Books and Their Makers during the Middle Ages: A Study of the Conditions of the Production and Distribution of Literature from the Fall of the Roman Empire to the Close of the Seventeenth Century - Vol. 2

By George Haven Putnam | Go to book overview

CHAPTER V.
THE LATER ESTIENNES AND CASAUBON. 1537-1659.

IT is not necessary for the purpose of this study to give the record in detail of the careers and publishing undertakings of all the printers of the great family of the Estiennes. I have been interested in presenting with some fulness the account of the life and work of Robert, because he stands out as the most distinctive and forcible member of a famous literary family, and because his experience illustrates very fairly the characteristic features and the chief difficulties of the business of publishing books in France in the first half of the sixteenth century. The business careers of the brothers and of the descendants of Robert should be mentioned, however, if only to indicate the exceptional position occupied by this noteworthy family in the history of printing and publishing, and the extent of the influence exercised by it through successive generations upon the production of scholarly literature.

Robert's elder brother, Francis, was a libraire juré of the University of Paris. His publications were comprised within the ten years from 1537 to 1547. He used as a mark a tripos which stands upon a closed book and from which issues a vine shoot. The motto is Plus olei quam vini. This is sometimes followed by the adage, which seems rather a truism than a truth, πάντων

-62-

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