Do sales matter? Reputation and contemporary popularity in the Early Modern Book World

27 August 2018 from 10:00 to 12:00 hrs
020 551 0767
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A masterclass by Andrew Pettegree. This masterclass is part of the Academy Colloquium Reputation Cultures in Early Modern Europe on 27 and 28 August 2018.

All authors worry about their sales, even if, as in the first age of print, they made hardly any money from their books. In today’s book world, there is no clear relationship between sales and literary reputation; and in an age when the Nobel Prize for Literature may be awarded to a troubadour with no very obvious literary pretensions, even our concept of literature seems increasingly malleable. 

In the early modern period also, the relationship between sales and reputation deserves to be probed further, not least for its impact on our understanding of the societies we study. Are the books we choose to study from previous centuries chosen because contemporaries recognised them as important or because they reflect our current preoccupations?  And how can we know which books past societies particularly valued?  These troubling questions – troubling not least because they are so routinely ignored - are the subject of this workshop.

Andrew Pettegree

Andrew Pettegree is Professor of History at the University of St. Andrews (united Kingdom).

More information and registration

Please find more information about this workshop and how to register on the website of the Huizinga Instituut.