This chapter explores chapbook publishing in early modern England. It argues that early modern chapbooks were not a kitchen-table or grass-roots phenomenon but an intensively commercial enterprise made possible by reducing risk factors while enlarging production. Chapbooks responded to new and varied readers' emerging needs, and even capable of serving topical ends. If pamphlets could provide “filler” work between other projects, chapbooks were rainy-day titles, their copies securely held in the long term, their text short enough to set in a day. Chapbooks were readily composed page-for-page from the previous edition, reliable enough to find perennial wholesale buyers when sold by the assorted dozen; impervious to staling over a long season on pack routes; and targeted directly to customers with illustrated title-pages promising pleasure, whether merry or godly.
|Name||The Oxford History of Popular Print Culture|
- print culture
- chapbook trade
- chapbook publishing