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The Breton Book World

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Chapter Summary

Printing books was about much more than just the pressing of a humidified page onto a rank of inked mobile characters. For the presses to be successful, they relied on a variety of other processes some of which needed to take place before the book was completed and others that had to be accomplished after the printing was over. The dynamics of the early Breton presses can only be inferred from the few surviving documents and the general practices of sixteenthcentury printers. Contemporary accounts from the larger, more prestigious printing houses paint a vivid picture of the early modern book industry. The maps and almanacs produced by sixteenth-century Breton cartographers are difficult to categorise as the process employed techniques taken from both print and manuscript traditions. They were hybrid productions that could mix woodcuts, movable type and hand-written annotations.

Keywords: books; Breton presses; early modern book industry; printing; sixteenth-century printers



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