A Companion to the History of the Book, 2nd edition. Simon Eliot and Jonathan Rose, eds.

Jessie Sherwood

Abstract

When he declared, “the physical book really has had a 500-year run” in a 2009 interview, Jeff Bezos might well be forgiven for thinking that the book began with Gutenberg. Histories of the book have tended to give the impression that it emerged with movable type and existed largely, if not exclusively, in Mainz, New York, London, Paris, Venice, and environs. The first edition to A Companion to the History of the Book, first published in 2007, was a welcome, albeit modest, corrective to this narrow focus. While the bulk of its attention was on print in Western Europe and the United States, it incorporated chapters on manuscripts, books in Asia and Latin America, and the Hebraic and Islamic traditions, broadening the scope of book history both chronologically and geographically.

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