Book Trade in The Tudor Period


Book Trade in The Tudor Period

By Fumitaka Ojima

Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 52 (2000)

Introduction: A book is a written or printed communication, recorded on the light, durable portable media mainly for a public circulation. Its first aim is to express, teach, entertain, preserve, and transmit the informations (knowledge or system) to people in literate communities. In Europe, before and a lilltle after a press machine was invented by Johannes Gutenberg (1397-1468), a variety of manuscripts written by scribes or human hands were circulated in any countries, but there was not a profitable market for them. On the other hand, when the indulgences or the famous Bible were pressed against parchment or vellum efficiently and rapidly, they gave him a lot of profits. After Gutenberg the father of modern printing died, his inventions and mainstays remained more than 500 years later, and the system of his press gradually contributed to the book market in western Europe.




The idea of multiplication, which means the technique of duplicating the texts based on the mechanical principle, results in the printing press. Excluding the parchment or vellum, the texts were printed on paper, which came into being in the middle of the 12th century in Europe. Printing on paper began from a textile printing, stimulated by the use of paper from the Orient. Soon after the paper was made first in 1151, at Xativa, Spain, it was manufactured in France, Germany and Italy. Unlike the printwork of goldsmiths, new materials, methods, and machines heralded the beginning of the new market in London. While the various books were recorded on the clay tablets in Babylonia, the papyrus rolls in Egypt, and the medieval vellum or parchment, the primitive books in China were made of wood or bamboo strips bound together with cords. In the ancient times some records were curved on the hard materials such as stones, metals, or carapaces, but they were difficult to write or carry. Neccesity was the mother of papers, which led to the main history of the books.

Click here to read this article from Toyo University

About Early Modern England