A Literary Tour De France

Author: Robert Darnton
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190678003
Size: 11.84 MB
Format: PDF
View: 1580
The publishing industry in France in the years before the Revolution was a lively and sometimes rough-and-tumble affair, as publishers and printers scrambled to deal with (and if possible evade) shifting censorship laws and tax regulations, in order to cater to a reading public's appetite for books of all kinds, from the famous Encyclopédie, repository of reason and knowledge, to scandal-mongering libel and pornography. Historian and librarian Robert Darnton uses his exclusive access to a trove of documents-letters and documents from authors, publishers, printers, paper millers, type founders, ink manufacturers, smugglers, wagon drivers, warehousemen, and accountants-involving a publishing house in the Swiss town of Neuchatel to bring this world to life. Like other places on the periphery of France, Switzerland was a hotbed of piracy, carefully monitoring the demand for certain kinds of books and finding ways of fulfilling it. Focusing in particular on the diary of Jean-François Favarger, a traveling sales rep for a Swiss firm whose 1778 voyage, on horseback and on foot, around France to visit bookstores and renew accounts forms the spine of this story, Darnton reveals not only how the industry worked and which titles were in greatest demand, but the human scale of its operations. A Literary Tour de France is literally that. Darnton captures the hustle, picaresque comedy, and occasional risk of Favarger's travels in the service of books, and in the process offers an engaging, immersive, and unforgettable narrative of book culture at a critical moment in France's history.

Problems And Policies Of Malesherbes As Directeur De La Librarie In France 1750 1763

Author: Edward P. Shaw
Publisher: SUNY Press
ISBN: 9780873950183
Size: 23.58 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
View: 6344
Chrétien-Guillaume de Malesherbes was director of the book trade and chief of the royal censors during the tumultuous formative period of the esprit philsophique in eighteenth-century France. As such, no single bureaucrat wielded more personal influence on the professional careers of authors and booksellers, on the progress of letters or the dissemination of knowledge in pre-revolutionary France, than this enlightened aristocrat whom Voltaire dubbed the "ministre de la littérature." In this study, Professor Shaw has concentrated on the means and manner by which Malesherbes interpreted the loose and complex legal codes governing publishing, and threaded his way among conflicting pressures from the trade, the court, and the intellectual community. While not a biography or definitive history, this book nevertheless provides valuable source material on a fascinating era. Based upon detailed research in the documents of the Collection Anisson of the Bibliothéque Nationale, the book contains extensive transcriptions of Malesherbes' reports and letters, many of them hitherto unpublished.