Literary Property

Brean S. Hammond

in Professional Imaginative Writing in England, 1670–1740

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780198112990
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670909 | DOI:
Literary Property

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This chapter investigates some of the factors that produce a conceptual alteration in what Michel Foucault terms the ‘author-function’ during the early period of literary professionalization. It shows that in the 18th century resolving the dispute over perpetual versus limited copyright would not benefit authors directly since the majority of them would alienate their rights to a bookseller-publisher on a ‘once and for all’ basis and would not therefore have any further financial interest in the progress of the work. Arguably, authorship did not become fully professionalized, or take on anything like its contemporary signification, until new methods of calculating fair compensation for writers became current.

Keywords: writing; literature; authorship; copyright; publisher

Chapter.  11527 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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