Catalogue


The Enlightenment & the book : Scottish authors & their publishers in eighteenth-century Britain, Ireland, & America /
Richard B. Sher.
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2006.
description
xxvi, 815 p. : ill., facsims., ports. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0226752526 (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2006.
isbn
0226752526 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Composing the Scottish Enlightenment -- Identity and diversity among Scottish authors -- The rewards of authorship -- Forging the London-Edinburgh publishing axis -- The heyday of Scottish Enlightenment publishing -- The achievement of William Creech -- The rise and fall of Irish reprinting -- Making Scottish books in America, 1770-1784 -- A more extensive diffusion of useful knowledge : Philadelphia, 1784-1800.
catalogue key
5919641
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [709]-755) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2007-03-15:
In 1757, when philosopher David Hume boasted that the Scots were "the People most distinguish'd for Literature in Europe," he was undoubtedly pitching it a bit strong. But as Sher (Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment) notes in his conclusion to this mammoth and definitive work, "less than fifty years later that boast had considerably more merit than most contemporaries might have thought possible when it was first uttered." At its core, this is a painstaking investigation of how Scotland became a wellspring of Enlightenment books, an achievement Sher argues came about through the efforts of authors and publishers who shared and benefited from a complex and symbiotic relationship. The book is divided into three parts, with Part 1 focusing on the authors of Scottish Enlightenment books (e.g., John Gregory, Adam Smith), Part 2 looking at the principal publishers of these works in London and Edinburgh (e.g., Andrew Millar, William Strahan), and Part 3 examining the reprinting of these works by publishers in Dublin and Philadelphia. An appendix features seven tables that organize the data on the people and works discussed throughout. This extraordinary work of scholarship is essential for all research libraries.-William D. Walsh, Georgia State Univ. Lib., Atlanta (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is a pioneering work that constitutes a really important contribution to book history and Enlightenment studies."
"This is an exceptional piece of work. It is both an astonishing accumulation of informative detail and a multiplicity of lively interconnected narratives of authors, books, booksellers, printers and other subjects. It is a very useful reference book, with its nearly 150 pages of tables and bibliographies; it is also an engaging and stimulating read."Antonia Forster, Review of English Studies
"This is an exceptional piece of work. It is both an astonishing accumulation of informative detail and a multiplicity of lively interconnected narratives of authors, books, booksellers, printers and other subjects. It is a very useful reference book, with its nearly 150 pages of tables and bibliographies; it is also an engaging and stimulating read."-Antonia Forster, Review of English Studies
"This is an exceptional piece of work. It is both an astonishing accumulation of informative detail and a multiplicity of lively interconnected narratives of authors, books, booksellers, printers and other subjects. It is a very useful reference book, with its nearly 150 pages of tables and bibliographies; it is also an engaging and stimulating read."
"This elegant study . . . transforms our understanding of eighteenth-century book making. It brilliantly succeeds as a fusion of the history of ideologies with the history of the material circumstances of textual production."James Raven, The Book Collector
"This elegant study . . . transforms our understanding of eighteenth-century book making. It brilliantly succeeds as a fusion of the history of ideologies with the history of the material circumstances of textual production."James Raven,The Book Collector
"This account transforms our understanding of book-making in the Enlightenment. Sher offers an important re-examination of the processes of publication, fundamentally revising the history of author-bookseller relations in eighteenth-century Britain."The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 1450-1850">
"This account transforms our understanding of book-making in the Enlightenment. Sher offers an important re-examination of the processes of publication, fundamentally revising the history of author-bookseller relations in eighteenth-century Britain."The Business of Books: Booksellers and the English Book Trade 14501850>
"This elegant study . . . transforms our understanding of eighteenth-century book making. It brilliantly succeeds as a fusion of the history of ideologies with the history of the material circumstances of textual production."
"This account transforms our understanding of book-making in the Enlightenment. Sher offers an important re-examination of the processes of publication, fundamentally revising the history of author-bookseller relations in eighteenth-century Britain."
