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Without Fame: The Anonymous Writers of the Eighteenth Century

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The author argues that in the eighteenth century the professional writer preferred to remain anonymous for three main reasons. In the first place there was no financial reward due to the lack of copyright protection. Writers did not reap the benefits of a reprint. In the second place the Republic was not a safe haven for nonconformist writers. In many cases it was a wise precaution not to put your name on the title page. In the third place the whole concept of the writer as an opinion-leader was incompatible with the constitution of the eighteenth-century Dutch Republic. It was in the democratic learning process that started with the downfall of the Ancien Regime that the wider acceptance of individual subjectivity as a positive quality emerged.

Affiliations: 1: Utrecht, the Netherlands


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