John Smith, Youngest (1784-1849), and the book trade of Glasgow

Hall, Stephen (2017) John Smith, Youngest (1784-1849), and the book trade of Glasgow. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis is a response to Darnton’s challenge that ‘more work needs to be done on the bookseller as a cultural agent’, and offers as a case study the career of the early nineteenth- century Glasgow bookseller John Smith, Youngest (1784-1849), and the company John Smith and Son (founded 1751). Early nineteenth-century Glasgow was developing into a major centre of commerce, with trade and finance taking full advantage of the new industrial age and burgeoning population. In comparison to Edinburgh, there has been comparatively little research on Glasgow’s role in the contemporary book trade. John Smith, Youngest, was the third of three generations of booksellers of the namesake family firm, merchant baillie, Secretary to the Maitland Club, and member of the contemporary Glasgow cultural and social elite. Smith was a devout Presbyterian, and this religious faith was highly influential on and guided his personal and business lives. I argue that this aspect of his life is the key to understanding John Smith. This is the first thorough study of John Smith. Using publications of Smith’s imprint and his social network, I show the influence Smith had on the book trade of the period through his Presbyterian religious faith, how he maintained his business, and which outside pressures were brought to bear on the family firm; as well as determining what contribution he made to the cultural milieu of the period through his business and philanthropic ventures. This will be the first study on the book trade of Glasgow from a bookseller’s perspective.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: John Smith youngest, early nineteenth-century Glasgow, book trade, bookselling, book history, Maitland Club.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > Scottish Literature
Supervisor's Name: Smith, Professor Jeremy and Brown, Dr. Rhona
Date of Award: 2017
Depositing User: Dr Stephen Hall
Unique ID: glathesis:2017-8530
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2017 10:47
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 13:54
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.8530

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