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This beautifull book gives an entertaining account of Dibdin's stay in Paris during his bibliographical tour through France and Germany. Frans Janssen describes the bibliohiles' visits to prominent representatives of the book world as Renouard, Brunet and Crapelet and their reactions to what he had to say and in reaction Dibdin's responses. Written by an expert on book collecting (Frans Janssen), skilfully translated into English (Harry Lake), designed and typeset by a famous Dutch designer (Piet Gerards) and printed and bound by the finest Dutch craftsmen in their field, this little book is a true jewel.
Containing 26 selected and thoroughly rewritten essays and articles (all written by Janssen and published previously between 1976 and 2002 in yearbooks and periodicals) all dedicated to the history of printing and book production, this work draws systematically attention to the typogtaphical design of the book. The articles are mainly divided into two fields of attention: the analytical bibliography of the printed book (book production, studies of the technical aspects of type-setting and printing, type founding, printing presses, paper etc.) and the typographical design of books (its functions and its influence on how texts are read).

Printer’s manuals seldom discuss aspects of graphic design. A well-known example of a manual which pays attention to them is a French manual by Fertel from 1723. In a more ample way such consideration was given in a less known manual written and published by Bertrand-Quinquet in Paris in 1799: Traité de l’imprimerie. In this paper aspects of typographical design mentioned by the author are discussed. The conclusion is that Bertrand-Quinquet follows the lines of the neoclassical style, set by the Didots at the end of the Ancien Régime.

In: Quaerendo

Abstract

Joseph Moxon's Mechanick exercises on the whole art of printing (1683-4) and David Wardenaar's Beschrijving der boekdrukkunst (1801) are the oldest printer's manuals for their respective language areas, whereby it must be noted that the English manual was disseminated in printed form, while the Dutch work has only been preserved in manuscript (annotated edition: 1982, 2nd edn. 1986). More than a century separates these two manuals, but the geographical distance is limited as Moxon (who spent some years in the Dutch printing world) regularly refers to Dutch techniques and practices. Except correspondences between the two manuals there are also many differences, the result amongst other things of the various backgrounds of the authors. Moxon - gentleman-printer and 'encyclopedian' - offers a purely technical description of the art of printing, while his Dutch colleague-employee (compositor, later overseer) - also attends to socio-economic aspects. Both the differences as well as the correspondences of the two manuals lead to the conclusion that a printer's manual does not reflect 'a definite' reality, which implies a warning with respect to the use made of this type of source by book historians.

In: Quaerendo
In: Quaerendo
In: Quaerendo

Abstract

The first edition of Fénelon’s Les aventures de Télémaque has a few problems attached to it, concerning both the identification of this first edition and the circumstances under which it was published. The present contribution aims to provide greater clarity on these points.

In: Quaerendo