1. Exquisite Tweets from @Andrew_Adonis, @richove

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Fact of the day: of the 2,000 books in the Bodleian Library in 1605, only 58 were in English! Shakespeare, unlike Newton, practically unknown outside England until late 1700s ... because he wrote in English.

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    Andrew_Adonis

    Andrew Adonis

  2. As Bodley's Librarian, must correct you! We had 6,100 books in 1605 @bodleianlibs, 170 of them in English. Many English books arrived after 1610 with our arrangement with @stationerscomms & in 1640 with bequest of books from Robert Burton @OldFortunatus: tell us of Shax in Europe

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    richove

    Richard Ovenden

  3. Thanks for the correction! My 'fact' - that it was 58 out of 2,000 - came from Robert Tombs's History of England. But the proportions are similar and the story the same - that 'quality books' were not much written in English pre-Shakespeare.

    Richard Ovenden @richove
    As Bodley's Librarian, must correct you! We had 6,100 books in 1605 @bodleianlibs, 170 of them in English. Many English books arrived after 1610 with our arrangement with @stationerscomms & in 1640 with bequest of books from Robert Burton @OldFortunatus: tell us of Shax in Europe

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    Andrew_Adonis

    Andrew Adonis

  4. 1/2. The bulk of scholarship in many fields was in Latin - it had its own segment of the book trade in England, & these books were often imported from Europe, but many were also published in Latin in Britain (and often with European printers and scholars based here).

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    richove

    Richard Ovenden

    2/2 But there were a number of 'quality books' published in English in Britain: Camden, Hobbes, Hooke, Locke etc and these works were exported to Europe or published in Europe (and translated). European and British ideas constantly exchanged via books (and letters).

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    richove

    Richard Ovenden