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A Potencie of Life: Books in Society - The Clark Lectures, 1986-1987 (British Library Studies in the History of the Book)

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The wide range of topics covered in this volume relate to manuscripts as well as the printed book. Essays cover papermaking in America, hand bookbinding, authorship and maritime publishing in 18th-century Britain. But it is the process of interdependent exchange between author, publisher and reader that is the central theme to the essays which are based on lectures given a The wide range of topics covered in this volume relate to manuscripts as well as the printed book. Essays cover papermaking in America, hand bookbinding, authorship and maritime publishing in 18th-century Britain. But it is the process of interdependent exchange between author, publisher and reader that is the central theme to the essays which are based on lectures given at the William Andrews Clark Library.


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The wide range of topics covered in this volume relate to manuscripts as well as the printed book. Essays cover papermaking in America, hand bookbinding, authorship and maritime publishing in 18th-century Britain. But it is the process of interdependent exchange between author, publisher and reader that is the central theme to the essays which are based on lectures given a The wide range of topics covered in this volume relate to manuscripts as well as the printed book. Essays cover papermaking in America, hand bookbinding, authorship and maritime publishing in 18th-century Britain. But it is the process of interdependent exchange between author, publisher and reader that is the central theme to the essays which are based on lectures given at the William Andrews Clark Library.

23 review for A Potencie of Life: Books in Society - The Clark Lectures, 1986-1987 (British Library Studies in the History of the Book)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Meaghan

    A collection of essays/lectures on various topics in book history. Each looks from a different angle at the impacts of social, economic, or other factors external to the text on the production and consumption of literature. As is the norm with this type of collection, some of the essays were more interesting to me than others. The first essay, "A New Model for the Study of the Book" by Thomas R. Adams and Nicholas Barker, is an important article which outlines (as the title suggests) a model for A collection of essays/lectures on various topics in book history. Each looks from a different angle at the impacts of social, economic, or other factors external to the text on the production and consumption of literature. As is the norm with this type of collection, some of the essays were more interesting to me than others. The first essay, "A New Model for the Study of the Book" by Thomas R. Adams and Nicholas Barker, is an important article which outlines (as the title suggests) a model for the study of book history. They place the book itself at the centre of things and examine the various factors which may lead to its publication (and manufaccture), distribution, and survival over time (reception). It's a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece: almost every sentence made me think of some example I knew, but often hadn't quite thought about in these terms. I also very much enjoyed Mirjam M. Foot's essay on "Bookbinding and the History of Books, which is brief but very informative on the business practices of the bookbinding trade. "The Commercial Production of Manuscript Books in late-thirteenth- and early-fourteenth-century Paris" by R.H. and M.A. Rouse is quite fascinating: it looks at tax records from the period to develop a picture of which book trade workers were located where and how they might have worked to provide their services to customers including aristocrats, students, and the clergy. This is an era I know very little about but I now feel I have a decent understanding of at least some aspects of it. "American Papermakers and the Panic of 1819" by John Bidwell is another piece that makes great use of archival records to illustrate the way economic factors could affect the whole book trade. Bidwell looks specifically at papermakers, but of course the supply of paper has a huge impact on the production of books. There are no weak essays in the book; I did find my eyes glazing over at certain points when the authors became very closely focused on statistics ... the level of detail in their research is admirable, but not always interesting to read. However, overall, for an academic-type book, A Potencie of Life is extremely readable.

  2. 5 out of 5

    John Boardley

  3. 5 out of 5

    Abbey

  4. 4 out of 5

    Alex Johnstone O’Neill

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Henkel

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jeannette

  8. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielė

  9. 4 out of 5

    Arvid Jakobsson

  10. 4 out of 5

    Codex

  11. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mir

  13. 5 out of 5

    Trauman

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mary Anne

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mônica

  16. 5 out of 5

    Meg

  17. 5 out of 5

    Oros Ioan

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sae Kitamura

  19. 4 out of 5

    BookDB

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ron McColl

  21. 4 out of 5

    Moke

  22. 4 out of 5

    Aspasia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Alberto Campagnolo

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