Books were the basic building blocks of the Enlightenment, an edifice erected one block at a time. In reconstructing the book history of the Scottish Enlightenment, this book engaged in the architecture of book culture. It followed a trail from David Hume's boastful pronouncement in the 1750s about Scotland being “the People most distinguished for Literature in Europe” to a time less than fifty years later when that boast had considerably more merit than most contemporaries might have thought possible when it was first uttered. To a very large extent, what made it so was the publishing of new learned and literary books in Scotland, London, and Edinburgh, along with the subsequent reprinting of those books, especially in Dublin and Philadelphia.
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