Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century

BookPen, print and communication in the eighteenth century

Pen, print and communication in the eighteenth century

Eighteenth-Century Worlds, 10


August 4th, 2020



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During the eighteenth century there was a growing interest in recording, listing and documenting the world, whether for personal interest and private consumption, or general record and the greater good. Such documentation was done through both the written and printed word. Each genre had its own material conventions and spawned industries which supported these practices. This volume considers writing and printing in parallel: it highlights the intersections between the two methods of communication; discusses the medium and materiality of the message; considers how writing and printing were deployed in the construction of personal and cultural identities; and explores the different dimensions surrounding the production, distribution and consumption of private and public letters, words and texts during the eighteenth-century. In combination the chapters in this volume consider how the processes of both writing and printing contributed to the creation of cultural identity and taste, assisted in the spread of knowledge and furthered personal, political, economic, social and cultural change in Britain and the wider-world. This volume provides an original narrative on the nature of communication and brings a fresh perspective on printing history, print culture and the literate society of the Enlightenment.

"An intelligently constructed volume; a fine collection that is both readable and enjoyable."
Professor Aileen Douglas, School of English, Trinity College Dublin

'The general editors of the series… hope that these publications will further promote further innovative and an interdisciplinary approach to global eighteenth-century studies... Their aim has certainly been achieved in Pen, Print and Communication, a well-produced, enlightening, and attractively illustrated volume.'

Rory T Cornish, Journal of British Studies

Author Information

Caroline Archer-Parré is Professor of Typography at Birmingham City University, Director of the Centre for Printing History & Culture and Chairman of the Baskerville Society. She is the author of The Kynoch Press, 1876-1982: the anatomy of a printing house, (British Library, 2000); Paris Underground (MBP, 2004); and Tart cards: London’s illicit advertising art (MBP, 2003). Caroline is currently Co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Letterpress Printing: past, present, future’. Malcolm Dick is Director of the Centre for West Midlands History at the University of Birmingham. He directed two history projects in Birmingham between 2000 and 2004: the Millennibrum Project, which created a multi-media archive of post-1945 Birmingham history and Revolutionary Players which produced an online resource of the history of the West Midlands region. Malcolm has published books on Joseph Priestley, Matthew Boulton and the history of Birmingham and co-directs the Centre for Printing History & Culture.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Illustrations7
1. The Growth of Copperplate Script: Joseph Champion and The Universal Penman23
2. Authorship in Script and Print: The Example of Engraved Handwriting Manuals of the Eighteenth Century43
3. Writing and the Preservation of Cultural Identity: The Penmanship Manuals of Zaharija Orfelin55
4. ‘The most beautiful hand’: John Byrom and the Aesthetics of Shorthand71
5. An Archaeology of Letter Writing: The Correspondence of Aristocratic Women in Late Eighteenth- and Early Nineteenth-Century England87
6. Private Pleasures and Portable Presses: Do-It-Yourself Printers in the Eighteenth Century101
7. Performance and Print Culture: Two Eighteenth-Century Actresses and Their Image Control119
8. Script, Print and the Public–Private Divide: Sir David Ochterlony’s Dying Words 135
9. Identity, Enigma, Assemblage: John Baskerville’s Vocabulary, or Pocket Dictionary153
10. Marigolds Not Manufacturing: Plants, Print and Commerce in Eighteenth-Century Birmingham165
11. Tourist Experience and the Manufacturing Town: James Bisset’s Magnificent Directory of Birmingham181
12. Perceptions of England: The Production and Reception of English Theatrical Publications in Germany and the Netherlands during the Eighteenth Century197
13. Print Culture and Distribution: Circulating the Federalist Papers in Post-Revolutionary America213
14. The Serif-Less Letters of John Soane227
Notes on Contributors241