A New Spirit of Engagement

in Steam-Powered Knowledge

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780226276519
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226276540 | DOI:
A New Spirit of Engagement

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  • History of Science and Technology


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The American book trade had a long history of engagement with British trade, but the reverse was not necessarily true. The slow progress of the negotiations between William Chambers and Gould showed how correspondents learned to make the best use of the new steamship service. British fiction appeared to have suffered more from unauthorized reprinting than nonfiction in America due to its greater marketability. American reprinters had always been dependent on the British trade, even through the years of depression after 1840. But it is shown that from 1846 onward, American publishers and importers worked harder to promote their works in London; British publishers began to import and reprint American works; and other British publishers responded to the efforts of American auctioneers and transatlantic shipping companies to solicit their business.

Keywords: engagement; American book trade; British trade; British books; London; import; reprint; William Chambers; Gould

Chapter.  4686 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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