An Introduction to Book History

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An Introduction to Book History provides a comprehensive critical introduction to the development of the book and print culture.

David Finkelstein and Alistair McCleery chart the move from spoken word to written texts, the coming of print, the book as commodity, the power and profile of readers, and the future of the book in the electronic age.

Each section begins with a summary of the chapter's aims and contents, followed by a detailed discussion of the relevant issues, concluding with a summary of the chapter and suggestions for further reading.

Sections include:

  • the history of the book
  • orality to Literacy
  • literacy to printing
  • authors, authorship and authority
  • printers, booksellers, publishers, agents
  • readers and reading
  • the future of the book.

An Introduction to Book History is an ideal introduction to this exciting field of study, and is designed as a companion text to The Book History Reader.

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Contents

Theorizing the history of the book
7
From orality to literacy
28
The coming of print
44
Authors authorship and authority
66
Printers booksellers publishers agents
85
Readers and reading
100
The future of the book
118
Conclusion
133
Glossary
137
Notes
141
Bibliography
142
Index
152
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

David Finkelstein is Professor of Media and head of the Media Department at Queen Margaret University College, Edinburgh.

Alistair McCleery is Professor of Literature and Communications at Napier University, Edinburgh. They are the editors of The Book History Reader (Routledge 2001).

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