"There is no question that this is an authoritative and rich account of the ways in which the Scottish publishing industry both arose from and helped disseminate internationally the core values of the Enlightenment. . . . This book is a remarkable feat of scholarship, and scholars will find in it a wealth of historical information and reference material. And, at the same time, Sher presents a compelling reassessment of the relationship between book history and the production of both national and cosmopolitan (and often transatlantic) exchanges."Tilar J. Mazzeo, American Historical Review
"There is no question that this is an authoritative and rich account of the ways in which the Scottish publishing industry both arose from and helped disseminate internationally the core values of the Enlightenment. . . . This book is a remarkable feat of scholarship, and scholars will find in it a wealth of historical information and reference material. And, at the same time, Sher presents a compelling reassessment of the relationship between book history and the production of both national and cosmopolitan (and often transatlantic) exchanges."-Tilar J. Mazzeo, American Historical Review
"There is no question that this is an authoritative and rich account of the ways in which the Scottish publishing industry both arose from and helped disseminate internationally the core values of the Enlightenment. . . . This book is a remarkable feat of scholarship, and scholars will find in it a wealth of historical information and reference material. And, at the same time, Sher presents a compelling reassessment of the relationship between book history and the production of both national and cosmopolitan (and often transatlantic) exchanges."
"The Enlightenment and the Book triumphantly unites the study of authors with the study of texts, and forges a better understanding of the relationship between those who wrote books and those who sold them. . . . A compelling, immensely studious, and thought-provoking testament to the best that the history of the book is now able to offer."-David Allan, Library
" The Enlightenment and the Book triumphantly unites the study of authors with the study of texts, and forges a better understanding of the relationship between those who wrote books and those who sold them. . . . A compelling, immensely studious, and thought-provoking testament to the best that the history of the book is now able to offer."David Allan, Library
" The Enlightenment and the Book triumphantly unites the study of authors with the study of texts, and forges a better understanding of the relationship between those who wrote books and those who sold them. . . . A compelling, immensely studious, and thought-provoking testament to the best that the history of the book is now able to offer."
" The Enlightenment and the Book is the missing link in the history of publishing. It connects the traditions of Britain and America and explains how the people and practices of the book trade shaped the very culture of intellectual tolerance that defined the Enlightenment. This is a remarkable achievement of social and intellectual history that will become a classic."Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry>
"The Enlightenment and the Bookis the missing link in the history of publishing. It connects the traditions of Britain and America and explains how the people and practices of the book trade shaped the very culture of intellectual tolerance that defined the Enlightenment. This is a remarkable achievement of social and intellectual history that will become a classic."
""The Enlightenment and the Book" is the missing link in the history of publishing. It connects the traditions of Britain and America and explains how the people and practices of the book trade shaped the very culture of intellectual tolerance that defined the Enlightenment. This is a remarkable achievement of social and intellectual history that will become a classic."Curiosity: A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry>"
"Sher''s book is a long-awaited magnum opus which proves to be a most valuable source of information on many topics in the fields both of Scottish Enlightenment studies and of the history of the book. . . . As such, it is to be warmly welcomed."
"Sher provides a richly detailed map of the Scottish Enlightenment's progress across the Atlantic, using book history as a navigational tool. Historians of the book in America will find here a wealth of new information and a fresh transatlantic perspective on the development of book publishing in the late eighteenth century."Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer">
"Sher provides a richly detailed map of the Scottish Enlightenment's progress across the Atlantic, using book history as a navigational tool. Historians of the book in America will find here a wealth of new information and a fresh transatlantic perspective on the development of book publishing in the late eighteenth century."Benjamin Franklin, Writer and Printer>
"Sher provides a richly detailed map of the Scottish Enlightenment's progress across the Atlantic, using book history as a navigational tool. Historians of the book in America will find here a wealth of new information and a fresh transatlantic perspective on the development of book publishing in the late eighteenth century."
"Sher has sunk a deep shaft down into an extremely dense pile of sources, and his work will no doubt serve as a reference point for historians of print culture and reading practices for years to come. . . . It raises the bar to a new level for scholars of eighteenth-century Scottish thought who are serious about the cultural history of ideas and who prefer specific examples over brushstroke theorizing."M. D. Eddy, Isis
"Sher has written an important book on the Scottish Englightenment, a book that should change the ways students look at the subject for years to come. . . . This is a well-written and informative study; it is hoped that the wide audience it deserves."
"Sher has sunk a deep shaft down into an extremely dense pile of sources, and his work will no doubt serve as a reference point for historians of print culture and reading practices for years to come. . . . It raises the bar to a new level for scholars of eighteenth-century Scottish thought who are serious about the cultural history of ideas and who prefer specific examples over brushstroke theorizing."
