17th Century

258 K
Spenser, Edmund, 1552?-1599.
The Faerie Queen : the shepheard's calendar, together with the other works of England's Arch-poet / Edm. Spencer ... London : Printed by H. L. for Mathew Lownes, 1611.
2 p. l., 363, [25], 56, [136] p. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Lownes, Humphrey, d. 1629, printer.
PR2350 1611
Other links: Image of printer's device
This first complete edition of Spenser demonstrates a creativity on the part of the printer in utilizing a small typeface, yet still giving the pages a sense of space. The blend of italic and roman has a pleasing and not discordant appearance. The borders, placed on their sides, may indicate a lack of appropriate equipment.
112 K
Casaubon, Meric, 1599-1671.
A discourse concerning Christ His incarnation ... / by Meric Casaubon.
London : M.F. for R. Mynne, 1646.
[6], 92 p. ; 20 cm.
Flesher, Miles, d. 1664, printer.
GT 70 .C3
English printing in the middle and latter part of the 17th century was still almost entirely dependent upon the continent for supplies. There was a noticeable falling off of quality with the use of low quality paper, used, worn, and damaged type, and a certain lack of craftsmanship. This process was excaberated by the English Civil War, in which printing was more for the distribution of polemics and trial reports than for literature.
115 K
Walle, Jacques van de, 1599-1690.
Iacobi Wallii e Societate Iesu Poematum libri novem.
Antuerpiae : Ex officina Plantiniana Balthasaris Moreti, 1656.
<32>, 422, <2> p. ; 19 cm.
Moretus, Balthasar, 1574-1641, printer.
Plantijnsche Drukkerij, printer.
PA8595 .W3 1656
Other links: Image of printer's device
Plantin-Moretus Museum
In 1555, Christopher Plantin founded his press which was to continue well into the 19th century, at which time it was converted into a museum. The press was distinguished, like the later Elzevirs', for the quantity of high quality work, the extent to which a variety of foreign editors and craftmen were employed, and its impact on the cost and availability of books. The above title was printed by his grandson, Balthasar Moretus.
109 K
Le Moyne, Pierre, 1602-1671.
La gallerie des femmes fortes / par le P. Pierre Le Moyne de la C. de Iesvs.
A Leiden : Chez Iean Elsevier ; et a Paris : Chez Charles Angot ..., 1660.
[68], 452, [24] p. : ill. ; 12 cm. (12mo)
Library copy bound in gilt brown morocco with centerpiece.
Note on endpaper: Possibly bound by Chambolle-Duru.
Chambolle, Rene Victor, 1834-1898, binder.
Duru, Hippolite, d. 1884, binder.
Elzevir, Jean, 1622-1661, printer.
920.7 L559g
Other Links: Images of binding
Image of printer's device
The Elzevir family of printers, mainly located in the Low Countries, issued books from 1593 to 1712. Their distribution network operated throughout Europe. They were know for producing small pocket size books of great charm. The low cost of the books and their wide distribution were important in spreading the ownership of books very broadly through the middle class.
147 K
Corneille, Thomas, 1625-1709.
Amour a la mode. English.
The amorous gallant, or, Love in fashion. : A comedie, in heroick verse, as it was acted.
London : Printed by J.C. for William Crook .., 1675.
[2], 60, [1] p. ; 23 cm.
PR1241 .O421 vol.7, no. 2
As can be seen by this text, the low quality of English printing is still the norm. However, presses were producing in quantity and at relatively inexpensive cost. Plays and poetry were readily available to the public, even if the physical form was not very attractive.

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