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Durham University

Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies (IMEMS)

Event Archive

History of the Book Lecture 2017: Print and the Reformation: a drama in three acts

8th November 2017, 17:30, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Prof. Andrew Pettegree, (University of St Andrews)

11th Annual History of the Book Lecture 2017, jointly hosted by the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies and the Department of History, Durham University, to be followed by a drinks reception in the Palace Green Library Cafe.

This event is free to attend and open to all, however, booking is essential (click here to book). If you wish to book for the lecture only, please skip the questions about catering.

Abstract: Throughout the history of printing, questions of design have been crucial to the development of the book industry. This is especially the case with the development of the title-page, the most crucial design feature for which there was no obvious model inherited from the manuscript book world. The Reformation both revolutionized the market for books and stimulated crucial innovations in the design and selling of books. This began in Wittenberg, where the partnership of Martin Luther and Lucas Cranach played a critical role in shaping the Reformation pamphlet. In lands more hostile to the Reformation the design task was more complex, since design features intended to facilitate identification could place the seller or owner in deadly danger. The paper concludes with an examination of the market for devotional literature in the Dutch Republic, the home to Europe’s most buoyant centre of book production.

Andrew Pettegree is Professor of Modern History at the University of St Andrews and Director of the Universal Short Title Catalogue. He is the author of over a dozen books in the fields of Reformation history and the history of communication including Reformation and the Culture of Persuasion (Cambridge University Press, 2005), The Book in the Renaissance (Yale University Press, 2010) and The Invention of News (Yale University Press, 2014). His most recent book, Brand Luther: 1517, Print and the Making of the Reformation (Penguin USA) was published in October 2015. His new projects include a study of the book culture of the Dutch Golden Age for Yale University Press and ‘Preserving the World’s Rarest Books’, a collaborative project with libraries funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Further information can be found here.

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