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By Bill Bell

Even if within the construction of early manuscripts, within the formation of libraries, via positive printing, or the improvement of mass media, Scotland's contributions to the heritage of the ebook, either in the country and past its obstacles, were extraordinary. released in 4 volumes, The Edinburgh historical past of the e-book in Scotland brings jointly the paintings of top students so that it will examine the heritage of the Scottish publication from earliest instances to the present.The Edinburgh background of the booklet in Scotland quantity three: Ambition and 1800-1880Edited by way of invoice Bell'A amazing fulfillment of collective scholarship. This quantity does complete justice to Scotland's striking contribution to the background of the ebook whereas effectively embedding that tale within the broader context of nineteenth-century Scottish development.' - Tom Devine, Sir William Fraser Professor of Scottish background and Palaeography, The collage of Edinburgh'I emerge from interpreting this publication with a heightened feel of the significance of the Scottish booklet alternate within the 19th century, not just via its authors and publishers, but additionally the ways that Scottish company and ambition is woven into the material of nineteenth-century revealed discourse. As a corrective to London-based views, this quantity is especially valuable.' - Robert L. Patten, Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Humanities, Rice UniversityThroughout the 19th century Scotland was once remodeled from an agricultural kingdom at the outer edge of Europe to turn into an commercial strength with foreign importance. A landmark in its box, this quantity explores the adjustments within the Scottish booklet alternate because it moved from a small-scale production approach to a mass-production undefined. This ebook brings jointly the paintings of over thirty prime specialists to discover a wide diversity of issues that come with creation expertise, bookselling and distribution, the literary marketplace, examining and libraries, and Scotland's diplomacy. (Vol fifty two, No three)

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Additional info for The Edinburgh History of the Book in Scotland, Volume 3: Ambition and Industry 1800-1880

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Regional variations make assertions about the general state of communication in Scotland in the first half of the century di∞cult to sustain, the distribution of print to outlying areas often bringing its own problems. In the 1830s, the coastal settlement of Crail in Fife received only one mail per day, and that by way of St Andrews. The border town of Coldstream, on the other hand, situated on the Great North Road, benefited from the daily arrival of the London-Edinburgh mail coach, three coaches between Edinburgh and Newcastle and two from Kelso and Berwick.

Some continue to accept the view that the spoils of empire more than justified the Union; others that it was an unholy alliance entirely responsible for Scotland’s political acquiescence in the age of industry. It might be argued that the Britishing of Scottish popular culture in this period was part of an earlier transformation that had long been taking place in the public sphere, going back at least as far as the Act of Union in 1707. As local mentalities were being brought into the orbit of a supranational culture through the double ethos of improvement and industrialisation it was perhaps inevitable that popular expression would come increasingly to resonate with a more cosmopolitan outlook, a process in which print culture was central.

The Inverness Society for the Education of the Poor in the Highlands maintained that in their jurisdiction in 1836 a half of the entire population over the age of 8 was unable to read and a third of all families in the region lived more than two miles from the nearest school. Just twothirds of families owned Scriptures: in Western Inverness and Ross, there was only one bible for every eight persons over the age of 8 (Moral Statistics: 25–8). Literacy figures are notoriously di∞cult to establish but it is generally conceded that by mid-century approximately 75 per cent of Scottish people were literate to some degree, well ahead of the European average for the same period.

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