Vitré's memorandum on the prolongation of privileges, unknown (1650s)

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22071 n°83

Vitré's memorandum on the prolongation of privileges, unknown (1650s), Primary Sources on Copyright (1450-1900), eds L. Bently & M. Kretschmer,

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Full title:
'Whether it is of benefit to the public to provide Booksellers with Prolongations of Privileges, in view of the present state of things in the Book Trade'

Full title original language:
'S'il est advantageux pour le public d'accorder aux Libraires des Continuations de Privileges, en l'état que les choses sont à present dans la Librairie'

The Vitré dynasty of publishers, like that of the Nivelle or Camusat families, would, even in the critical eyes of the Abbé Blondel (f_1725a), appear to have been genuinely devoted to 'bringing out books in the best possible way rather than just wanting to make huge fortunes'. In the political context of the Counter-Reformation, and at the same time as the various disputes which followed the promulgation of the book trade regulations of 1649 (f_1649), Antoine Vitré published a notionally disinterested memorandum which stressed the importance of a strong corporatist discipline and a thorough-going regulation of the book market. Vitré asserted unequivocally that not only the stability of the latter, but also the Crown's control of the press depended on continuing the privilege system - that is, on the gradual curtailment of the 'public domain', which in this sense anticipated the policies of Louis XIV's famous minister of finances Jean-Baptiste Colbert in the second half of the seventeenth century.

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Related documents in this database:

Author: Antoine Vitré (1595-1674)

Publisher: unknown

Year: 1650s

Location: unknown

Language: French

Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France : Mss. Fr. 22071 n°83

Persons referred to:
Boderie, Guy Lefèvre de la
Donatus, Aelius
Estienne, Charles
Estienne, Henri I
Estienne, Henri II
Estienne, Robert
Godefroy, Denis
Huillier, Pierre l'
Le Bé, Guillaume
Morel, Fédéric
Métayer, Jamet
Neufgermain, Michel de
Patisson, Mamert
Philip II
Plantin, Christophe
Richelieu, Armand Jean Duplessis, Cardinal de
Vitré, Antoine

Places referred to:
Ayen (dép. of Corrèze)
Chasteleraut (dép. of Vienne)
Dombes, principality of
Fontenay (dép. of the Seine)
La Rochelle
Langres (arr. Haute-Marne)
Le Havre
Montauban (dép. of Tarn-et-Garonne)
Niort (dép. of Deux-Sèvres)
Pézenas (dép. of Hérault)
Sables d'Olone (dép. of Charente)
Saint-Mexant (dép. of Corrèze)
Soye (dép. of Doubs)

Cases referred to:

Institutions referred to:
Compagnie des Usages (association of major Parisian publishers)
Confrairie de S Jean Porte-Latine (booksellers' association)
Escorial Monastery (El Escorial)
Hôpital Général (Paris)
King's Council of State (France)
Parisian Guild of Booksellers and Printers
Parlement of Paris
University of Paris (Sorbonne)


Bible, the
Reformation, the
book fairs
book market
book trade
classics, Greek and Latin
duration, prolongation of privileges
guild regulation
immoral works
printing, history of
privileges, French
privileges, printing
property theory, publishers' property
public good
religious works

Responsible editor: Frédéric Rideau

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