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The Scottish Book Trade, 1500-1720: Print Commerce and Print Control in Early Modern Scotland
Alastair J. Mann

Saltire Society Literature
Research Book of the Year 2001

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Subject: Scottish History
royal octavo
Illustrated B&W;
308 pages
ISBN: 1 86232 115 9
2000
Paperback, 25.00


A detailed examination of the Scottish book trade from c.1500 to c.1720, looking at Booksellers bookbinders, stationers and printers and their relationship with the forces of authority. The scale of the trade in this period was surprisingly large, consisting of over 200 printers and over 500 booksellers, but its rate of growth was not constant as it was affected by economic and political circumstances

It is the public, not the private, world of book dissemination that is examined. Emphasis is placed more on supply than on demand. It is shown that the unique qualities of the printed book, with its blend of commerce and technology on the one hand, and intellect and ideology on the other, ensured that authority - burghs, church, government (crown and executive) and law courts - reacted with a complex response of liberty and prohibition. So it was for all nations experiencing the arrival of printing, but Scotland had its own particular range of dynamics , a distinct Scottish tradtion.

Alastair J. Mann is a research fellow in the Scottish Parliament Project at the University of St Andrews.