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Re: [BKARTS] Chap books



Dear Kat,
Regarding your query about the origin and definition of chapbooks, I
referred to Wise, Harry B. ABOUT CHAPBOOKS: THE PEOPLE'S LITERATURE OF
BYGONE TIMES; Folklore Associates, Inc., Hatboro, PA; 1969. This is a
facsimile reprint of the original, 1942, edition. Quoting directly from
Chapter 1, Chapbooks and Chapmen:

The term chapbook may include anything from a broadside to a good-sized
book--anything printed--that was carried by chapmen...the small ones, as a
rule, being intended for children...and contained from 4 to 24 pages...The
printing, in many cases, was execrable, the paper even worse, the wopodcut
illustrations...were sometimes worse than the type, paper, and presswork
combined...

The early chapman was a peddler...licensed by the old laws he was referred
to as a hawker, vendor chapman and unruly person...Although many were
knaves and were regarded with suspicion, chapmenb usually were welcome, not
only because of the contents of their packs, but because of their fund of
gossip.

The name "chapman" which was used early in the fifteenth century, is
apparently derived from the Anglo Saxon ceapman (trade + man) meaning a
tradesman, and chapbooks were apparently books sold to the trade.

Hope this is of interest and help to you.

Richard K.
At 11:36 AM 9/23/02 -0700, you wrote:
>Hey All
>I wonder if anyone could shed light on the origin  and definition of chap
>books....
>Thanks,
>~kat
>
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             ***********************************************
            BOOK_ARTS-L: The listserv for all the book arts.
      For subscription information, the Archive, and other related
            resources and links go to the Book_Arts-L FAQ at:
                      <http://www.philobiblon.com>

        Archive maintained and suppported by Conservation OnLine
                    <http://palimpsest.stanford.edu>
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