By Richard B. Sher
The overdue eighteenth century witnessed an explosion of highbrow job in Scotland by means of such luminaries as David Hume, Adam Smith, Hugh Blair, William Robertson, Adam Ferguson, James Boswell, and Robert Burns. And the books written via those seminal thinkers made an important mark in the course of their time in virtually each box of well mannered literature and better studying all through Britain, Europe, and the Americas. In this magisterial background, Richard B. Sher breaks new flooring for our knowing of the Enlightenment and the forgotten function of publishing in the course of that interval. The Enlightenment and the e-book seeks to therapy the typical misperception that such classics because the Wealth of countries and The lifetime of Samuel Johnson have been written through authors who eyed their publishers as minor functionaries of their career. on the contrary, Sher indicates how the method of bookmaking throughout the overdue eighteenth-century concerned a deeply advanced partnership among authors and their publishers, one within which writers observed the e-book not just as pivotal within the dissemination in their rules, but in addition as the most important to their goals of status and fiscal achieve. equally, Sher demonstrates that publishers have been occupied with the undertaking of bookmaking with a purpose to enhance human wisdom in addition to to amass profits. The Enlightenment and the ebook explores this rigidity among creativity and trade that also exists in scholarly publishing this day. Lavishly illustrated and assuredly conceived, will probably be needs to examining for someone attracted to the background of the booklet or the creation and diffusion of Enlightenment notion.
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It provides a framework for undertaking the comparative history of variations within a larger pattern of unity. 47. Goodman, “Difference”; Goodman, Republic of Letters; Gordon, Citizens without Sovereignty; Jacob, Living the Enlightenment; Outram, Enlightenment; Roche, Le siècle des lumières; McElroy, Scotland’s Age of Improvement; Clark, British Clubs and Societies. 48. Steintrager, Cruel Delight. indb 17 10/12/06 11:20:12 AM 18 • Introduction The Scottish Enlightenment was one of those variations.
7. Hesse, “Books in Time,” 21. indb 3 10/12/06 11:20:08 AM 4 • Introduction bookshops increased dramatically in London and throughout Britain, and so did the quantity of accessible reading material, including books, periodicals, and newspapers. 8 In spite of disagreements over the precise nature and duration of copyright, there was widespread acceptance in eighteenth-century Britain of the principle of copyright itself, extending at least the fourteen years (or twenty-eight years, if the author were still alive) allowed by the so-called Statute of Anne, the copyright act that went into effect in 1710 and was upheld as the law of the land on appeal to the House of Lords in 1774.
In contrast with the strategies of retrenchment that are now in vogue, I contend that the Enlightenment should be viewed as a very big movement, requiring correspondingly broad conceptualization, geographically, intellectually, and socially. The Enlightenment may be perceived as a grand symphony with multiple variations. Such an approach may not yield a conception of the Enlightenment that is as tightly demarcated as some would wish, but the retreat to a narrowly defined Enlightenment or to a multitude of discrete Enlightenments with no overriding unity is not likely to do much better in this respect because there will always be uncertainties about which thinkers and books fall within the purview of the delineated spaces.
The Enlightenment and the Book: Scottish Authors and Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America by Richard B. Sher
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