Not Dead Things

The Dissemination of Popular Print in England and Wales, Italy, and the Low Countries, 1500-1820


Cheap print moved across Europe in surprising ways, crossing unusual distances by unusual routes and by unusual means. Pedlars, news, and cheap print defy the conventional categories and models of distribution: we need to think about their extraordinary diversity, and about the means by which their unstable cultural images inflect distribution. Books were not dead things, and the examination of Italy, the Netherlands and Britain, three regions that contain instructive parallels and contrasts, reveals their unpredictable liveliness. This collection of essays, which emerges from transnational dialogues about pedlars and commerce and communication, examines the various means by which cheap print moved across Europe, and the cultural and material and economic premises of the European landscape of print. Contributors include: Alberto Milano; Jason Peacey; Jeroen Salman; Jo Thijssen; Joad Raymond; Joop Koopmans; Karen Bowen; Kate Peters; Melissa Calaresu; Roeland Harms; Rosa Salzberg; Sean Shesgreen.
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Biographical Note

Roeland Harms is a Postdoctoral Fellow at Utrecht University in the NWO project Popularization and Media Strategies, 1700-1900 and Lecturer at Radboud University, Nijmegen. His PhD thesis Pamfletten en publieke opinie. Massamedia in de zeventiende eeuw was published in 2011. Joad Raymond is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of various books on early-modern literature and book history, including Milton’s Angels (2010). Jeroen Salman is Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at Utrecht University. Until 2010 he led the NWO-funded project The Pedlar and the Dissemination of the Printed Word; currently he leads the NWO project Popularization and Media Strategies, 1700-1900.

Review Quote

“The papers are well documented and the book is nicely produced and adequately indexed. … One of the strengths of the volume is the more than sixty interesting illustrations included in several of the essays, many of which are not widely known.” David Stoker, Aberystwyth University. In: Publishing History, Vol. 72 (2012), pp. 159-163.

Table of contents

List of illustrations Contributors Preface 1. Roeland Harms, Joad Raymond and Jeroen Salman Introduction: the distribution and dissemination of popular print Part I: Distribution Networks and the Popular Press 2. Rosa Salzberg Print peddling and urban culture in Renaissance Italy 3. Jeroen Salman Pedlars in the Netherlands (1600-1850): nuisance or necessity? 4. Alberto Milano ‘Selling prints for the Remondini’: Italian pedlars from the Tesino and Natisone Valleys travelling through Europe during the eighteenth century 5. Jason Peacey ‘Wandering with Pamphlets’: the infrastructure of news circulation in civil war England Part II: The Iconography of Itinerant Distribution 6. Sean Shesgreen The Cries of London from the Renaissance to the Victorian age: a short history 7. Karen Bowen Peddling in texts and images: the Dutch visual perspective, 1600-1850 8. Melissa Calaresu Costumes and customs in print: travel, ethnography, and the representation of street-sellers in early modern Italy Part III: The Dissemination of News, Politics, Religion and Entertainment 9. Kate Peters The dissemination of Quaker pamphlets in the 1650s 10. Joad Raymond International news and the seventeenth-century English newspaper 11. Joop Koopmans Storehouses of news: the meaning of early modern news periodicals 12. Roeland Harms ‘All the world is led and rul’d by Opinion’: a comparison of printed political news in two seventeenth century Dutch conflicts and the English civil war 13. Jo Thijssen The development and distribution of the first Dutch educational print series, 1800-1820 Index


All those interested in the history of books and of reading in early-modern Europe