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26 Sellers and Buyers of the Lyon Book Market in the Late 15th Century

Monique Hulvey    Bibliothèque municipale de Lyon, France    



Without a university or parliament, Lyon became an important centre of book production and distribution over the last quarter of the fifteenth century. In the course of these years, favourable economic conditions with the development of a fourth annual fair and elaborate banking services, turned the provincial merchant town into a European marketplace. Constant movement of people, goods, and money, as well as a ten-year tax exemption for newcomers to the printing business, attracted printers and booksellers who placed Lyon at the heart of networks operating near and far. Contemporary material evidence from the buyers’ side documents the markets targeted by the Lyon book merchants during this key period, some of their strategies, and skills at time and distance management. It also suggests how, in their spheres of influence, the development of the book trade could have played a part in the evolution of urban and rural society. With little archival evidence at hand, we need to reassess the larger organisation of the Lyon book trade in the international landscape and the part played by the importation of books. A mapping of available data, and observations on bindings and provenance, is helping to define the role of the city in the circulation of books, printed locally or elsewhere, throughout France.

Feb. 24, 2020
Nov. 25, 2019
May 16, 2019

Keywords: PricesBook tradeBooksellingCommercial strategiesBookbindingFairsTransport15th centuryRoad infrastructurePrinting

Copyright: © 2020 Monique Hulvey. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.