Buying and Selling

The Business of Books in Early Modern Europe


Buying and Selling explores the many facets of the business of books across and beyond Europe, adopting the viewpoints of printers, publishers, booksellers, and readers. Essays by twenty-five scholars from a range of disciplines seek to reconstruct the dynamics of the trade through a variety of sources. Through the combined investigation of printed output, documentary evidence, provenance research, and epistolary networks, this volume trails the evolving relationship between readers and the book trade. In the resulting picture of failure and success, balanced precariously between debt-economies, sale strategies and uncertain profit, customers stand out as the real winners.

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Shanti Graheli, Ph.D. (2015), University of St Andrews, is LKAS Research Fellow in Comparative Literature and Translation at the University of Glasgow.
Figures and Tables Notes on contributors
1 How to Lose Money in the Business of Books: Commercial Strategies in the First Age of PrintAndrew Pettegree and Shanti Graheli

Part 1 Debt Economies and Bookselling Risks

2 Venture Capital and Debt Economy in Early Printing Culture—the Case of Michael WensslerLucas Burkart
3 Venetian Incunabula for Florentine Bookshops (ca. 1473–1483)Lorenz Boeninger
4 Book Prices in Early Modern Europe: An Economic PerspectiveJeremiah Dittmar
5 Privilege, Print and Profit: The Economy of Printing Privileges in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch RepublicMarius Buning

Part 2 Day to Day Practices of Book Buying and Selling

6 ‘Doubt Not to Buy This Pretie Booke/ the Price Is Not So Deare’: The Business of Browsing in Early Modern BookshopsPhilip Tromans
7 Printing for the Pilgrims: Krakow Seventeenth-Century GuidebooksJustyna Kiliańczyk-Zięba
8 Book Lotteries as Sale Events for Slow-Sellers: The Case of Amsterdam in the Late Eighteenth CenturyDaniel Bellingradt

Part 3 Selling Strategies

9 Neither Scholar Nor Printer: Luxembourg de Gabiano and Merchant-Publishing in Sixteenth-Century LyonJamie Cumby
10 Editing the 1543’s Thesaurus Linguae Latinae: Robert Estienne’s Dream and NightmareMartine Furno
11 ‘Large Volumes That Are Bought by Few’—Printing and Selling Postils in Early-Modern PolandMagdalena Komorowska
12 Buying and Selling in One Trip: Book Barter in Times of Trouble for Francesco Ciotti’s Printing and Bookselling HouseDomenico Ciccarello
13 The State of Scottish Bookselling circa 1800Vivienne Dunstan
14 Cashing in on Counterfeits: Fraud in the Reformation Print IndustryDrew Thomas

Part 4 List and Inventories

15 ‘Men and Book under Watch’: the Brussels’ Book Market in the Mid-Sixteenth Century through the Inquisitorial ArchivesRenaud Adam
16 The Bookshop of Luciano Pasini, Bookseller and Publisher between Perugia and Venice in the Second Half of the Sixteenth CenturyNatale Vacalebre
17 New Perspectives on the Augsburg Book Trade: Georg Willer’s Music Catalogue of 1622Amelie Roper
18 A Protestant Bookseller in Seventeenth-Century France: Daniel Delerpinière’s Saumur Bookshop, 1661Jean-Paul Pittion

Part 5 New Markets

19 Turning News into a Business: The Commerce of Early Newspaper PublishingJan Hillgärtner
20 Booksellers, Newspaper Advertisements and a National Market for Print in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch RepublicArthur der Weduwen
21 ‘Without Denunciation and Humiliation’: Purchases of Books to Religious Communities in Colonial MexicoIdalia Garcia
22 Advertising and Selling in Cromwellian NewsbooksJason McElligott

Part 6 Modern Book Market

23 Book Bitch to the Rich—the Strife and Times of the Revd. Dr. Thomas Frognall DibdinJohn Sibbald
24 Lost in Transaction: ‘Discollecting’ Incunabula in the Nineteenth and Twentieth CenturiesFalk Eisermann
The volume will appeal to everyone interested in the handpress book and the dynamics of its circulation, saleability, and exchange, as well as the relationship between readers and the book trade.
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