[Milton-L] PL: the gap between the early editions

JCarl Bellinger dionhalic at gmail.com
Sun Apr 30 20:42:26 EDT 2017


 The gap thickens:
"Sales of the work were sluggish at first, and Simmons reissued the first
edition sheets of *Paradise Lost* with seven different title pages between
1667 and 1669. The 1669 reissue included, as per Simmons’s note to the
reader, a 14-page “Argument” ..."
 - Megan Mulder
https://zsr.wfu.edu/author/mulder/

On Sun, Apr 16, 2017 at 12:31 PM Thomas Corns <t.n.corns at bangor.ac.uk>
wrote:

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> Carl poses an interesting question, which can be pushed a little further
> with the evidence of the receipt signed on 26 April 1669 for the five
> pounds owing to him on the sale of 1300 copies of the first edition.
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> My conjecture is that the receipt marked the sale in multiple batches to a
> number of London booksellers. The last two batches, to Thomas Helder, are
> date 1669, and it would have probably been unwise and perhaps
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> unethical for Samuel Simmons to have printed more copies till Helder had
> had opportunity to sell the stock he had taken on. His shop was quite close
> to Simmons’s shop, which might have been a factor. I assume Helder was
> finding it quite hard to move his copies
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> in a market which had had access to the publication since 1667.
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> I think the sale-or-return deal isn’t part of the booktrade till the
> nineteenth century, though would be very interested if that’s not the case.
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> Tom Corns
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