To come to the history of German book trades in nineteenth-century London with any preconceptions is to see those preconceptions, if not dashed, then strangely distorted. Knowing that by the late nineteenth century Germans formed London's biggest immigrant community, with a wide range of clubs, societies and religious and educatiorial foundations, one might expect to find a thriving book trade based on the needs of this community and its institutions. Knowing that in the late 1840s England saw an influx of educated and articulate German political refugees, and that Karl Marx famously spent over half his life living and working here, one might expect a forceful German radical press to have grown up for the exchange of ideas among the exiles and for the avoidance of the censors back in Germany.' In fact, neither of these assumptions is fully borne out by the evidence, although there are elements of truth in both.
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