John Baskerville

Art and Industry in the Enlightenment

Edited by Caroline Archer-Parré and Malcolm Dick

- +

ISBN: 9781786940643

Publication: October 5, 2017

Series: Eighteenth-Century Worlds 7

In the USA? Buy the Hardback US edition
This book is concerned with the eighteenth-century typographer, printer, industrialist and Enlightenment figure, John Baskerville (1707-75). Baskerville was a Birmingham inventor, entrepreneur and artist with a worldwide reputation who made eighteenth-century Birmingham a city without typographic equal, by changing the course of type design. Baskerville not only designed one of the world’s most historically important typefaces, he also experimented with casting and setting type, improved the construction of the printing-press, developed a new kind of paper and refined the quality of printing inks. His typographic experiments put him ahead of his time, had an international impact and did much to enhance the printing and publishing industries of his day. Yet despite his importance, fame and influence many aspects of Baskerville’s work and life remain unexplored and his contribution to the arts, industry, culture and society of the Enlightenment are largely unrecognized. Moreover, recent scholarly research in archaeology, art and design, history, literary studies and typography, is leading to a fundamental reassessment of many aspects of Baskerville’s life and impact, including his birthplace, his work as an industrialist, the networks which sustained him and the reception of his printing in Britain and overseas. The last major, but inadequate publication of Baskerville dates from 1975. Now, forty years on, the time is ripe for a new book. This interdisciplinary approach provides an original contribution to printing history, eighteenth-century studies and the dissemination of ideas.

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.

List of Figures vii
Acknowledgements xi
Foreword xiii
Timeline xv
Baskerville Family Tree xvii

Introduction: John Baskerville: Art and Industry of
the Enlightenment 1
Caroline Archer-Parré and Malcolm Dick
1 The Topographies of a Typographer: Mapping John
Baskerville since the Eighteenth Century 9
Malcolm Dick
2 Baskerville’s Birmingham: Printing and the English Urban Renaissance 25
John Hinks
3 Place, Home and Workplace: Baskerville’s Birthplace
and Buildings 42
George Demidowicz
4 John Baskerville: Japanner of ‘Tea Trays and other
Household Goods’ 71
Yvonne Jones
5 John Baskerville, William Hutton and their Social Networks 87
Susan Whyman
6 John Baskerville the Writing Master: Calligraphy and Type
in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries 113
Ewan Clayton
7 A Reappraisal of Baskerville’s Greek Types 133
Gerry Leonidas
8 John Baskerville’s Decorated Papers 151
Barry McKay and Diana Patterson
9 The ‘Baskerville Bindings’ 166
Aurélie Martin
10 After the ‘Perfect Book’: English Printers and their Use of
Baskerville’s Type, 1767–90 185
Martin Killeen
11 The Cambridge Cult of the Baskerville Press 206
Caroline Archer-Parré

Appendix 1 The ‘Baskerville Bindings’ 222
Appendix 2 Members of the Baskerville Club 226
Appendix 3 Comparative Bibliography 230
Further Reading 248
General Bibliography 255
Notes on the Contributors 260
Index 263

'A fascinating account of the printer, type designer, and manufacturer, John Baskerville, which sheds new light on the history of this polymathic figure. Focusing on previously unexplored details of his personal life, the book explores his contribution to fields beyond printing, and his relationship with the broader technologies and ideas of Enlightenment Birmingham.'
Dr Freya Gowrley, University of Edinburgh

Format: Hardback

Size: 239 × 163 mm

288 Pages

32 B&W illustrations

ISBN: 9781786940643

Publication: October 5, 2017

Series: Eighteenth-Century Worlds 7

Related products

Scroll to top