This innovative volume is part of a two-volume set concerned with the culture of the publishers' series world-wide and over several centuries. It offers eleven entirely new studies, with much new material on series from many nations and contexts, ...
and does much to illuminate the various conditions and events, beliefs and ideas that lay behind book trade developments on several continents, and how they were implicated both in the evolution of the book trade and of the wider society. The editor, Professor John Spiers, examines the implications of series in their wider economic, political and social context. He emphasises the cultural work done by the series, and the importance of approaching publishing as a creative, risk-taking business. Necessarily, some axioms of best historical practise open out in the process, embracing both the arts and the sciences. The phenomenon of the publisher's series - and the fundamental cultural work done by 'the series' - has previously been neglected by all but a few scholars working on individual publishing houses. The series has never before been considered holistically as part of the changes in culture and the production, pricing and distribution of books since the 18th century, and as something with precedents in earlier periods and ramifications in later ones. This is a ground-breaking volume which places the publishers' series in a deservedly key position, and it is concerned with such issues as market forces, canonicity, copyright, literary education, popular and pulp fiction, high art, and marketing in its many aspects. Volume 1 includes studies by scholars from Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, France, Germany, and Belgium. Using a wide range of approaches, the different contributors' voices emerge as complimentary metholodological systems. They discuss specific series in detail, and also the work of the many agents engaged in print culture including entrepreneurial publishers, authors, literary agents, designers, wholesale and retail distributors, and the popular media.
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