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  • Cited by 6
  • Print publication year: 1999
  • Online publication date: March 2008

8 - Importation of printed books into England and Scotland



Unlike manuscripts, which were produced in England and Scotland as well as on the Continent, no printed books were produced on native soil before William Caxton set up his shop in Westminster in 1476. This chapter treats England and Scotland separately in the discussion of the importation of books. They were separate countries, had different foreign alliances, different trade routes and looked to different intellectual centres. The imported books themselves underline these differences. If the individual centres of printing for patterns of importation to England are examined, Venice emerges as the leading supplier of books, followed by Paris, Basel, Cologne, Lyons, Strasbourg and Nuremberg. For Scotland, Venice dominates in both importation and production in the 1480s, but in the 1490s is almost on a par with Paris. There is no dramatic leap in the 1490s, but rather a sharp, then steady, rise in imports from France and Germany after 1500.
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