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date: 06 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Editor Charles Doe’s attempt to collect the works of John Bunyan is a landmark moment in a continuous history of print publication. This chapter explores the impact of book trade practices as they affected the circulation of Bunyan’s work and formed the basis of his reputation as an author. It focuses on two of Bunyan’s key publishers, Francis Smith and Nathaniel Ponder, as well as the engraver-publisher Robert White. In tracing the networks of association and community formation by which Bunyan’s texts circulated, and evaluating the risks imposed by the market and government regulation, the chapter brings material practices more fully into our accounts of literary history. In such a wider view, Bunyan’s discourse of religious confession is put in touch with discourses of truthful testimony, as in the courtroom trials of Smith and Ponder over seditious libel and property rights.

Keywords: John Bunyan, book trade, Charles Doe, Francis Smith, Nathaniel Ponder, Robert White

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