HE467: The Culture of the Book: Studies in Book History and the Print Trade
Section 6001
Spring, 1999

Professor Mace
Office: 219 Sampson
Office Phone: 36215
Home Phone: 410-741-5118
(Before 10:00 p.m. please)
e-mail: mace@novell.nadn.navy.mil
Office Hours: M W F 9:55-10:45; 1:30-2:20; 3:30-4:00;
Tuesday 1:30-4:30; and by appointment.

This course will be different from the usual lit course in English; in fact, in many schools it is cross-listed as a history course. What we will look at are the external forces that shape what authors write. Often students of literature assume that a writer sits in his/her study creating a great work of literature unaffected by the outside world. However, as book historians know, works are often shaped by economic and political forces. For example, a writer will often be guided by what his/her publisher wants to see, what the audience will buy, what the government will permit him/her to publish.

We will cover briefly a wide variety of topics that book historians study; among them, the nature of the author, the forms in which texts are transmitted, censorship, copyright, the publishing trade, and the reading public. Early in the semester each of you will choose a literary work from any period of English or American literature, and you will do a major project that considers some area covered by book historians---its textual history, reception, the circumstances behind its composition, its publication, or the reading public who first read it, for example. You can also choose to do your project on an issue of interest to book historians---for instance, copyright in the twentieth century, electronic publication and its effects, or the print trade in eighteenth-century America. At the end of the semester, you will give a 20-minute seminar report on your project and complete a 15-page essay on the topic.


Because this area is so new, no textbook covering the subject exists. Many of our readings will come from xeroxes that I will hand out every week or so. Below are the books that I have ordered.

Elizabeth Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe. Cambridge U. P., 1993.
Herman Melville, Billy Budd, Sailor. Ed. Merton M. Sealts, Jr. University of Chicago, 1962.
John Milton, Areopagetica of Education. Ed. K. M. Leo. Oxford, 1973. On backorder.
William Shakespeare. Macbeth. Routledge, 1998.

Course Policies

Format of Papers: I expect you to type all paper proposals and final drafts. Other assignments (including rough drafts) may be handwritten. Please double space your papers, number the pages, and put approximately one-inch margins on all sides. Make sure that you tear the sheets apart if you are using fanfold paper. I will not accept handwritten final drafts or proposals, nor will I make allowances for papers handed in late because of computer or printer problems. Make sure that you hand papers in on time, since I deduct ten points for each class a paper is late.

Writing Assignments: During the semester you will complete a few minor research assignments, and you will write a short essay on an article you have selected, which you will read to the class on the date you have chosen. You will also complete a major research project. A bibliography and proposal will be due during the semester, but your final draft and seminar report will not come until the last two weeks of class. We will not have a final examination. You will also be responsible for completing all reading assignments; you will be required to bring into each class for which a reading is assigned two written questions or comments about the reading. You will hand these written questions or comments in as you come into class. We may also have short reading quizzes if they become necessary.

You must hand all papers in on time. I will deduct a grade for each class a paper is late. You should also remember that the minimum requirement for passing the course is to hand in all papers.

Quizzes and Questions: I expect each of you to do all the reading for class. I will expect you to come prepared for class by bringing in two written comments or questions about each assigned reading. If you miss class, you should bring in your comments or questions to the next class. We will begin our discussions with your questions, so they are important. You may also have a short reading quiz at the beginning of the class for which the reading has been assigned, but these will probably occur only if I sense that the class is not reading the assignments thoughtfully. When you have been absent from class, you will not need to take a makeup quiz; I will simply record no grade for the missed quiz. However, each of you must be present for two thirds of the quizzes. A student who misses more than one third of the quizzes for the semester will earn zeros on those quizzes given after he/she has missed more than the third. I will also drop the lowest quiz grade at the end of the semester.

Writing Folder: Please buy a manila folder or the equivalent. In this folder you will keep all notes, outlines, proposals, rough drafts, and final drafts. Bring this folder to class and to any appointments with me.

