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About the Project

The office of King's Printer was one of the most powerful instruments of cultural production in Jacobean London. With its monopoly on printing the Bible, Book of Common Prayer, and other important English and Latin texts, it was also one of the most lucrative and risky.

Ruthless men

Claimants to the office--Robert Barker (1570-1645) , John Bill (1576-30) , and, Bonham Norton (1565-1635)-- were amongst the most ambitious, imaginative and ruthless men in the business. Their products were amongst the most important of their time, both culturally and politically.

Relatively little is known about the men, their operations, their place in the book trade in general, and their intimate relations with a king whose faith in the printed word caused him to see the press as an instrument for nothing less than the establishment of a national culture.

by Web Editor. © Queen Mary, University of London 2005
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