Communities of Print

Books and their Readers in Early Modern Europe


This book provides a new perspective on book history by exploring communities created by the production and consumption of printed material. Essays by leading scholars explore the connections between writers, printers, booksellers and readers and examine changes and continuities across the period 1500 to 1800. As well as investigating the networks behind the production and dissemination of printed material, this collection examines the ways in which readers consumed, used and shared their printed texts. By focusing on the materiality of early modern texts, contributors to this volume offer new interpretations of the history of reading, the book trade, and the book as an object in early modern Europe.

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Rosamund Oates, PhD (2004, University of York) is a Reader in Early Modern History at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has published widely on the English Reformation, with particular interest in preaching and reading history, including Moderate Radical: Tobie Matthew and the English Reformation (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Jessica G. Purdy is a PhD candidate in Early Modern and Book History at Manchester Metropolitan University. She has a particular interest in the history of reading in the Tudor and Stuart periods.
List of Figures, Tables and Graphs
Notes on Contributors
Rosamund Oates and Jessica G. Purdy

Part 1: Networks of Books

1 Selling Luther: Printing Counterfeits in Reformation Augsburg
Drew B. Thomas

2 Market Realities: Christopher Plantin’s International Networks in an Ever-Changing World
Julianne Simpson

3 ‘Far Off from the Well’s Head’: The Production and Circulation of Books in Early Modern Yorkshire
Rosamund Oates

4 ‘For the Edification of the Common People’: Humphrey Chetham’s Parish Libraries
Jessica G. Purdy

Part 2: Reading Together

5 Friars and Friends: Books as Private or Shared Belongings in Early Modern Religious Communities
Flavia Bruni

6 Teachers of Christ’s Church: Protestant Ministers as Readers of the Church Fathers in the Dutch Golden Age
Forrest C. Strickland

7 Print, Friendship and Voluntary Devotional Communities in North West England, c. 1660–c. 1730
Michael A.L. Smith

Part 3: Different Readers

8 Rural Readings of Sacred History: The Nuremberg Chronicle and Its Lancashire Readers
Nina Adamova

9 Reading Medieval Wales: David Powel’s History of Cambria (1584) and Its Readers
Kathryn Hurlock

10 Poetic Failure, Communal Memory, and George Herbert’s Outlandish Proverbs
Catherine Evans

11 Micrography in Later Stuart Britain: Curious Spectacles and Political Emblems
Tim Somers

Those interested in history of the book, readership and reception history, and the cultural and social history of early modern Europe, particularly academics, students, and rarebook librarians.
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