Final Grade:

        Research Projects 20%
        Article Summary 10%
        Seminar Report 10%
        First Draft of Major Essay 5%
        Final Draft of Major Essay 30%
        Questions/Quizzes 15%
        Participation 10%

Extra Instruction: I encourage you to seek extra instruction during office hours if you need help. I will require you all to come in for a conference about your projects at least twice during the semester. You can come in at any stage in the writing process, so do not wait until the day or two before an essay is due.

Useful Internet Links (I will add to these throughout the semester)
        Society for the History of Authors, Readers and Publishers (SHARP)
        This site contains links to a wide variety of resources concerning book history.  It includes information on relevant journals, archives, exhibits and centers for the book throughout the world.  It is the first place you should go when starting research on the web in this subject.

Tentative Schedule (Note: I will hand out various xeroxes throughout the semester.)

Topic One: What is Book History?

Friday, 8 January: Introduction to the course; discussion of book history.
    Assignment for Monday, 11 January:  readings from Darnton, "What is the History of Books?" and Feather, "The Book in History and the History of the Book."

Monday, 11 January: Discussion of the nature of book history.
    Assignment for Wednesday, 13 January:  reading from Adams and Barker, "A New Model for the Study of the Book."

Wednesday, 13 January: Discussion of book history continued.
    Assignment for Friday, 15 January: Think about literary works you might like to research or topics in book history that interest you. Bring in a short list of possibilities.

Friday, 15 January: Review of important resources in book history. Discussion of semester projects and schedule individual appointments to discuss them.
    Assignment for Wednesday, 20 January: Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?"

Monday, 18 January: Holiday! No class.

Topic Two: What is an Author?

Wednesday, 20 January: Discussion of the concept of the author.
    Assignment for Friday reading from Chartier, The Order of Books.

Friday, 22 January: Further discussion of the author.
    Assignment:  reading from Woodmansee, The Author, Art, and the Market and Carnochan, "The 'Trade of Authorship' in Eighteenth-Century Britain."

Monday, 25 January: More on authors.
    Assignment:  example of collaborative authorship.

Wednesday, 27 January: Discussion of collaborative authorship.
    Assignment:  reading from Rose, "Rereading the English Common Reader: A Preface to the History of Audiences."

Topic Three: Defining the Reading Public and its Influence.

Friday, 29 January: Discussion of the reading public. First research project assigned.
    Assignment:  reading from chapter two of Bennett, English Books and Readers, 1475-1557. Complete research assignment and write up a short analysis (maximum: one page).

Monday, 1 February: Discussion of first research assignment; more on the reading public.
    Assignment:  reading from Rogers, "Classics and Chapbooks" and Mace, "Classical Learning and Novel Readers, 1701-1750."

Wednesday, 3 February: More on the reading public.
    Assignment:  reading from chapter two of Flint, The Woman Reader, 1837-1914.

Friday, 5 February: More on the reading public.
    Assignment:  reading from introduction and chapter one of Klancher, The Making of English Reading Audiences, 1790-1832.

Monday, 8 February: More on the reading public.
    Assignment:  Read selections from Sarah Fielding, The Governess or, Little Female Academy.

Wednesday, 10 February:  Discussion of The Governess; article summaries on censorship.
    Assignment: readings: "What Shouldn't You Read: Censorship and the first Amendment"; Benjamin Franklin, "An Apology for Printers."

Topic Four: Censorship and the Institutional Control of Publishing

Friday, 12 February: Discussion of censorship.
    Assignment for Wednesday, 17 February:  readings: Bennett, "Regulation of the Book Trade," from English Books and Readers 1558-1603; selections from Feather, "From Censorship to Copyright: Aspects of the Government's Role in the English Book Trade 1695-1775."

 Monday 15 February: Holiday! No class.

Wednesday 17 February: Discussion of  Censorship
    Assignment: Work on semester project. Finish bibliography for semester project.

Friday, 19 February: Prof. Anne Marie Drew discussing censorship in plays. ***Bibliography for Semester Project Due***
    Assignment: Read John Milton, Areopagetica pp. 151-178.

Monday, 22 February:  Discussion of Milton and censorship.
    Assignment: Finish Milton, Areopagetica.

Wednesday, 24 February :  Last class on censorship.
    Assignment: Read Nichol, "Arthur Murphy's Law"; and Chapters 1 of Rose, Authors and Owners, The Invention of Copyright.

