The New Bibliopolis: French Book Collectors and the Culture of Print, 1880-1914
The late-nineteenth century in Europe was a period of profound political, social, and technological change. One result of these changes was the rise in France of an upper-bourgeois bohemian class. Many of its members stimulated interest in unique forms of artistic expression such as illustrated books. On account of their influence, an atmosphere of intense bibliophilic activity came to define French culture at the turn of the century. The New Bibliopolis explores the role of amateurs in promoting the book arts in France during this period.
Drawing on extensive original research, Willa Z. Silverman looks at the ways in which book collectors supported print culture. She shows how, through the admiration demonstrated by collectors for this medium, print came to be a crucial part of popular conceptions of aesthetics. As collectors, publishers, authors, designers, and directors of bibliophile societies, reviews, and small presses, these book lovers became passionate and prolific interlocutors of the printed word in a uniquely artistic epoch. Silverman analyzes subjects as diverse as the relationship between book collecting and aesthetic and cultural currents such as Symbolism; the gendered nature of book collecting; the increased collaboration between authors and illustrators; and the marketing of fine books at international exhibits.
The New Bibliopolis is an important contribution to the study of book history, French sociocultural history, and fine and decorative arts.
- Division: Scholarly Publishing
- World Rights
- Page Count: 334 pages
- Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.0in x 9.0in
ReviewsIn an age of Kindle and e-books how refreshing and meaningful to read Silverman’s fascinating study…A marvelously entertaining and rich mosaic, filled with many equally enriching illustrations, which will ensure that her own book should be an integral part of any future bibliophile’s library for many years to come.
American Historical Review, June 2010
'Impressively researched and beautifully illustrated, The New Bibliopolis reaches beyond the small group of elite dandies at its core to reflect more broadly upon the nature of texts as material objects, a topic which remains relevant in our own day.'
French Politics, Culture & Society; Winter 2010
Author InformationWilla Z. Silverman is a professor in the Department of French and Francophone Studies and the Jewish Studies Program at The Pennsylvania State University.
AwardsScaglione Prize (French) awarded by Modern Language Association - Winner in 2009
Subjects and Courses