Social Authorship and the Advent of Print

Overview

How did academic and literary writers living in rural Britain in the 1680s establish their careers and find audiences for their work? What factors influenced the choices of essayists and dramatists who lived outside London and the university cities? Who read the works of regional poets and natural scientists and how were they circulated?

In this engaging study of the development of literary industry and authorship in early modern Britain, Margaret Ezell examines the forces at ...

See more details below
Paperback (New Edition)
$27.00
BN.com price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (12) from $15.00   
  • New (9) from $21.67   
  • Used (3) from $15.00   
Sending request ...

Overview

How did academic and literary writers living in rural Britain in the 1680s establish their careers and find audiences for their work? What factors influenced the choices of essayists and dramatists who lived outside London and the university cities? Who read the works of regional poets and natural scientists and how were they circulated?

In this engaging study of the development of literary industry and authorship in early modern Britain, Margaret Ezell examines the forces at work at a time when print technology was in competition with older manuscript authorship practices and the legal status of authors was being transformed. She also explores the literary concepts that subsequently developed out of new commercial practices, such as the rise of the "classic" text and the marketing of uniform series editions.

Ezell's interdisciplinary approach draws together the history of the book and cultural history. The result allows the reader a glimpse of literary life as practiced by "social" authors in the context of the development of commercial publishing and the formalization of copyright laws defining texts and authors. Ezell examines how early modern publishers went about choosing books to publish and why some groups of writers—"social" authors—were successful without relying on the growing publishing and bookselling industries. She concludes that, especially for writers living away from large cities, privately produced and circulated manuscripts remained the best means of transmitting literary or academic work and achieving recognition as an author. An underlying question, Ezell notes, is whether the Internet will inspire the reemergence of the "social" author, whose work can be circulated to readers without the assistance of a publishing firm.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Rocky Mountain Review - Marjorie Swann

A complex, nuanced portrait of English reading and writing during the Restoration and early eighteenth century... Ezell's deeply intelligent, challenging book will thus interest not only early modern specialists, but a more general readership concerned with issues of authorial identity and technological change.

Early Modern Literary Studies - Scott Nixon

Ezell's is a beautifully written and cogently argued study [and] an unqualified success.

South Atlantic Review - Zeynep Tenger

Margaret Ezell's most recent book, Social Authorship and the Advent of Print, as her previous work, The Patriarch's Wife (1987) and Writing Women's Literary History (1993), is a revisionist literary history at its best.

Technology and Culture - Frederic D. Schwarz

Ezell eloquently challenges her fellow scholars' equation, conscious or unconscious, of authorship with publication.

College Literature - Allison Fraiberg

In concise yet detailed fashion, Ezell shows us how commercial print culture eclipsed its vibrant manuscript counterpart.

Journal of English and Germanic Philology - Gerald MacLean

Lucid and engaging in both style and argumentation.

Eighteenth-Century Life - Nicholas Hudson

Opens a new chapter in our understanding of writing and print in the Early Modern Era.

South Central Review - Devoney Looser

Ezell's work has become the gold standard for responsible, revisionary literary historicizing in the early modern period... Her work is groundbreaking in the most refreshing and dynamic sense.

Rocky Mountain Review
A complex, nuanced portrait of English reading and writing during the Restoration and early eighteenth century... Ezell's deeply intelligent, challenging book will thus interest not only early modern specialists, but a more general readership concerned with issues of authorial identity and technological change.

— Marjorie Swann

Early Modern Literary Studies
Ezell's is a beautifully written and cogently argued study [and] an unqualified success.

— Scott Nixon

South Atlantic Review
Margaret Ezell's most recent book, Social Authorship and the Advent of Print, as her previous work, The Patriarch's Wife (1987) and Writing Women's Literary History (1993), is a revisionist literary history at its best.

— Zeynep Tenger

Technology and Culture
Ezell eloquently challenges her fellow scholars' equation, conscious or unconscious, of authorship with publication.

— Frederic D. Schwarz

College Literature
In concise yet detailed fashion, Ezell shows us how commercial print culture eclipsed its vibrant manuscript counterpart.

— Allison Fraiberg

Journal of English and Germanic Philology
Lucid and engaging in both style and argumentation.

— Gerald MacLean

Eighteenth-Century Life
Opens a new chapter in our understanding of writing and print in the Early Modern Era.

— Nicholas Hudson

South Central Review
Ezell's work has become the gold standard for responsible, revisionary literary historicizing in the early modern period... Her work is groundbreaking in the most refreshing and dynamic sense.

— Devoney Looser

Booknews
Ezell (liberal arts, Texas A&M U.) investigates how British authors living outside of London and the university cities got their work circulated and built literary careers. She describes how what were called social authors bypassed the emerging commercial printing and publishing industry and continued to produce and circulate manuscripts. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801877377
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Margaret J. M. Ezell is the John Paul Abbott Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A & M University. Her books include Writing Women's Literary History, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: The Changing Culture of Authorship and the History of the Book 1
1 The Social Author: Manuscript Culture, Writers, and Readers 21
2 Literary Pirates and Reluctant Authors: Some Peculiar Institutions of Authorship 45
3 The Very Early Career of Alexander Pope 61
4 Getting into Print: London and the Social Author 85
5 Getting into Print: Literary Life outside London 103
6 Making a Classic: The Advent of the Literary Series and the National Author 123
Postscript 141
Notes 143
Works Cited 161
Index 173
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)