Law Booksellers and Printers as Agents of Unchange
Cambridge Law Journal, Vol. 66, No. 2, July 2007
Posted: 10 Jul 2007
This is the first in depth article on the impact of the practices of law booksellers and printers ("the booktrade") on law book publishing in the 18th century. Using book history scholarship and archival evidence, including letters and printing records, it will show how the monopolistic business practices adopted by the booktrade during this century prevented more law books from being published than otherwise would have been. The article will show that it was only when the monopoly practices were successfully challenged in law at the end of the 18th century, that there was an explosion in the publication of law books. Finally, this article will make some observations on the major role this explosion in law books played in the transformation of the common law into the form we recognise today.
Keywords: Legal History, Book History, History of the Book, Eighteenth Century Booktrade, J J Powell, Copyright, Law Patent, William Strahan, Andrew Strahan, Lintot, William Blackstone, Oxford University Press,
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