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Printed Music in the Provinces: Musical Circulation in Seventeenth-Century England and the Case of Newcastle upon Tyne Bookseller William London

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Steph Carter, Professor Kirsten GibsonORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by The Bibliographical Society / Oxford University Press, 2017.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


London was the unrivalled centre of the English print trade in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century England, with sporadic pieces of evidence revealing an extensive book trade in regional urban centres. Previous documentation of the specialist market of printed music circulating beyond the capital has tended to be focused on contexts closely connected with London. In 1657, William London, a bookseller on the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle upon Tyne, published A Catalogue of The Most Vendible Books in England, comprising over 3,000 titles that London was able to provide for customers across Northumberland, Durham, Westmorland and Cumberland. The catalogue includes a selection of contemporary printed music books along with a detailed introduction written by London that was commemorated as late as 1808 as ‘an excellent treatise [that] has never since accompanied any bookseller’s catalogue’. London places a high value on music and music-making, and the catalogue includes, among other music items, recently published music books by John Playford. This article evaluates London’s Catalogue as new evidence for the sale of printed music outside the capital in the seventeenth century, and sets it in the wider context of patterns of musical circulation during this period.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Carter S, Gibson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: The Library

Year: 2017

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 428-473

Print publication date: 01/12/2017

Online publication date: 04/12/2017

Acceptance date: 22/09/2016

Date deposited: 23/09/2016

ISSN (print): 0024-2160

ISSN (electronic): 1744-8581

Publisher: The Bibliographical Society / Oxford University Press


DOI: 10.1093/library/18.4.428


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