Page:EB1911 - Volume 04.djvu/230

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216
BOOKBINDING

25s., 30s. and (in 1641) to 40s. Single plays in quarto cost 6d. each in Shakespeare's time, 1s. after the Restoration. The Shakespeare folio of 1623 is said to have been published at £1. Bishop Walton's polyglot Bible in six large volumes was sold for 10 to subscribers, but resulted in a heavy loss. Izaak Walton's Compleat Angler was priced at 1s. 6d. in sheepskin, Paradise Lost at 3s., The Pilgrim's Progress at 1s. 6d.; Dryden's Virgil was published by subscription at £5:5s. It was a handsome book, ornamented with plates; but in the case of this and other subscription books a desire to honour or befriend the author was mainly responsible for the high price.

18th Century. — During this century there was a notable improvement alike in paper, type and presswork in both France and England, and towards the end of the century in Germany and Italy also. Books became generally neat and sometimes elegant. Book-illustration revived with the French livres-à-vignettes, and English books were illustrated by Gravelot and other French artists. In the last quarter of the century the work of Bewick heralded a great revival in woodcut illustrations, or as the use of the graver now entitled them to be called, wood engravings. The best 18th-century binders, until the advent of Roger Payne, were inferior to those of the 17th century, but the technique of the average work was better. In trade bindings the use of sheepskin and calf became much less common, and books were mostly cased in paper boards. The practice of publishing poetry by subscription at a very high price, which Dryden had found lucrative, was followed by Prior and Pope. Single poems by Pope, however, were sold at 1s. and 1s. 6d. Novels were mostly in several volumes. The price at the beginning of the century was mostly 1s. 6d. each. It then remained fairly steady for many years, and at the close of the century rose again. Thus Miss Burney's Evelina (3 vols., 1778) sold for 7s. 6d., her Cecilia (5 vols., 1782) for 12s. 6d., and her Camilla (5 vols., 1796) for £1:1s. Johnson's Dictionary (2 vols. folio, 1755) cost £4:4s. in sheets, £4:15s. in boards.

19th Century. — A great change in the appearance of books was caused by the use first of glazed calico (about 1820), afterwards (about 1830) of cloth for the cases of books as issued by their publishers. At first the lettering was printed on paper labels, but soon it was stamped in gilt on the cloth, and in the last quarter of the century many very beautiful covers were designed for English and American books. The designs for leather bindings were for many years chiefly imitated from older work, but towards the end of the 'eighties much greater originality began to be shown. Book illustrations passed through many phases. As subsidiary methods colour-prints, line engravings, lithographs and etchings were all used during the first half of the century, but the main reliance was on wood-engraving, in which extraordinary technical skill was developed. In the 'sixties and the years which immediately preceded and followed them many of the chief English artists supplied the engravers with drawings. In the last decade of the century wood-engraving was practically killed by the perfection attained by photographic methods of reproduction (see Process), the most popular of these methods entailing the use of paper heavily coated with china clay. During the century trade-printing, both in England and America, steadily improved, and the work done by William Morris at his Kelmscott Press (1891-1896), and by other amateur printers who imitated him, set a new standard of beauty of type and ornament, and of richness of general effect. On the other hand the demand for cheap reprints of famous works induced by the immense extension of the reading public was supplied by scores of pretty if flimsy editions at 1s. 6d. and 1s. and even less. The problem of how to produce books at moderate prices on good paper and well sewn, was left for the 20th century to settle. About 1894 the number of such medium-priced books was greatly increased in England by the substitution of single-volume novels at 6s. each (subject to discount) for the three-volume editions at 31s. 6d. he preposterous price of 10s. 6d. a volume had been adopted during the first popularity of the Waverly Novels, and despite the example of France, where the standard price was 3 fr. 50, had continued in force for the greater part of the century. Even after novels were sold at reasonable rates artificial prices were maintained for books of travel and biographies, so that the circulating libraries were practically the only customers for the first editions. (See Publishing and Bookselling).


BOOKBINDING. Bindings or covers to protect written or printed matter have always followed the shapes of the material on which the writing or printing was done. Very early inscriptions on rocks or wood needed no coverings, and the earliest instances of protective covers are to be found among the smaller Assyrian tablets of about the 8th century B.C. These tablets, with cuneiform inscriptions recording sales of slaves, loans of money and small matters generally, are often enclosed in an outer shell of the same shape and impressed with a short title. Egyptian papyrus rolls were generally kept in roll form, bound Origins. round with papyrus tape and often sealed with seals of Nile mud; and the rolls in turn were often preserved in rectangular hollows cut in wood. The next earliest material to papyrus used for writing upon was tree bark. Bark books, still commonly used by uncultured nations, often consisting of collections of magical formulae or medical receipts, are generally rolls, folded backwards and forwards upon themselves like the sides of a concertina. At Pompeii in 1875 several diptychs were found, the wooden leaves hollowed on the inner sides, filled with blackened wax, and hinged together at the back with leather thongs. Writings were found scratched on the wax, one of them being a record of a payment to Umbricia Januaria in A.D. 55. This is the earliest known Latin manuscript. The diptychs are the prototypes of the modern book. From about the 1st to the 6th century, ornamental diptychs were made of carved ivory, and presented to great personages by the Roman consuls.

Rolls of papyrus, vellum or paper were written upon in three ways, (1) In short lines, at right angles to the length of the roll. (2) In long lines each the entire length of the roll. (3) In short lines parallel to the length of the roll, each column or page of writing having a space left on each side of it. Rolls written in the first of these ways were simply rolled up and kept in cylinders of like shape, sometimes several together, with a title tag at the end of each, in a box called a scrinium. In the case of the second form, the most obvious instances of which are to be found n the Buddhist prayer-wheels, the rolls were and are kept in circular boxes with handles through the centres so that they can revolve easily. In the third manner of arranging the manuscript the page forms show very clearly, and it is still used in the scrolls of the law in Jewish synagogues, kept on two rollers, one at each end. But this form of writing also developed a new method for its own more convenient preservation. A roll of this kind can be folded up, backwards and forwards, the bend coming in the vacant spaces between the columns of writing. When this is done it at once becomes a book, and takes the Chinese and Japanese form known as orihon — all the writing on one side of the roll or strip of paper and all the other side blank. Some books of this kind are simply guarded by two boards, but generally they are fastened together along one of the sides, which then becomes the back of the book. The earliest fastening of such books consists of a lacing with some cord or fibre run through holes stabbed right through the substance of the roll, near the edge. Now the orihon is complete, and it is the link between the roll and the book. This “stabbed” form of binding is the earliest method of keeping the leaves of a book together; it occurs in the case of a Coptic papyrus of about the 8th century found at Thebes, but it is rarely used in the case of papyrus, as the material is too brittle to retain the threads properly.

The method of folding vellum into pages seems to have been first followed about the 5th century. The sheets were folded once, and gatherings of four or more folded sheets were made, so that stitches through the fold at the back would hold all the sheets together and each leaf could be conveniently turned over. Very soon an obvious plan of fixing several of these gatherings, or quires, together was followed by the simple expedient of fastening the threads at the back round a strong strip of leather or vellum held at right angles to the line of the backs. This early plan of “sewing” books is to-day used in the case of valuable