Although the number of books published in London in the Italian language over the course of the 350 years of this survey (1553 - the date of the appearance of the first book in Italian - and the end of the nineteenth century) is substantial, as revealed by a preliminary search on the online databases of the English Short-Title Catalogue and the Nineteenth-Century Short-Title Catalogue, a closer look at the dates and details of the records retrieved shows that the phenomenon is a highly discontinuous and episodic one. The map drawn by these bibliographic resources depicts an archipelago not a single landmass. What we find are single events or at the most shortlived clusters of activity: a prestigious subscription edition comes out, a publisher collaborates with an (Italian) editor on one or a few books, the arrival of an author in the metropolis leads to a short flurry of production. Not until the end of the nineteenth century could it be said that publishing in Italian becomes an institutionalised aspect of London publishing.
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Foreign-Language Printing in London 1500-1904
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