London: British Library, 2004,
First Edition. large quarto, cloth in dust jacket. (176)pp. British Library, New. Item #29392
This book is the first illustrated guide to this complex and controversial subject. In 1930, in The Evolution of Publishers' Binding Styles, Michael Sadleir declared that "the bookseller-publisher of the decades from 1730 to 1770 issued his books either in loose quires, or stitched, or a most in a plain paper wrapper." This view is still generally accepted. Bennett, however, presents new documentary and visual evidence that books were predominantly sold ready-bound in sheep, calf, and goat as well as boards and wrappers. Over 200 color illustrations show what these bindings looked like, and how their styles evolved.