Mass Production of Books Before Printing
Lecture by David d’Avray
Given at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, on June 8, 2022
Excerpt: The question that this led me to pose is it not likely that there is a whole world of book production by Franciscans, Dominicans and similar people who are capable of writing like professional scribes and do but unlike professional scribes they don’t change it? I mean you could imagine a professional scribe changes the text – but my generation we gave our theses to typists go back that far now if the typist had come back and just changed the text you know ‘I don’t like that very much. It’s much improvement this way.’ that would you know that is not what you expect of somebody you give something to copy out you expect them to try and copy it out only if somebody is in command of the text they do that. So the explanation is that the people doing it really on a level and the difference between the copiest and the original author of these texts is very small.
David d’Avray is a Professor Emeritus at University College London. Click here to view his university webpage.
Top Image: BNF Français 342 fol. 150r