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Printing And The Reformation: The English Exception

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Chapter Summary

The printed book was one means by which the core messages of the reformers were brought to the reading public; in this it functioned alongside the sermons preached by Luther and the wider amorphous categories of aural communication. This chapter reviews the process by which a sixteenth century book is made. One can sense striking differences, between the book cultures of different parts of Europe. In the third quarter of the fifteenth century the English nobility, in common with other European elites, certainly began to manifest curiosity about the new technology. With the help of the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) the chapter attempts to analyse the output of a single year in the decade before the Reformation:1514. The entire output of the English printing industry for the year 1514 could have been handled by two shops. The chapter investigates how the established patterns were affected by onset of Reformation.

Keywords: english exception; english short title catalogue (ESTC); Europe; printing; reformation; sixteenth century book



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