Conference Focuses on Scandal and Gossip in the Book Trade

Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association

The Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association's 44th Annual Book Trade History Conference takes as its focus this year 'Scandal and Gossip in the Book Trade from the Middle Ages to the Present Day'.

Running November 19-20 2023, here is how the organisers describe the event:

As with many businesses, success in the book trade has always relied heavily on reputation and credit. Yet the relatively small and densely connected networks of the book trade have helped gossip about its members to flourish. In addition, the trade has seen its share of public scandals and activities that whilst kept quiet at the time have since come to light. This conference explores the place of scandal and gossip in the reputation of the book trade and also as a distinctive genre among its products. With topics ranging from the Middle Ages to the twenty-first century, the speakers will explore why scandal and gossip is not merely titillation for the history of the making and trade of books. 

Spearkers include:

* Sara Barker, Associate Professor of Early Modern History at the University of Leeds, whose research focuses on the history of printing, books and news

* Oliver Darkshire, rare bookseller and author of Once Upon a Tome, his account of his time at Sotheran’s

* Fauve Vandenberghe, a PhD candidate in English Literature at the Department of Literary Studies at Ghent University. Her research project Hyenas in Petticoats: British Female-Authored Satire of the Eighteenth Century, 1670-1760 is the first dedicated study of female-authored satire in Britain between 1670 and 1760 

* Christine Ferdinand (Emeritus Fellow Librarian, Magdalen College Oxford), most of whose research is on the 18th century book and newspaper trade and personnel, currently writing a biography of English-born American journalist James Rivington

* Mirjam Foot, former Director of Collections and Preservation at the British Library, who has published extensively on the history of bookbinding
The conference will be held at Stationers' Hall in London.