The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland - Vol. 3

The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland - Vol. 3

The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland - Vol. 3

The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland - Vol. 3


Throughout the nineteenth century Scotland was transformed from an agricultural nation on the periphery of Europe to become an industrial force with international significance. A landmark in its field, this volume explores the changes in the Scottish book trade as it moved from a small-scale manufacturing process to a mass-production industry. This book brings together the work of over thirty leading experts to explore a broad range of topics that include production technology, bookselling and distribution, the literary market, reading and libraries, and Scotland's international relations. Features
• The only study of its kind.
• Records Scotland's remarkable contribution to the history of the book in this period.
• Chapters researched and written by leading experts.
• Well illustrated.


In 1800 SCOTLAND was an agrarian nation composed of a handful of major towns and a large number of smaller scattered communities. Although the Industrial Revolution had already transformed some manufacturing districts, particularly those engaged in textiles and tobacco, the nation’s printers and booksellers were still largely operating within a pre-industrial economy. But urbanisation and industrialisation were on the horizon, heralding large-scale changes that within a few decades would transform the Scottish book trade.

Although the cultural transformations that Scotland faced were not unique, there are clear distinctions about the way in which the nation experienced the period. Of immense importance were the various technological developments that were to appear in the first quarter of the century. Faster and cheaper transport networks soon followed, so that, within a generation or two, the ways in which goods were manufactured and distributed were completely revolutionised. This was also a period that was to witness unprecedented political and demographic change. Despite high levels of mass migration, in the eighty years covered by this volume the population of Scotland almost tripled. The aim of this introduction is to explore that changing cultural landscape in order to provide a context for thinking about the world in which the book in Scotland found itself between 1800 and 1880.

A technological revolution

Along with other major industries, the print and allied trades were to undergo a series of developments as new technical discoveries and changing patterns of consumption transformed the way in which books were made, distributed and even read. In 1800 the fundamentals of . . .

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