The Rise and Fall of Irish Reprinting

in The Enlightenment & the Book

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780226752525
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226752549 | DOI:
The Rise and Fall of Irish Reprinting

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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During the second half of the eighteenth century, Dublin prided itself on being the second city of the British Empire. With regard to publishing, there is considerable merit in this claim. Dublin and Edinburgh had about 2,800 and 2,100 imprints, respectively. If their combined total of approximately 5,000 items was small compared to the more than 25,000 imprints that were generated in London during the same years, it nevertheless exceeded the number of English-language imprints that appeared during the 1780s in all the other localities of Britain, Ireland, and America put together. In Enlightenment publishing, such unrefined statistics must be used with care, since the raw numbers include everything from broadsides, squibs, and printed legal documents to multivolume quarto editions of major works. Nonetheless, the figures indicate the undeniable importance of Edinburgh and Dublin as publishing centers in the age of the Enlightenment.

Keywords: Dublin; British Empire; publishing; Edinburgh; imprints; London; Enlightenment; broadsides; squibs; quarto editions

Chapter.  25261 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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