By John Feather
This entire background (first released in 1987) covers the full interval within which books were published in Britain. even though Gutenberg had the sting over Caxton, England speedy validated itself within the vanguard of the foreign e-book alternate. The gradual strategy of copying manuscripts gave solution to an more and more refined alternate within the published be aware which introduced unique literature, translations, broadsheets and chapbooks or even the Bible in the purview of an more and more extensive slice of society. strong political forces persevered to regulate the booklet alternate for hundreds of years earlier than the main of freedom of opinion used to be tested. within the 19th and early 20th centuries the contest from pirated united states versions - the place there have been no copyright legislation - supplied a robust probability to the exchange. this era additionally observed the increase of remaindering, reasonable literature, and lots of different 'modern' beneficial properties of the alternate. the writer surveys some of these advancements, bringing his historical past as much as the current age.
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Additional resources for A History of British Publishing
There was not enough work to go round, and new tensions inevitably developed between the oligarchs and the majority. 56 The provisions for crown licensing of books were made stricter, and to ensure proper control two copies were to be given to the licenser, one of which to be retained and one taken to Stationers’ Hall for registration. For the first time, entry in the Register was required rather than encouraged, a clear victory for the copy-owners. At the same time, penalties for printing illegal books or printing by unauthorised persons were drastically increased.
At the same time, penalties for printing illegal books or printing by unauthorised persons were drastically increased. Like previous regulations, and like the controversy about patents, the 1637 decree has to be seen in a broader context. The whole thrust of crown policy in the 1630s, under the direction of Laud and Strafford, was centralisation and control. Laud was concerned about the growing divisions in the Church of England and the opposition to his ecclesiastical policies. Fully aware of the power of the press, he sought to control it; in secular matters, Laud’s enemies in the Church were equally the enemies of the crown’s policy in the Thirty Years’ War, the last of the great wars of religion, which had been raging since 1618.
The Stationers had their 30 THE FOUNDATION OF AN INDUSTRY own reasons for supporting this policy; the English market for printed books was so small that even limited and localised competition was unwelcome. It was also a policy which was attractive to the crown; censorship was more effective if printing could be confined to London where control could most easily be exercised. The Charter also made provision for the Company itself to become inextricably involved in the process of censorship. The preamble states that the Charter is being granted to control ‘scandalous, malicious, schismatical and heretical’ books,13 although that may well have been a pretext rather than a reason, as we shall see.
A History of British Publishing by John Feather