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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The now established academic field of book history places an orthodox emphasis on the book as a material object, as a focus of diverse transactions, and as a social phenomenon. The role of the publisher has been relegated to the contributions of a few named individuals, often within a narrow eurocentric context, that highlight those individuals’ efficiency in book production and diminish the collective nature of the publishing process. A fresh approach to publishing history instead stresses the movement from the role of skilled reproduction houses, through trading in the copyright inherent in books, to the exploitation of content rights across a range of media. Such an approach provides a keener historical insight into the structures and operations of the contemporary global publishing industry.

Keywords: Book history, academic orthodoxy, Atticus, Aldus Manutius, Elsevier, HarperCollins, copyright, masters of content

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