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date: 26 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article provides an overview of book trade and the regulatory framework within which it operated in the 1640s and 1650s. It fist argues that the book trade did not operate within a free-market system. It then examines the interrelated issues of censorship and freedom of the press. Like all mercantile trades in the period, the book trade was regulated by a trade guild (known as the Stationers' Company). However, the religious and political sensitivities of print culture ensured that the book trade was also regulated and overseen by both Church and state.

Keywords: book trade, censorship, freedom of the press, print culture

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