"Sher has sunk a deep shaft down into an extremely dense pile of sources, and his work will no doubt serve as a reference point for historians of print culture and reading practices for years to come. . . . It raises the bar to a new level for scholars of eighteenth-century Scottish thought who are serious about the cultural history of ideas and who prefer specific examples over brushstroke theorizing."-M. D. Eddy, Isis
"Sher brings to bear an enormous wealth of learning gained through years of painstaking archival research. It is a remarkable achievement which should become required reading for eighteenth-century British cultural and social historians."Bob Harris, H-Net Reviews
"Sher brings to bear an enormous wealth of learning gained through years of painstaking archival research. It is a remarkable achievement which should become required reading for eighteenth-century British cultural and social historians."-Bob Harris, H-Net Reviews
"Sher brings to bear an enormous wealth of learning gained through years of painstaking archival research. It is a remarkable achievement which should become required reading for eighteenth-century British cultural and social historians."
"Richard Sher's The Enlightenment and the Book is not just an indispensible research tool for anyone interested in the Scottish Enlightenment, but a rich, wide-ranging and beautifully researched study of how Scottish ideas spread throughout the Anglophone world."John Brewer, author of A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century
"Richard Sher's "The Enlightenment and the Book" is not just an indispensible research tool for anyone interested in the Scottish Enlightenment, but a rich, wide-ranging and beautifully researched study of how Scottish ideas spread throughout the Anglophone world."--John Brewer, author of "A Sentimental Murder: Love and Madness in the Eighteenth Century"
"Richard Sher's The Enlightenment and the Book is not just an indispensible research tool for anyone interested in the Scottish Enlightenment, but a rich, wide-ranging and beautifully researched study of how Scottish ideas spread throughout the Anglophone world."
"Richard Sher''s study of Edinburgh Enlightenment books is the most valuable work I have read in over a decade, and my specialty is not eighteenth-century Scotland. . . . I found it a compelling story, superbly organized and illustrated. . . .With heart, vision, and art, this tome fundamentally embodies the patriotic and enlightened campaign for Scottish learning that it celebrates."-James E. May, Eighteenth-Century Scotland
"Richard Sher''s study of Edinburgh Enlightenment books is the most valuable work I have read in over a decade, and my specialty is not eighteenth-century Scotland. . . . I found it a compelling story, superbly organized and illustrated. . . .With heart, vision, and art, this tome fundamentally embodies the patriotic and enlightened campaign for Scottish learning that it celebrates."James E. May, Eighteenth-Century Scotland
"Reading the fruits of Sher''s labour . . . is a wonderfully pleasurable--and wholly enlightening--experience. Wearing his erudition lightly, Sher not only writes in attractively accessible, and often alliterative prose, but he also displays a keen eye for the telling vignette."
"Richard Sher's study of Edinburgh Enlightenment books is the most valuable work I have read in over a decade, and my specialty is not eighteenth-century Scotland. . . . I found it a compelling story, superbly organized and illustrated. . . .With heart, vision, and art, this tome fundamentally embodies the patriotic and enlightened campaign for Scottish learning that it celebrates."
"Discerningly illustrated, at once scholarly and accessible, this is an essential addition not only to 18th-century studies but also to the history of the book." Atlantic
"Discerningly illustrated, at once scholarly and accessible, this is an essential addition not only to 18th-century studies but also to the history of the book."-Atlantic
"In 1757, when philosopher David Hume boasted that the Scots were "the People most distinguish''d for Literature in Europe," he was undoubtedly pitching it a bit strong. But as Sher notes in his conclusion to this mammoth and definitive work, "less than fifty years later that boast had considerably more merit than most contemporaries might have thought possible when it was first uttered." At its core, this is a painstaking investigation of how Scotland became a wellspring of Enlightenment books, an achievement Sher argues came about through the efforts of authors and publishers who shared and benefited from a complex and symbiotic relationship. The book is divided into three parts, with Part 1 focusing on the authors of Scottish Enlightenment books (e.g., John Gregory, Adam Smith), Part 2 looking at the principal publishers of these works in London and Edinburgh (e.g., Andrew Millar, William Strahan), and Part 3 examining the reprinting of these works by publishers in Dublin and Philadelphia. An appendix features seven tables that organize the data on the people and works discussed throughout. This extraordinary work of scholarship is essential for all research libraries."
