Monday, 13 October 2014

Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture #1

As many of you know, I am writing a book with OUP that I am calling, Jonathan Edwards and Transatlantic Print Culture. Explaining how Edwards's writings were published in the eighteenth-century transatlantic world, I will draw attention to wider features of evangelical publishing during the Age of Reason, including the names and background information of various booksellers, printers, editors, and intermediaries in America and Britain.

I am writing this book with two audiences in mind. First, I want to write for book history scholars who know very little about evangelicalism and religious print culture. My second audience is religious scholars who understand early American and British Christianity, including evangelicalism, but who have not made the important connection between religion and the history of the book.
As I conduct research for the book, I have jotted down some of the questions that I hope to answer in this study:
  • Are the titles of Edwards's publications significant? Did other eighteenth-century writers use such titles as A Faithful Narrative, Humble Inquiry, An Humble Attempt?
  • Why did specific booksellers and printers take an interest in Edwards and other evangelical writers?
  • Who wrote the advertisements for Edwards's works?
  • Who subscribed to Edwards's publications, and why?
  • What did the different advertisements on how a book was to be bound, including "plain," "neatly bound," etc, mean?
  • Why did printers use high and low quality paper?
  • Why were certain books by Edwards reprinted?
  • Why did Joseph Bellamy, Samuel Hopkins, and Jonathan Edwards Jr. want to publish their works?
 What other questions should I be thinking about as I write this book? If you have any suggestions, email me.

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