This is a pioneering study of the English provincial newspaper and book trades in the eighteenth century. Christine Ferdinand uses the first thoroughgoing study of the Salisbury Journal and its competitors to reveal how country newspapers worked within and influenced the developing information systems of a region. The detailed revelations of a community's social, economic, literary and cultural interests extend well beyond Salisbury to the surrounding counties and to London. A hitherto hidden commercial infrastructure shows the interdependent relationship between the writers and makers of newspapers, the principal members of the London book trade, and the new market for the printed word. Behind these news networks was the entrepreneurial spirit of Benjamin Collins, a figure of national importance, who set up Salisbury's first bank, established newspapers in London and the provinces, wrote children's books with John Newbery, and whose publishing interests brought him into contact with the literary and commercial life of London.
This fascinating study of the information networks of eighteenth-century provincial life will be of interest to literary students and biographers as well as historians.
Publisher: Oxford University Press