"Discerningly illustrated, at once scholarly and accessible, this is an essential addition not only to 18th-century studies but also to the history of the book."
"Book history is well served by this study, which has methodological as well as substantive claims to make. . . . This long-awaited and massive study will be consulted somewhat selectively by many, but it is nonetheless an important book."
"Book history is well served by this study, which has methodological as well as substantive claims to make. . . . This long-awaited and massive study will be consilted somewhat selectively by many, but it is nonetheless an important book."
"A work of great interest not only to those who study this period of Scottish history or literature, but also to anyone who has an abiding interest in the history of the book or bookmaking in general."
"A powerful, challenging and comprehensive study. . . . It is unquestionably a landmark contribution that will shape discussions of the Enlightenment, book history and Scottish intellectual advances for years to come."Christopher Flint, SHARP News
"A powerful, challenging and comprehensive study. . . . It is unquestionably a landmark contribution that will shape discussions of the Enlightenment, book history and Scottish intellectual advances for years to come."Christopher Flint,SHARP News
"A major achievement."-- Times Literary Supplement
"A monumental achievement"
"A monumental achievement"Evan Gottlieb, Eighteenth-Century Studies
"A monumental achievement"Evan Gottlieb,Eighteenth-Century Studies
"A powerful, challenging and comprehensive study. . . . It is unquestionably a landmark contribution that will shape discussions of the Enlightenment, book history and Scottish intellectual advances for years to come."
"A major achievement."--"Times Literary Supplement"
"A major achievement."
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, March 2007
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
The late eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of intellectual activity in Scotland by such luminaries as David Hume, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, James Boswell, and Robert Burns. And the books written by these seminal thinkers made a significant mark during their time in almost every field of polite literature and higher learning throughout Britain, Europe, and the Americas. In this magisterial history, Richard B. Sher breaks new ground for our understanding of the Enlightenment and the forgotten role of publishing during that period. The Enlightenment and the Book seeks to remedy the common misperception that such classics as The Wealth of Nations and The Life of Samuel Johnson were written by authors who eyed their publishers as minor functionaries in their profession. To the contrary, Sher shows how the process of bookmaking during the late eighteenth-century involved a deeply complex partnership between authors and their publishers, one in which writers saw the book industry not only as pivotal in the dissemination of their ideas, but also as crucial to their dreams of fame and monetary gain. Similarly, Sher demonstrates that publishers were involved in the project of bookmaking in order to advance human knowledge as well as to accumulate profits. The Enlightenment and the Book explores this tension between creativity and commerce that still exists in scholarly publishing today. Lavishly illustrated and elegantly conceived, it will be must reading for anyone interested in the history of the book or the production and diffusion of Enlightenment thought.
Bowker Data Service Summary
'The Englightenment and the Book' explores the tension between creativity & commerce that still exists in scholarly publishing today. Lavishly illustrated & elegantly concieved, it will be a fascinating read for anyone interested in the history of the book or the production & diffusion of Enlightenment thought.
Table of Contents
Toward a book history of the Scottish enlightenmentp. 1
Designs and disclaimersp. 25
Composing the Scottish enlightenmentp. 43
Identity and diversity among Scottish authorsp. 97
The rewards of authorshipp. 195
Forging the London-Edinburgh publishing axisp. 265
The Heyday of Scottish enlightenment publishingp. 327
The achievement of William Creechp. 401
The rise and fall of Irish reprintingp. 443
Making Scottish books in America, 1770-1784p. 503
"A more extensive diffusion of useful knowledge" : Philadelphia, 1784-1800p. 541
The disintegration of the London-Edinburgh publishing axisp. 598
The pattern of Scottish enlightenment book historyp. 606
Scottish enlightenment authors, 1746-1800p. 613
British, Irish, and American first editions of Scottish enlightenment books, 1746-1800p. 620
Subjects and formats of first British editions of Scottish enlightenment booksp. 700
Popularity of British editions of Scottish enlightenment booksp. 701
Principal publishers of new Scottish enlightenment booksp. 702
Principal publishers of Dublin first editions of Scottish enlightenment booksp. 704
Printing account of Thomas Cadell, Sr., in the Strahan Archive, 1793-1798p. 705
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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