Cheap Bibles: Nineteenth-Century Publishing and the British and Foreign Bible Society

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 8, 2002 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 264 pages
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The cheap Bibles of nineteenth-century Britain were read in millions of homes, and were also potent symbols of national virtue. In an age of social ferment, cheap Bibles - most published by the British and Foreign Bible Society - represented both the promise of mass literacy and the benefits of industrialisation. This book, based on correspondence and other archival records, tells the story of the BFBS from two perspectives: its place in the history of publishing and printing and in contemporary society. The BFBS, founded in 1804, grew out of the evangelical revival and became a popular crusade. 'Ladies Bible Associations' sprang up to supply the poor with cheap Bibles and contribute to the production of Bibles in foreign languages for the salvation of souls abroad. To meet the growing demand the Society experimented with new technologies including stereotyping, machine printing and bookbinding, and a unique distribution system.

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About the author (2002)

Leslie Howsam is University Professor in the Department of History at the University of Windsor, Ontario. She is author or editor of seven significant books and numerous articles, most notably Old Books and New Histories: An Orientation to Studies in Book and Print Culture (2006) and Past into Print: The Publishing of History in Britain, 1850 1950 (2009).

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