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The Geographic Extent Of The Dutch Book Trade In The 17th Century An Old Question Revisited

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Chapter Summary

In a 1952 article entitled "The Geographic Extent of the Dutch Book Trade in the Seventeenth Century" David W. Davies described the range of the Dutch international book trade based on the meager number of available commercial records, especially the documents from Amsterdam booksellers collected by M.M. Kleerkooper and W.P. Van Stockum. More recent scholarship, such as Simon Groenvelt's article "The Mecca of Authors" has cast doubts on the liberal thesis and the degree. Davies also tended to treat the Dutch trade in books very monolithically and assumed that Amsterdam was representative of national trends. The Catholic church had also traditionally been a significant source of demand for books. Liturgical works, luxury Bibles, confessionals, catechisms and other works sustained many sixteenth century printers. The merchants certainly possessed the means to generate demand for books.

Keywords: 17th century; Amsterdam booksellers; Dutch book trade

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