Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-8bbf57454-gwkvl Total loading time: 0.24 Render date: 2022-01-25T03:34:23.340Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

AUTHORS, PLAYERS AND PIRATES IN SHAKESPEARE'S DAY

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2010

Get access

Summary

IN writing on the Regulation of the Book Trade in the Sixteenth Century I claimed that the informal copyright which the Stationers' Company was able to secure to its members in the case of any book duly entered on its register, though it seems to us a poor substitute for a legal copyright vested in the author himself, distinctly increased the market value of the literary wares which an author might have to sell. The publisher, when he was protected from piracy, could afford to pay more than when he was not, and authorship became possible as a profession as soon as printers began to respect each others' rights. That the money received from booksellers was miserably small resulted not so much from their rapacity as from the smallness and poverty of the reading public. Moreover, whether little or much, it was a new income. Before the invention of printing an author was entirely dependent upon patronage for his literary rewards. It took three centuries wholly to supersede patronage, and in Shakespeare's day only about a third of the road had been travelled. The starveling author, Richard Robinson, whose account of his winnings Dr McKerrow unearthed some years ago, sold twenty-five of the twenty-six copies which his publisher gave him instead of cash, as a rule at a shilling apiece. Only once did he obtain as much as forty shillings for the lot.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010
First published in: 1967

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×