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By John Feather

It was once no longer till the eighteenth century that books turned greatly on hand during the complete of britain. Publishing remained principally London-based, however the provincial marketplace grew progressively in significance. during this examine, drawing on quite a lot of fundamental assets, John Feather strains the commercial, social and cultural forces which made attainable this primary switch, and assesses the influence of the metropolitan published note on provincial society. He discusses the real problems with copyright and piracy; a number of the monetary preparations among booksellers and publishers; and certainly the flowery distribution and employer platforms that enabled London publishers to maintain their powerful stranglehold by way of penetrating the provincial marketplace at each point.

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It was, however, in the very antithesis of the ancient foundations that the most lively potential book market was to be found: in the technical and commercial academies. 16 Hogben was not unique among booksellers in running such a school, or among schoolmasters in selling books. The Universal British Directory tells us of two more: Thomas Palmer of East Grinstead, Sussex, was Master of a school there, and William Perks of Bath was a writing master and accountant as well as a stationer. 17 Mathematical education, and training in mathematically based technologies such as surveying and navigation, was the basis of education in these little schools.

The early provincial newspapers did little more than reprint news from their London contemporaries a week or so after its original publication. 26 It was as an advertising medium that the provincial press came to play a crucial role in social and economic life. Goods and services were offered in profusion; employers sought employees, and the unemployed advertised for work. In fact, the increasingly dominant advertising pages of a mideighteenth-century provincial newspaper were very like those of its modern successor.

18 THE PRACTICAL MARKET There was some degree of national uniformity in the educational market. Although there were regional trends, like the origin of the Sunday School movement in Gloucestershire and Somerset, the pattern from Durham to Daventry was generally similar. When we turn to the market for practical books, and even more when we consider leisure reading, local variation is more apparent. We shall, however, begin with one category of uniform national interest: the law. Law books were not only for lawyers.

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