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Scandinavian Book Trade and the European Context

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines the trade that brought books into Scandinavia during the first seventy years of printed production. That importation of books into Scandinavia significantly affected local printers and helped shape north European literary culture. The books, texts and ideas that were transferred determined the scale and nature of the growth of the Scandinavian market. The earliest products of the printing press to be distributed in Scandinavia, though, were not objects of trade, but letters of indulgence. Mainz and Strasbourg, the first centres of printing in Germany, played a significant role in the early trade in printed books that reached Scandinavia. The earliest Reformation works intended for the Scandinavian market were ordered from and produced in Rostock. For book historians of Scandinavia and north Germany, these figures and dates have provided rather minor evidence of the book trade.

Keywords: Mainz; north European literary culture; north Germany; Rostock; Scandinavian book trade; Strasbourg



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