This ground-breaking volume of 11 entirely new studies offers an innovative focus on the culture of the publishers' series from an unusual range of nations and cultures. The phenomenon of the publishers' series - and the cultural work done by 'the ...
series', its purposes, implications and contexts - has previously been neglected by all but a few scholars working on individual publishing houses. It has never before been considered holistically as part of the change in culture and the production, pricing and distribution of books since the 18th century. In this volume, scholars from England, America, Eire, India, Greece, Germany, Spain, Canada and the Netherlands open out key problems concerning the series, national development, and the national canon in these countries, and their international book-trade relationships. Studies focus on fundamental issues concerning the fabrication of a national canon in a range of nations, and also on the book in war-time, the evolution of catholic literature, imperial traditions and colonial libraries. The fundamental issues of individual national evolution, and of the national canon, is the axis of the individual studies of particular series. The implication of series in their wider economic, political and social contexts is examined by the editor, Professor John Spiers. He considers the cultural and economic work of the series as a publishing and cultural phenomenon, and raises some axioms of best historical practise which are opened out in the process, embracing both the arts and the sciences. The essays in this volume do much to illuminate what were the various and differing conditions and events, beliefs and ideas that lay behind book trade developments in individual countries and regions, and how they were implicated in wider cultural evolution.