- Charlottesville, Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 2019. 233x155 mm. XIV, 383 pp. Hardcover with dust jacket.
The essays collected here are mainly about book production in England and America during the Industrial Revolution. Some touch on topics earlier and later than this pivotal period, but they too tend toward the manufacturing sector and deal with the same tools of the trade: paper and type. The first section on research methods surveys recent scholarship in paper history and contains recommendations for further study. Two essays advocate a greater emphasis on the business side of printing and publishing, a vantage point for viewing their inner workings and their peripheral connections with allied ventures in finance and technology. The essays in the second and third sections describe developments in the paper trade with special reference to the requirements of letterpress printing. The volume concludes with two case studies, each tracing the history of a single publication. Both build on arguments made previously about the interdependence of the book trades. Both are based on an examination of multiple copies, one of the principal techniques in the repertoire of analytical bibliography. The empirical evidence of paper, type, bindings, and illustrations should take precedence in any attempt to learn about design decisions, marketing methods, and publication strategies.