Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cleaning Out the Pipes... or at Least the Shelves

I've been dragging around a whole pile of books on a variety of topics. I keep thinking I'll get to them but I never do. It's time to take them all back to the library; but not before they get a final review. Since Claire has Finn for the morning, I finally have my opportunity.

The frist work is Leona Rostenberg's English Publishers in the Graphic Arts 1599-1700.

There are some interesting tidbits in here but if focusses primarily on architectural and artistic books, and maps. It doesn't necessarily answer my quandry about the lack of an English theatrum machinarum. Regardless, the appendix/bibliography is interesting. Some works I sould investigate include:

  • Serlio's The first book of architecture published by Peake in 1611.

  • Blum's Booke of five collvmnes of architecture (Peake) in 1635.

  • Palladio's The first book of architecture (Richards) in 1663.

  • Blum's Description of the five orders of architecture (Overton) in 1668.

  • Francini's A nevv book on architecture wherein its represented forty figures of gates and arches triumphant (Pricke) in 1669.

  • For that matter, there's a whole pile of work published by Pricke...

Okay. It seems that I'll have to hold on to this particular work. Hopefully, the trend won't continue.

Stephen P. Timoshenko's History of the Strength of Materials (1953)

This one never made it to the shelf. It just sat on the stairs for a week with some photocopies of an article about the content of Galileo's library. Most of the work considers more recent developments. Although his treatment of L'Ecole Polytechnique deserves some more consideration, particularly in light of my new interest in Errard and his depiction of bridges. So I have to hold on to this one too.

David T. Pottinger's The French Book Trade in the Ancien Regime 1500-1791 (1958)

This one has been on my shelf for a very long time. I remember sitting on the couch at the cottage on a Sunday morning and making margin notes so it's time to give it up. Overall, this is a tremendous overview of the publishing conditions during the Ancien Regime and stands as a very good partner to the work of Adrian Johns. It should be noted that while Pottinger deals with questions of “what”, Johns extends the discussion into “why.”

  • “From our figures, for instance, we cannot find out what was being read in any decade though we can find out what was being written and published. We cannot deduce anything regarding the purchasers of these books though we do learn a good deal about the status of the authors.” 4

  • All the population not including Clergy or nobility made up the Third Estate. The bourgeoisie were the most interesting element for the ancien regime. They had a strong work ething and were thrifty. They had a respect for learning. Was Besson a member of the Third Estate?

  • For those getting an education, they typically went to college at 16, had four years of lating and two of philosophy. Then on to university for Theology.

  • Some figures on the use of Latin: 1560-1569, 273 books total, 73 in Latin. Sixteenth century overall: 34.2% in Latin. Seventeenth century: 25.3%. Eighteenth century: 5.2%.

  • During the wars of religion, brochures were more popular than books.

  • “The Academies meanwhile had been further developing the strong traditions of scientific writing. In the sixteenth century no scientist was a specialist in a single field, much less in only a section of a field, but the beginning of concentration are evident in the work of Pare', Palissy, and Alciat.” 38

  • Breakdown of page size: Sixteenth century: f.13.14%,q.21.9%,o.52.5%,12.4.63%,other.7.83%; Seventeenth century: 10.16%, 32.35%, 27.64%, 28.64%, 1.21%; Eighteenth century: 5%, 19.38%, 27.77%, 46.46%, 1.39%

  • General trend indicates demand shifting from weight academic tomes to lighter popular works.

  • An author typically sold his work outright to a publisher. Royalty arrangements were uncommon. Ramelli maintained his plates (the artifact) and his IP. Besson's was sold off.

  • Unless an author was also a member of the printer's guild, he could not sell his own works. A law of 16 June 1618 was emphatic on this point.

  • All copy submitted to a printer was written in ink with quills of goose, swan, or raven.

  • Compositors had difficulty with erasures, interlineations, marginal interpolations, and corrections. A law of 1539, renewed in 1571 and 1572, required authors to submit clean copy.

