Oxford: Voltaire Foundation, 2014. 1st. Paperback. Octavio; xxi, 305pp. Bibliography; Index. Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment. Illustrations. Stiff illustrated wrappers in fine condition. Item #18200
In the eighteenth century, booksellers enjoyed an unparalleled monopoly on the Parisian book world, leaving little room for authors who wanted to enjoy the fruits of their work alone. However, things changed in 1777; authors finally acquired the right to edit and sell their own works without the intermediary of a bookseller. Although the risks associated with autonomous publishing were real, this practice was part of the journey of a few hundred authors before the revolution. After exploring the various speeches dealing with the emergence of the modern author, Marie-Claude Felton demonstrates how writers from all walks of life chose to keep a stranglehold on the rights and the fallout from their works. She also reveals that the authors-publishers, sensitive to the quality of the books printed at their expense, ensured the distribution, both through the use of advertising and the organization of home sales. Thanks to a thorough and original analysis, Ms. Felton makes an important contribution to the history of the book.