Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCheap Print in Britain and Ireland to 1660
EditorsJoad Raymond
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Print)9780199287048
StatePublished - 2011

Publication series

NameThe Oxford History of Popular Print Culture


  • chapbooks
  • print culture
  • history
  • chapbook trade
  • chapbook publishing


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