The triumph of print, 1650–1700
in Reading Ireland
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In the years before 1660 print established itself, albeit in a rather precarious position, within Irish society. One of the first indications of the growing importance of the role of print in Irish society in the late seventeenth century was the rapid expansion of the print trades. By the end of the seventeenth century the rise of provincial printing came to supplement the production of the Dublin presses. Perhaps more importantly for the book trade in the longer term was the dramatic improvement in the distribution mechanisms. Institutions such as the state and the various churches had developed mechanisms for distributing their own sponsored works among their followers. It is possible to observe something of the effect of the growing volume of print available in Ireland in the late seventeenth century through the expansion of libraries.

Reading Ireland

Print, reading and social change in early modern Ireland




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