Cover image for The colonial book in the Atlantic world
The colonial book in the Atlantic world
Amory, Hugh.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, U.K. ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxiv, 638 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z473 .C686 2000 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



Volume 1 of A History of the Book in America, The Colonial Book in the Atlantic World, encompasses the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. It is organized around three major themes: the persisting colonial relationship between European settlements and the Old World; the gradual emergence of a pluralistic book trade that differentiated printers from booksellers; and the transition from a 'culture of the Word', organized around an understanding of print as a vehicle of the sacred, to the culture of republicanism, epitomized by Benjamin Franklin, and culminating in the uses of print during the Revolutionary era. The volume will also describe nascent forms of literary and learned culture (including the circulation of manuscripts), literacy and censorship, orality, and the efforts by Europeans to introduce written literary to Native Americans and African Americans.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

This vast, dense, scholarly tome, edited by Amory, retired rare book cataloguer at the Houghton library at Harvard University, and Hall, professor of American religious history at Harvard Divinity School, presents a collaborative effort toward an exhaustive history. Thirteen scholars, including historians and library curators, have contributed essays related to the historical definition of "the book" in colonial America (incorporating texts as diverse as manuscripts, almanacs, Bibles and broadsheets) in the 17th and 18th centuries, and to how that definition evolved as the social, economic and political conditions of the country consolidated and solidified into various new configurations. Amory attempts, for instance, to explain how the colonial book was characterized primarily by its growing political and economic independence from London. David Shields describes colonial literary culture in the 18th century as an expansive projection of diverse communities centered on a common language. One of the strengths of the volume is its plentiful textual artifacts, such as newspaper notices, apprenticeship indentures, catalogues, guidebooks, currency, textbooks, death notices, etc.Äit's fascinating flipping through and reading just the texts themselves. This is an almost addictive read for anyone even remotely concerned with the history of the production and distribution of books and printed materials. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Introduction: some contexts and questions: the Europeans' encounter with the Native AmericansDavid D. Hall
1 Re-inventing the Colonial bookHugh Amory
2 The Chesapeake in the seventeenth centuryDavid D. Hall
3 Printing and bookselling in New England 1638-1713Hugh Amory
4 Readers and writers in seventeenth-century New EnglandDavid D. Hall
5 The Atlantic world
Part I The Atlantic Economy in the Eighteenth CenturyDavid D. Hall
Part II Printers' Supplies and CapitalizationJohn Bidwell
Part III The Importation of Books in the Eighteenth CenturyJames Raven
Part IV Note Imports and Domestic Production:Hugh Amory
6 The book trade in the Middle Colonies, 1680-1720James N. Green
7 The Southern book trade in the eighteenth centuryCalhoun Winton
8 The book trade in the Middle Colonies in the age ofFranklin James N. Green
Part II The German and Dutch Language Books and Printing:A. Gregg Roeber
9 The New England Book Trade. 1713-1790Hugh Amory
10 Periodicals and politics
Part I Early American Journalism: news and opinion in the Popular PressCharles E. Clark
Part II Shifting Freedoms of the Press in the Eighteenth CenturyRichard D. Brown
11 Practices of reading: introductionDavid D. Hall
1 Literacy and schoolbooksRoss W. Beales and E. Jennifer Monaghan
2 Customers and the marketplace for books ElizabethCarroll Reilly and David D. Hall
12 Learned culture in the eighteenth centuryDavid D. Hall
13 Literary culture in the eighteenth centuryDavid Shields.