Archive for July 19th, 2010

A glimpse into the eighteenth century book trade: How to encourage book buying

19 July 2010

I came across a re-print of this wonderful 1745  pamphlet when I was undertaking my Masters research on the Dublin printer George Grierson (1680?-1753). Grierson was the King’s printer and as the only printer allowed to print bibles between 1732 and 1753 the catalogue of books that he printed is quiet dry.  This means that the following collaboration with Jonathan Swift’s printer George Faulkner (1703-1775), who was a colleague and friend of Grierson, is both surprising and out of character. While Faulkner was known as a satirist in his own right (although some have suggested he simply mimicked Swift), the fact that both men signed their names to this, shows they were of a similar disposition and there was a little more to Grierson then meets the eye and that you can’t always judge a printer by his books. If you love books you will enjoy this.

The pamphlet was written during a supposed slump in the book trade to encourage Dubliners to start buying books. As the citizens of Dublin are aware books are of so little use, containing only knowledge and learning, that the authors are suggesting some alternative uses which Dubliners could put their books to. Some of their ideas are quite novel and may send a shiver up the spines of book lovers but bear in mind that it is a satire! Read more