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The Enlightenment & the BookScottish Authors & Their Publishers in Eighteenth-Century Britain, Ireland, and America$
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Richard B. Sher

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226752525

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226752549.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Forging the London—edinburgh Publishing Axis

Forging the London—edinburgh Publishing Axis

(p.265) 4 Forging the London—edinburgh Publishing Axis
The Enlightenment & the Book
University of Chicago Press

Readers and consumers of books, in the eighteenth century as well as today, are often cognizant of where and by whom a book has been published, and this information may affect not only whether they buy or read it, but also how they categorize it in their own minds. Publishers' catalogues and printed advertisements (and today also web sites) add to this effect by providing a link between books and their makers. This chapter examines the relationship between “publisher function” and “author function,” taking into account the effect of time on perceptions of the printed word. As time passes, publishers often drop out of the consciousness of readers, leaving authors alone as the sole standard for ordering texts. Consider how the makers of Enlightenment books in Scotland were represented in the Dictionary of National Biography (DNB), the classic record of Victorian perceptions of personal merit and distinction in British history. The DNB contains entries for every one of the 115 Scottish authors, but only sixteen of the many individuals who produced the books have separate entries, and some of them were included for reasons other than their contributions to publishing.

Keywords:   publisher function, author function, Scotland, Enlightenment, books, DNB, personal merit, distinction, publishing

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