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44th Annual Book Trade History Conference: Scandal and Gossip in the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the Present Day

As with many businesses, success in the book trade has always relied heavily on reputation and credit. Yet the relatively small and densely connected networks of the book trade have helped gossip about its members to flourish. In addition, the trade has seen its share of public scandals and activities that whilst kept quiet at the time have since come to light. This conference explores the place of scandal and gossip in the reputation of the book trade and also as a distinctive genre among its products. With topics ranging from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, the speakers will explore why scandal and gossip is not merely titillation for the history of the making and trade of books.

The Speakers

Sara Barker is Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leeds. Her research focuses on the history of printing, books and news and the material culture of books in early modern France.

Oliver Darkshire is a rare book seller. Once Upon a Tome, his account of his time at Sotheran’s, was published in 2022.

Christoph Egger is “Universitätsassistent” (Reader) in Medieval History at the Austrian Institute for Historical Research (University of Vienna). He teaches and conducts research in Latin palaeography, codicology, papal diplomatics and library history.

Christine Ferdinand is Emeritus Fellow Librarian, Magdalen College Oxford. Most of her research is on the eighteenth-century book and newspaper trade—particularly the personnel—and her current big project is a biography of James Rivington.

Mirjam Foot, former Director of Collections and Preservation at the British Library, is Emeritus Professor of Library and Archive Studies at University College, London. She has published extensively on the history of bookbinding.

Katharina Kaska is head of the department of manuscripts and rare books at the Austrian National Library in Vienna. She is currently working on palaeography, codicology, medieval library history and the fate of books from Austrian monasteries. 

Björn Weiler is a professor of medieval history at Aberystwyth University. His research focuses on power, historical writing and historical culture in the Middle Ages. He is currently working on the writing of history in the High Middle Ages.

Fauve Vandenberghe is a PhD candidate in English Literature at the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University. Her research project ‘Hyenas in Petticoats: British Female-Authored Satire of the Eighteenth Century, 1670-1760’, funded by the Flemish Research Council, is the first dedicated study of female-authored satire in Britain during an era often hailed as the Golden Age of Satire (ca. 1670-1760). 

View the full program >

Stationers' Hall
Ave Maria Lane
19 November 10:00am – 20 November 2023 18:00pm

£110 both days (£70 students)
£70 one day
110883001 1
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