The Dublin Book Trade 1801–1850. By Charles Benson.
London: The Bibliographical Society, and Dublin: Lilliput Press, 2021.
157 pp., with illustrations in black & white and colour.
ISBN 978 0 948170 25 6 (Bibliographical Society), 978 1 843518 23 5 (Lilliput)
Charles Benson, who died in 2017 after a long and distinguished career in the Early Printed Books Department of Trinity College Dublin, was the acknowledged expert on the Irish nineteenth-century book trade. He distilled many years of research into his TCD PhD thesis in 2000, and when he died he was working on a directory of members of the trade, to be published electronically by the Society. Sadly, he died before that project could be completed, but his working papers are deposited in TCD Library where they can be accessed.
This new book comprises the text of his 2000 thesis, with some updating by an expert team in Dublin led by Dr David Dickson. Its chapters provide an overview of the development of printing, publishing, bookselling and bookbinding in and around Dublin during the first half of the nineteenth century, and it provides an authoritative account of the evolution of the Irish trade during a period of much change. It contains a great deal of information not readily available elsewhere and is set to become a standard source for historians of the book trade and Irish affairs of that time more generally.
Members of the Society receive a copy of the book as part of their subscription, and are entitled to buy a second copy at the special price of £18.00.
Enquiries from non-members should be directed to Lilliput Press (https://www.lilliputpress.ie/) who handle all sales outside the Society.
Publication May 2021