Everyday life in the German book trade : Friedrich Nicolai as bookseller and publisher in the age of enlightenment, 1750-1810 /
Pamela E. Selwyn.
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2000.
xvi, 419 p. : map ; 24 cm.
0271020113 (alk. paper)
More Details
University Park, Pa. : Pennsylvania State University Press, c2000.
0271020113 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Pamela E. Selwyn, who wrote a dissertation at Princeton University in 1992 under Robert Darnton on which this book is based, has been a freelance translator in Berlin since then
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-07-01:
Among the most significant changes the 18th century brought to the European literary world were the enforcement of copyright laws and the clear notion of the best-seller. Both enabled authors to earn a decent living from their wits and their pens without relying on patronage. With the advent of literary periodicals containing book reviews, literature became a marketable product. A Russian bookseller, Nicolai not only flourished in this enlightened environment, he became a pioneer in the business of publishing and promoting new talent. Whereas previous studies of Nicolai have focused on his limited oeuvre, this readable discussion reveals his far more influential career in the book trade and his pivotal role in making Berlin the cultural hub of the German states. As seen through Nicolai's eyes, Germany's approximately 8,000 authors had a potential readership of 30 million, and between 1759 and 1810 he brought authors and readers together, using a tasteful, "no frills" approach. Thanks to remarkably thorough documentation, Selwyn can offer an extraordinarily detailed exploration of the entire scope of Nicolai's practice--his contacts with authors, the production process itself, his distribution and sales system. The resulting work depicts the behind-the-scenes process that explains the triumphs of many of Germany's greatest classical writers. Graduate and research collections. C. L. Dolmetsch Marshall University
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, July 2001
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Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
The Life and Opinions of Friedrich Nicolai, Buchhandler and Aufklarerp. 1
The Nicolaische Buchhandlung, 1759-1811: A Publishing Company in the Age of Enlightenment and Revolutionp. 29
Everyday Life in the Book Tradep. 99
The Legal and Political Framework of the Eighteenth-Century Book Trade: Privilege, Piracy, and Censorshipp. 181
The Allgemeine deutsche Bibliothek as the Centerpiece of Nicolai's Program of Englightenment and of his Firmp. 251
Literary-Mercantile Relations: Nicolai and His Authorsp. 299
Afterwordp. 375
Nicolai's Shop Employeesp. 381
Bibliographyp. 385
Indexp. 403
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