A Companion to the History of the Book (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

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9781405192781: A Companion to the History of the Book (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)
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From the early Sumerian clay tablet through to the emergence of the electronic text, this Companion provides a continuous and coherent account of the history of the book. Makes use of illustrative examples and case studies of well-known texts Written by a group of expert contributors Covers topical debates, such as the nature of censorship and the future of the book

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Review:

"This companion will provide a sound point of reference for situation the book, whatever it may yet become, in its proper historical and sociological context." (Australian Academic & Research Libraries, March 2010)

"This is a must-have volume for anyone (or any library) with an interest in the history of books and book culture." (Libraries & the Cultural Record, Winter 2009)

"This book has many uses for book historians as a reflection of the field now, in its present state." (Library Quarterly, May 2009)

"Eliot and Rose have produced a definitive survey to which specialists as well as lay readers will find themselves returning frequently for information and analytical insight." (SHARP News, Winter 2008)

"Eliot and Rose have recruited some exceptional contributors.... The round-the-world coverage also makes for an enjoyable and dippable compendium." (Times Literary Supplement, November 2008)

"The considerable learning distilled in these pages is worn lightly and the result is a volume that will appeal to experts and non-specialists alike. It will also prove to be a valuable teaching resource." (Zeitschrift fur Anglistik and Amerilanistik, October 2008)

"A Companion to the History of the Book provides a wealth of information to readers of all levels in a well laid out and written volume." (The Bonefolder, Autumn 2008)

"Academic libraries with any kind of interest in the history of the book or the history of publishing will want this 'companion' on their shelves." (Publishing Research Quarterly, July 2008)

"As a stimulating overview of the multidimensional present state of the field, the Companion has no peer. Recommended." (CHOICE)

"An exceptional resource for anyone working in fields such as literature, history, cultural studies or media studies--to name a few. Drawing on a large group of experts, Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose have compiled a selection of essays that guide readers through many episodes in the long history of books, both inside and outside the Western tradition.... A Companion to the History of the Book is just that--a companion ... an essential text for students and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines who are led to ask questions about the commissioning, publication, distribution and consumption of books. This book is a milestone in the history of the book for it makes the first attempt to map the field like no other book before it." (Script and Print)

"If you want to understand how cultures come into being, endure, and change, they imply, then you need to come to terms with the rich and often surprising history of the book.... Eliot and Rose have done a fine job. Their volume can be heartily recommended as the best available starting point for any historian interested in learning about this enterprise.... The Companion does not restrict itself to chronicling the development of the book itself. It also devotes attention to regimes of regulation and jurisdiction--censorship, intellectual property, and the like--and to systems of storage and taxonomy: libraries and bibliography." (Technology and Culture)

"This book serves as a coherent guide to the study of the history of the book. The experts bring the latest research to their work." (Umbrella Magazine)

From the Back Cover:

From the early Sumerian clay tablet through to the emergence of the electronic text, this Companion provides a continuous and coherent account of the history of the book. A team of expert contributors draws on the latest research in order to offer a cogent, transcontinental narrative. Many of them use illustrative examples and case studies of well-known texts, conveying the excitement surrounding this rapidly developing field.

The Companion to the History of the Book is organized around four distinct approaches to the history of the book. First, it introduces the variety of methods used by book historians and allied specialists, from the long-established discipline of bibliography to newer IT-based approaches. Next, it provides a broad chronological survey of the forms and content of texts. The third section situates the book in the context of text culture as a whole, while the final section addresses broader issues, such as literacy, copyright, and the future of the book.

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