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By John Feather

Completely revised, restructured and up to date, A background of British Publishing covers six centuries of publishing in Britain from prior to the discovery of the printing press, to the digital period of at the present time. John Feather locations Britain and her industries in a global market and examines simply how ‘British’, British publishing relatively is. contemplating not just the publishing itself, but additionally the parts affecting, and plagued by it, Feather lines the background of publishing books in Britain and examines: schooling politics expertise legislation faith customized classification finance, creation and distribution the onslaught of world agencies. in particular designed for publishing and e-book heritage classes, this can be the one booklet to provide an total historical past of British publishing, and should be a useful source for all scholars of this interesting topic.

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In 1539, Berthelet had petitioned Henry VIII for similar privileges with regard to the Bible; the king accepted the principle, but the privilege was actually conferred on Cromwell. After Cromwell’s execution in 1540, it was transferred to Anthony Merler, a merchant who was in fact one of Grafton’s financial backers. In 1543, Grafton 26 THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BOOK TRADE 1111 2 3 4 51 6 7 8 9 1011 1 2 13 4 5 6 7 8 9 20111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 30111 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 40111 1 2 3 44111 himself was granted similar rights in service books and primers, to which the statutes were added in 1547 (Siebert 1965: 38–9; Plant 1965: 100–1).

At the same time, regulating the competition between members for the general good also necessitated some system which would identify who had the right to print and sell particular titles. All of these factors were to come together in the 1560s with consequences which were to reverberate through the subsequent history of publishing far beyond the confines of the City of London or indeed Tudor England. Conclusions When Elizabeth I came to the throne in 1558, the English book trade was flourishing.

The Court ruled the Company, and was increasingly dominated by past office-holders. In this lay the key to the triumph of the printers in the 1560s and the resentment of that power which came close to destroying the Company some forty years later (Blagden 1960: 78–91). The first Master, elected in 1557, was Thomas Dockwray, a lawyer who had presumably been involved in the legal work necessary to obtain the Charter (Blayney 2003: 27; Duff 1905: 40). During the next ten years, only four men held the office: John Cawood (1561, 1562, 1566), Richard Waye (1558, 1563), Reyner Wolfe (1559, 1564, 1567) and Steven Kevall (1560, 1565) (Greg and Boswell 1930: 95–6; Duff 1905: 23, 85, 167, 171–2).

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