The Bookshop of the World: Making and Trading Books in the Dutch Golden Age

by Andrew Pettegree

Hardcover, 2019



Yale University Press (2019), 496 pages


The untold story of how the Dutch conquered the European book market and became the world's greatest bibliophiles The Dutch Golden Age has long been seen as the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer, whose paintings captured the public imagination and came to represent the marvel that was the Dutch Republic. Yet there is another, largely overlooked marvel in the Dutch world of the seventeenth century: books. In this fascinating account, Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen show how the Dutch produced many more books than pictures and bought and owned more books per capita than any other part of Europe. Key innovations in marketing, book auctions, and newspaper advertising brought stability to a market where elsewhere publishers faced bankruptcy, and created a population uniquely well-informed and politically engaged. This book tells for the first time the remarkable story of the Dutch conquest of the European book world and shows the true extent to which these pious, prosperous, quarrelsome, and generous people were shaped by what they read.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member Shrike58
At the time, when I made this a potential read, I'll admit that I really didn't know what I was getting, apart from an examination of the Dutch book industry. It turns out that this book is much more then that, in that it's really an examination of how the Netherlands became the first mass-market
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print society. This is as what really interests the authors is the processes of how print managed to insinuate its way into all levels of Dutch society. I also really liked how the authors explained their research methodology, and how modern digital resources allowed them to do a very thorough survey of what might have existed. Yes, this work does presuppose some familiarity with the period in question but, otherwise, this is a really great piece of accessible scholarship.
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496 p.; 6.75 inches


0300230079 / 9780300230079
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