  • Chancery was the most common script, although carolignian miniscule and gothic were increasinlgy used.

  • 1540. The publication of Robert Estienne's French-Latin dictionary controlled variety in spelling.

  • Proofreaders acted primiarly as editors and collators.

  • To correct printing errors, hand written marginal notes were occassionaly included. This practice led to the use of “cancels” inserted into the work or an errata page at the end.

  • “Freedom of thought and expression are eighteenth century concepts that had no existence in the intellectual outlook of earlier times. To fifteenth- and sixteenth-century France censorship was a matter of course, for it merely carried on medieval tradition.” pg. 55

  • ** There was no heresy in the TM: they're all images.

  • Civil wars tightened censorship. From September 1563, printed works required permission from the King... although how this was administered, I'm not sure.

  • ** There is a section that details the operation of censorship that parallels Johns's treatment.

  • 1618. Law stated that books not printed in clear type on good paper with the names of the printer and publisher and the permit and privilege were to confiscated.

  • Author could support himself through: 1. inherited or acquired wealth, 2. patronage through gifts of money, estate, government office, secretaryship, position as censor, lodgings, tutor of children, free printing, pension, subscription to a number of copies of a printed work. Most pensions ended with the sponsors death, 3. ecclesiastical preferment, 4. Professional other other occupations ** who was Bernard Palissy?, 5. Income from literary work (only possible late in the 17th century)

  • Author could hire printers and hire a dealer!

  • Sample of printing contract from 19 June 1565 (pg. 100): “Philippe Gaultier acknowledges receipt from Nicolas Gaultier, principle of the college of S. Vaast d'Arras in the University of Paris, of a manuscript written on paper containing twenty-six leaves (fifty-two pages) in addition to the title, entitled: Treatise on the Gout, by Demetrius Pepagomanus, translated into French by Ferry Jamet, MD. This book to be printed in an octavo volume on good paper, test in Cicero roman, summaries of chapters in Cicero italic, marginal notes is mall primer italic and quotations also in small primer italic. Phillippe Gaultier promises the work in one month. After printing is finished, he will furnish to Nicolas Gautier three hundred complete volumes, which he will pay for at the rate of three deniers and a farthing per sheet.”

  • “From the thirteenth century and until June 1618 the whole book business had, at least theoretically, no status whatever in commercial and industrial structure of France. It was an integral part of the educational system.” pg. 114

  • 1571. Charles IX issues edict of Gaillon which regulates the book trade.

  • “The date of 16 June 1618 is the great dividing line in the history of the French book trade. Before this it was irregular organization, part free, part regulated; a division of the University and yet subject to preliminary efforts to bring it closer to the civil government. Now a new corporation came into being with the publication of a new set of statutes.” pg. 122

  • “If the booksellers were disturbed by the peddlers, the printers were no less worried by the engravers and print makers. From the time of Henry III the latter were forbidden to have in their possession any fonts of type or any presses except those that were specially adapted for the printing of engraved plates. If they wished to print a caption below the engraving, they must call in a regular printer for the work, and even then the caption much not be longer than ten lines nor carried over to the revers side.” pg. 140

  • 12 December 1630 “private individual of quality” could not keep printing equipment in their homes. 10 May 1728, 16 April 1757, edict extended to ecclesiastical organizations.

  • All imported books had to be taken to guild headquarters for inspection.

  • Problem with jobbers and sales representatives who would skim demand before foreign publishers could make formal arrangements with Paris dealers. Banned 11 April 1740.

  • Mercantilism and medieval values mandated a particular code of conduct.

  • Books required permits after Francis I became alarmed by influx of Lutheran books from Germany. Permits were issued by the Faculty of Theology of the University of Paris; after 11 May 1612 by the Chancellor.

Lawrence B. Romaine's A Guide to American Trade Catalogs 1744-1900 (1976).

This annotated bibliography is very thorough. If I ever want to investigate the confluence between technical illustration and proto-marketing, I know where to look.


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