The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America

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University of Chicago Press, 15.09.2008 - 842 Seiten

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.

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The Enlightenment & the book: Scottish authors & their publishers in eighteenth-century Britain, Ireland, & America

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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 ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Introduction
1
Designs and Disclaimers
25
Part I Scottish Authors in a World of Books
41
Part II Publishing the Scottish Enlightenment in London and Edinburgh
263
Part III Reprinting the Scottish Enlightenment in Dublin and Philadelphia
441
Tables
611
Bibliography
709
Index
757
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Seite 195 - Seven years, My Lord, have now passed since I waited in your outward rooms or was repulsed from your door, during which time I have been pushing on my work through difficulties of which it is useless to complain, and have brought it at last to the verge of publication without one act of assistance, one word of encouragement, or one smile of favour.
Seite 42 - Is it not strange, that at a time when we have lost our Princes, our Parliaments, our independent Government, even the Presence of our chief Nobility, are unhappy, in our Accent & Pronunciation, speak a very corrupt Dialect of the Tongue which we make use of; Is it not strange, I say, that, in these Circumstances, we shou'd really be the People most distinguish'd for Literature in Europe.
Seite 55 - Upon the whole, I have always considered him, both in his lifetime and since his death, as approaching as nearly to the idea of a perfectly wise and virtuous man as perhaps the nature of human frailty will permit.
Seite 562 - The cause too, why utility pleases, has of late been assigned by an ingenious and agreeable philosopher, who joins the greatest depth of thought to the greatest elegance of expression, and possesses the singular and happy talent of treating the abstrusest subjects not only with the most perfect perspicuity, but with the most lively eloquence.
Seite 157 - An Account of the Life, Lectures, and Writings of William Cullen, MD, Professor of the Practice of Physic in the University of Edinburgh.
Seite 51 - We are slaves to the language we write, and are continually afraid of committing gross blunders ; and, when an easy, familiar, idiomatical phrase occurs, dare not adopt it, if we recollect no authority, for fear of Scotticisms. In a word, we handle English, as a person who cannot fence handles a sword...
Seite 69 - Sir, it is not so much to be lamented that Old England is lost, as that the Scotch have found it.
Seite 118 - If a man have the misfortune in the former place (ie England) to attach himself to letters, even if he succeeds, I know not with whom he is to live, nor how he is to pass his time in a suitable company.
Seite 105 - Corporations of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh new Charters, and thereby to give to the said College of Physicians the name of " The Royal College of Physicians of Scotland...

Über den Autor (2008)

Richard B. Sher is Distinguished Professor of History at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He is the author of Church and University in the Scottish Enlightenment: The Moderate Literati of Edinburgh.

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