About the Book
In recent years, the growth of ‘history of the book’ as a major, multidisplinary area of investigation has energized traditional disciplines such as history and literary studies. Studies in this area look at literature as embodied in its technological products mainly those of the print industry, but also manuscripts, engravings, and electronic texts. Book history studies the personnel associated with the making of books: authors, printers, publishers, illustrators, booksellers, and of course readers. In so doing it restores a measure of historicism and objectivity to literary studies, by insisting on a rigorous engagement with the records and what they tell us about the modes of production, transmission and distribution of books. Despite being a country with a long and complex book culture, India does not have a developed tradition of book history. Print Areas is a pioneering attempt to write such a history. It brings together the work of leading contemporary historians in relation to the book in India.
The writes examine the business of making books from various angles: they look at major publishing houses; the first edition of a book of nonsense verse; Benares as a centre of publishing; the role of print in shaping Maharashtra’s politics; and the cultural impact of popular books in Bengal. These are fascinating essays not only for cultural historians and bibliophiles but for anyone interested in books and reading.
About the Author
Swapan Chakravorty is a Director, National Library, Kolkata and Professor of English, Jadavpur University. He is the author of Society and Politics in the Plays of Thomas Middleton (1996). He also writies in Bengali and has recently edited Mudraner Sanskrit a bangle boi (2007).
Abhijit Gupta is reader in English, Jadavpur University. He is an associate editor of The Oxford Companion to the Book.
Note on Contributors
Figures and Tables
Under the sign of the Book: Introducing book History in India
Trading places: The novel, the Colonial Library, and India
Every line for India: The Oxford University Press and the rise and fall of the rulers of India series
Pandits, Printers and others: Publishing in nineteenth century Benares
Vernacular culture and political formation in Western India
Cheap books, ‘Bad' Books: Contesting print cultures in Colonial Bengal
Purity and print: A note on nineteenth century Bengali prose
Block printing in seventeenth century Japan: Evidence from a newly discovered medical text
Abol Tabol: The making of a book
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