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From Goldsmiths To Publishers: The Transformation Of The De Bry Family

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Chapter Summary

When Theodore de Bry was born in Liège in 1527 or 1528, nothing foretold he was to be the founder of one of the most remarkable publishing firms of early modern Europe. As Liège was hardly the hub of North-European craftsmanship, many goldsmiths left the Prince-Bishopric in the third quarter of the sixteenth century to explore more commercially attractive options elsewhere, mainly in Antwerp and Strasbourg. The De Brys went to Frankfurt in September 1588 to set up their publishing firm. By the end of October, De Bry applied for citizenship of Frankfurt as ?Bürger zu Strassburg?. Even after spending so many successful years as Frankfurt publishers, the congregationally defined social network was still notably different from the commercial network of the De Brys, suggesting that their business connections and imperatives were not necessarily related to religious and other private considerations.

Keywords: early modern Europe; Frankfurt publishers; goldsmiths; Liège; North-European craftsmanship; sixteenth century; Theodore de Bry



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