New Book | John Baskerville: Art and Industry

Posted in books by Editor on September 26, 2017

From Liverpool UP: (with a book launch scheduled for Sunday, 8 October, at 5pm at Waterstone’s Birmingham).

Caroline Archer-Parré and Malcolm Dick, John Baskerville: Art and Industry in the Enlightenment (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2017), 288 pages, ISBN: 978 17869 40643, £80.

This book is concerned with the eighteenth-century typographer, printer, industrialist, and Enlightenment figure John Baskerville (1707–1775). Baskerville was a Birmingham inventor, entrepreneur, and artist with a worldwide reputation who made eighteenth-century Birmingham a city without typographic equal, by changing the course of type design. Baskerville not only designed one of the world’s most historically important typefaces; he also experimented with casting and setting type, improved the construction of the printing-press, developed a new kind of paper, and refined the quality of printing inks. His typographic experiments put him ahead of his time, had an international impact, and did much to enhance the printing and publishing industries of his day. Yet despite his importance, fame, and influence many aspects of Baskerville’s work and life remain unexplored and his contribution to the arts, industry, culture, and society of the Enlightenment are largely unrecognized. Moreover, recent scholarly research in archaeology, art and design, history, literary studies, and typography is leading to a fundamental reassessment of many aspects of Baskerville’s life and impact, including his birthplace, his work as an industrialist, the networks which sustained him, and the reception of his printing in Britain and overseas. The last major, but inadequate publication of Baskerville dates from 1975. Now, forty years on, the time is ripe for a new book. This interdisciplinary approach provides an original contribution to printing history, eighteenth-century studies, and the dissemination of ideas.

Caroline Archer-Parré is Professor of Typography at Birmingham City University, Director of the Centre for Printing History & Culture and Chairman of the Baskerville Society. She is the author of The Kynoch Press, 1876–1982: The Anatomy of a Printing House (British Library, 2000); Paris Underground (MBP, 2004); and Tart Cards: London’s Illicit Advertising Art (MBP, 2003). Caroline is currently Co-investigator on the AHRC-funded project, ‘Letterpress Printing: past, present, future’.

Malcolm Dick is Director of the Centre for West Midlands History at the University of Birmingham. He directed two history projects in Birmingham between 2000 and 2004: the ‘Millennibrum Project’, which created a multi-media archive of post-1945 Birmingham history, and ‘Revolutionary Players’, which produced an online resource of the history of the West Midlands region. Malcolm has published books on Joseph Priestley, Matthew Boulton, and the history of Birmingham; he co-directs the Centre for Printing History & Culture.


List of Figures
Baskerville Family Tree

Introduction: John Baskerville: Art and Industry of the Enlightenment, Caroline Archer-Parré and Malcolm Dick
1  The Topographies of a Typographer: Mapping John Baskerville since the Eighteenth Century, Malcolm Dick
2  Baskerville’s Birmingham: Printing and the EnglishUrban Renaissance, John Hinks
3  Place, Home and Workplace: Baskerville’s Birthplace and Buildings, George Demidowicz
4  John Baskerville: Japanner of ‘Tea Trays and other Household Goods’, Yvonne Jones
5  John Baskerville, William Hutton and their Social Networks, Susan Whyman
6  John Baskerville the Writing Master: Calligraphy and Type in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Ewan Clayton
7  A Reappraisal of Baskerville’s Greek Types, Gerry Leonidas
8  John Baskerville’s Decorated Papers, Barry McKay and Diana Patterson
9  The ‘Baskerville Bindings’, Aurélie Martin
10  After the ‘Perfect Book’: English Printers and their Use of Baskerville’s Type, 1767–90, Martin Killeen
11  The Cambridge Cult of the Baskerville Press, Caroline Archer-Parre

Appendix 1 The ‘Baskerville Bindings’
Appendix 2 Members of the Baskerville Club
Appendix 3 Comparative Bibliography

Further Reading
General Bibliography
Notes on the Contributors

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