A New Introduction to Bibliography

Front Cover
Clarendon Press, 1972 - Reference - 438 pages
1 Review
"By his choice of title Dr. Gaskell relates the present work to R. B. McKerrow's Introductiont o Bibliography for Literary Students published in its final form 45 years ago. McKerrow's primary concern was to show how far the transmission of literary texts might be affected by the processes of printing and to provide students of literature with the basic technique necessary for the tackling of bibliographical problems. Pre-eminent as an editor of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century literary texts, bibliographer, printer, and publisher, his interests were wide-ranging and he was all the more successful as a teacher of others in that he never ceased to learn himself. His scientific definition of methods, the way in which he laid his foundations brick by brick, his honesty and cautious appraisal of results, his precision and lucidity combined with shrewdness and ingenuity and an extraordinary flair for detection, resulted in an unique achievement which was to prove an indispensable tool for generations of literary students. The New Introduction is neither a revision of McKerrow nor McKerrow brought up to date. It is a new and different book, going a long way beyond its predecessor in point of time since it includes a general survey of the machine-press period up to I950, whereas McKerrow had stopped at 800o. Although Dr. Gaskell agrees with McKerrow when he declares that 'bibliography's over-riding responsibility must be to determine a text in its most accurate form', a good deal of what he gives us is concerned with printing and book-trade history and related only indirectly to the establishment of the text. A masterly consolidation of the results of authoritative bibliographical research during the past half century, the New Introduction is an invaluable work of reference which no library concerned with literary studies, printing history, or librarianship can afford to do without. It is not a teaching, do-it-yourself book like McKerrow; it asks few questions and its range of literary reference is comparatively restricted, although what there is is apt and illuminating. To suggest that there may still be room for a book on the lines of McKerrow is not intended as a criticism of a work which would have delighted him. Although described by the author as a 'manual', it is a most readable, fascinating book, in which a large amount of technical information has been digested and presented with superlative skill. For lucidity and precision Dr. Gaskell cannot be faulted; he writes vividly and with zest, and his descriptions of the production routines of the printing house have an actuality which derives from his own practical knowledge and expertise as a printer." -- from JSTOR (The Review of English Studies Vol. 24, No. 96 (Nov., 1973), pp. 526-529).

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Philip Gaskell's A New Introduction to Bibliography (usually shorthanded as simply "Gaskell") provides a good introduction to the transmission of texts, from the hand-press period through the middle ... Read full review

Contents

The nature and purpose of bibliography p i
1
Printing Type
9
Composition
40
Paper
57
Imposition
78
Presswork
118
The Warehouse
142
Decoration and Illustration
154
Edition Binding
231
Printing Machines
251
Processes of Reproduction
266
Mechanical Composition and Type 18751950
274
Printing Practice in the Machinepress Period
289
The Book Trade in Britain and America since 1800
297
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL APPLICATIONS
311
Bibliographical Description
321

Patterns of Production
160
The English Book Trade to 1800
171
Survival and Change 191
193
Plates
201
Type 18001875
207
Paper in the Machinepress Period
214
Textual Bibliography
336
b Four Specimen Bibliographical Descriptions
368
Two Examples
381
REFERENCE BIBLIOGRAPHY
392
INDEX
414
Copyright

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