Topic Five: Copyright and the Nature of Literary Property

Friday, 26 February:  Introduction to copyright.
    Assignment:  Read Rose, Authors and Owners, chapter two.

Monday, 1 March:  The Stationers' Company and de facto copyright before 1710.
    Assignment: Read Feather, Publishing, Piracy, and Politics, chapter three: "Defining the Law 1710-1800."

Wednesday, 3 March: The First Copyright Act and its ramifications.
    Assignment: work on semester project.

Friday, 5 March: Student conferences about semester project.
    Assignment for Monday, 15 March: Read Feather, Publishing, Piracy, and Politics, chapter seven: "Challenge and Change 1842-1988."

Monday 8 March to Friday 12 March: Spring Break!

Monday, 15 March: Last class on copyright.
     Assignment: Read Belanger, "Publishers and Writers in Eighteenth-Century England"; and Foxon, pp. 1-18 of Pope and the Early Eighteenth-Century Book Trade.

Topic Six: The Business of Publishing

Wednesday, 17 March: The print trade
    Assignment: Second research assignment (due on 22 March). Finish proposal and outline for semester project.

Friday, 19 March: Meeting in special collections. ***Proposal and Outline for Semester Project Due***
     Assignment: Read Feather, "The Organization of the Trade in the Nineteenth Century," in A History of British Publishing.; Erickson, "Marketing the Novel, 1820-1850," in The Economy of Literary Form, English Literature and the Industrialization of Publishing, 1800-1850.

Monday, 22 March: Last class on the print trade.  Article summaries:  Palmer.
    Assignment: Read Kilgour, The Evolution of the Book, chapters one, five, and seven; Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe pp. 3-11.

Topic Seven: How are Texts Transmitted?

 Wednesday, 24 March: The impact of printing. Article summaries: Demsky and Stattel
    Assignment: Read Eisenstein, Printing Revolution, pp. 12-73.

 Friday, 26 March: More discussion of the print revolution. Article summaries: Salas
    Assignment: Read Eisenstein, Printing Revolution, pp. 73-107.

Monday, 29 March: Cultural change and the impact of print.
    Assignment: Read Eisenstein, Printing Revolution, pp. 111-147.

 Wednesday, 31 March: The importance of establishing the text; introduction to book description and the third research assignment.
    Assignment: Read "What is Your Text?" on the publication of Shakespeare; begin reading of Macbeth (include the textual introduction in your reading).

Friday, 2 April: Discussion of the text of Macbeth.
    Assignment Complete your reading of Macbeth.

Monday, 5 April: Complete discussion of Macbeth.
    Assignment: Read first half of Billy Budd Sailor, especially the textual introduction.  Complete book description assignment.

Wednesday, 7 April: Book description assignment due. Discussion of Billy Budd. Presentation by Prof. Bob Madison.
    Assignment:  Read second half of Billy Budd.

Friday, 9 April:  Complete discussion of Billy Budd.  Holland and Stattel distribute copies of their papers.
    Assignment: work on seminar reports and final essay.

Topic Eight:  Seminar Reports and Music Publishing

Monday, 12 April: Two seminar reports: Holland and Stattel. Demsky and Graham distribute copies of their papers.
    Assignment: Read drafts of papers for next class; work on final essay.

Wednesday, 14 April: Two seminar reports:  Demsky and Graham.  Palmer and Salas distribute copies of their papers.
    Assignment: Read drafts of papers for next class; work on final essay.

Friday, 16 April: Two seminar reports:  Palmer and Salas.  Neill and Randall distribute copies of their papers.
    Assignment: Read drafts of papers for next class; work on final essay.

Monday, 19 April: Two seminar reports:  Neill and Randall.  Powers and Waggoner distribute copies of their papers.
    Assignment: Read drafts of papers for next class; work on final essay.

Wednesday, 21 April: Two seminar reports:  Powers and Waggoner.
    Assignment: Work on final essay.

Friday, 23 April: Music publishing in the eighteenth century
    Assignment: work on final essay.

Monday, 26 April: Music publishing in the eighteenth century
    Assignment: work on final essay.

Wednesday, 28 April: ***FINAL ESSAY DUE***Class evaluation.