This book provides a history, centered on one segment of the Enlightenment, but with methodological implications that may extend beyond it. In focusing first on authors and publishers, and then on the reprinters of their works, it shows how developments in eighteenth-century publishing served the Enlightenment in Scotland, and how the Scottish Enlightenment served the domain of publishing. As this formulation implies, the relationship was symbiotic. Scottish authors of new Enlightenment texts provided British publishers with their most prestigious and potentially lucrative raw materials for books, while publishers provided Scottish authors and potential authors with opportunities for international fame, glory, and wealth. The modern era of anti-Enlightenment thought began in 1931, with the publication of The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers by Carl Becker. Preserved Smith paraphrased Becker's thesis three years later in what was perhaps the first book to use the term “the Enlightenment” in its title.
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