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Pedlars and the Popular Press

Itinerant Distribution Networks in England and the Netherlands 1600-1850


Jeroen Salman

Itinerant salesmen, also called pedlars, street hawkers, hucksters and ballad singers are considered to be the most important distributors of popular printed matter in Europe between 1600 and 1850. A general assumption is that the pedlar travelling from town to countryside was strongly distinct from the role of the established booksellers in the towns, selling books to the educated and affluent buyer. The commercial position of the urban pedlars, however, is very often underestimated. In this book, therefore, the itinerant book trade is studied in an English and Dutch, urban context, leading to a new perspective on the role of the pedlars as an intermediary between the established booksellers and an extensive, socially diverse reading public.