Interacting with Print member Marie-Claude Felton’s new book, Maîtres de leurs ouvrages: l’édition à compte d’auteur à Paris au XVIIIe siècle is available from Oxford University Studies in the Enlightenment.
Until the 18th Century, libraries enjoyed an unfair monopoly over the book scene in Paris. The tide turned in 1777, when authors finally acquired the right to edit and sell their own works. Dr. Felton has explores the emergence of the modern author in depth, and shows how fiercely writers guarded the rights to and outcomes of their works. She reveals how author-editors, sensitive to the material quality of books printed at their own cost, ensured distribution as much by home sales as by advertising.