The Broadview Introduction to Book History
Coming Soon
  • Publication Date: April 30, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554810871 / 1554810876
  • 256 pages; 5½" x 8½"
Exam Copy

Availability: Worldwide

The Broadview Introduction to Book History

  • Publication Date: April 30, 2017
  • ISBN: 9781554810871 / 1554810876
  • 256 pages; 5½" x 8½"

This book can be purchased on its own or in a discounted package with The Broadview Reader in Book History. If you wish to order the package, please contact us at Customer Service or place the order through your bookstore using ISBN 978-1-4881-0420-6.

Book history has emerged in the last twenty years as one of the most important new fields of interdisciplinary study. It has produced new interpretations of major historical events, has made possible new approaches to history, literature, media, and culture, and presents a distinctive historical perspective on current debates about the future of the book. The Broadview Introduction to Book History provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to this field.

Written in a lively, accessible style, chapters on materiality, textuality, printing and reading, intermediality, and remediation guide readers through numerous key concepts, illustrated with examples from literary texts and historical documents produced across a wide historical range. An ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in book history, it offers a road map to this dynamic interdisciplinary field.


“This introduction to the still emerging and expanding field of book history is timely, welcome, and a delight to read. This lucid and nuanced overview of the discipline is the perfect introduction for students interested in the possibilities of book history and a welcome synthesis of new directions in scholarship, including intermediality—orality and writing, manuscript and print—and the remediations accompanying developments in digital media and its textuality and reading practices.” —Margaret J.M. Ezell, Texas A&M University

“Remarkably concise, this substantive volume provides a very useful introduction to concepts and issues relevant to the study of book history. The authors offer an overview of work in materiality, textuality, bibliography, production, and readership, as well as current debates on digitization and distant reading. This will be exceptionally useful for introducing students and scholars at all levels to the field of book history.” —Johanna Drucker, University of California, Los Angeles

“This is a lucid and compendious introduction that approaches its subject from multiple perspectives. Its purview includes printed texts and images, production and dissemination, the physical aspects of the book, the evolution of reading practices, different schools of bibliographical and editorial theory, and the impact of digitization. Throughout, the emphasis is on processes of mediation, reminding readers that the relationship between writer and reader is always conditioned by technological, economic, and ideological factors, regardless of the textual medium.” —Nicholas Halmi, University of Oxford

Chapter 1: Materiality

  • Reading Books
  • Bibliography
  • Making Printed Books
  • Typography

Chapter 2: Textuality

  • Who’s Been Tampering with My Text?
  • Copy-Text
  • Variants
  • Authorial Intentions
  • Textual Pluralism

Chapter 3: Printing and Reading

  • Print and the Book
  • The Impact of Print
  • Models for Book History
  • Print Economies
  • Controlling Print / Controlling Reading
  • Methods for a History of Reading

Chapter 4: Intermediality

  • Models of Intermediality
  • Orality and Writing
  • Manuscript and Print
  • Text and Image

Chapter 5: Remediating

  • New Media, New Materiality
  • (Hyper)Textuality
  • Digital Printing and Screen Reading
  • Reading, Knowledge, and the Digital Turn
  • Computer-Assisted Reading


The History of the Book: A Brief Chronology
Works Cited and Further Reading
List of Figures

Michelle Levy is Professor of English at Simon Fraser University.

Tom Mole is Reader in English Literature and Director of the Centre for the History of the Book at the University of Edinburgh.