The Profession-alization of Writing

Simon Horobin

in The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Literature in English

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199229123
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 The Profession-alization of Writing

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This article examines the professionalization of the book trade in medieval England. It describes the nature of book production in the fifteenth century and suggests that the evidence for the professionalization of the copying of literary texts in the medieval period is complex and contradictory. This is because scribes gained employment in a variety of institutions, secular and monastic, and copied a wide range of texts for a diversity of patrons. This article argues that the fifteenth century appears to have seen a considerable increase in the number of books being produced, although it is not until the period after 1450 that we see the establishment of bookshops employing groups of scribes collaborating on the production of copies of literary texts.

Keywords: book trade; medieval England; book production; literary text; scribes; bookshops

Article.  5220 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (Early and Medieval)

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