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Selling, Purchasing, And Borrowing: Towards An Understanding Of Readership

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Chapter Summary

This chapter indicates how the De Bry volumes fared between coming off the presses in Frankfurt and adorning the bookshelves across late sixteenth- and early seventeenth-century Europe. The first issue the De Brys had to address to reach a wide audience was selling copies at the fairs in Frankfurt to their colleagues in other parts of Europe. When the De Brys incorporated the reports into their monumental collection, translating the texts into Latin for an educated international readership, the physical appearance of the works changed, but the contents remained the same. This partly explains the frequent use of adjectives such as ?marvellous?, ?strange?, and ?awesome?, and the allusions to heathendom on the collection?s title-pages. Borrowing volumes of the De Bry collection from any of the libraries was out of the question in the first half of the seventeenth century, except for a few privileged readers like the professors in Groningen.

Keywords: borrowing; De Bry volumes; Europe; Frankfurt; heathendom; readership; selling

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