Cyndia Clegg
    9. The industrial revolution of the book James Raven
    10. The book in the long twentieth century Alistair McCleery
    11. The digital book Jon Bath and Scott Schofield
    Part III. Methods, Sources and Approaches to the History of the Book:
    12. Book history from descriptive bibliographies Michael F. Suarez, S.J.
    13. Book history from the archival record Katherine Bode and Roger Osborne
    14. Book history in the reading experience Mary Hammond
    15. Book history in the classroom Leslie Howsam
    Glossary of technical terms
    Guide to further reading.

  • Editor

    Leslie Howsam, University of Windsor, Ontario
    Leslie Howsam is University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Windsor, Ontario. She is author or editor of seven significant books and numerous articles, most notably Old Books and New Histories: An Orientation to Studies in Book and Print Culture (2006) and Past into Print: The Publishing of History in Britain, 1850–1950 (2009).


    Leslie Howsam, Karen Attar, Trish Loughran, Sydney Shep, Peter Stoicheff, Margaret J. M. Ezell, Adrian Johns, Cyndia Clegg, James Raven, Alistair McCleery, Jon Bath, Scott Schofield, Michael F. Suarez, S.J., Katherine Bode, Roger Osborne, Mary Hammond

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