Tag Archives: Ariel Durant

10 Facts about Getting Published in the Age of Reason

The Queen via Photobucket

Ten Facts about Getting Published in The Age of Reason
 
Today we look at the proliferation of books around us and wonder if in fact we will lose them eventually to ebooks. The ‘book’ has been part of our lives for so long it is difficult to imagine a time when they did not exist, easily accessed by all, but like everything else in there had to be a beginning. The beginning for the common folk of England came much later than in some other countries and was not welcomed by some.
 
According to Will and Ariel Durant in The Age of Reason Begins, Barnaby Rich wrote in 1600,”One of the great diseases of this age is the multitude of books that doth so overcharge the world that it is not able to digest the abundance of idle matter that is every day hatched and brought into the world.” A few years later in 1628 Robert Burton wrote, “Already we shall have a vast chaos and confusion of books; we are oppressed with them, our eyes ache with reading, our fingers with turning.”
 
According to Durant both these men were authors. The aristocracy had been reading for ages but books and the resultant plays available to a common class who were learning to read was new.
 
So a few facts of interest:
1). There were 250 publishers in Elizabethan England
2). Publishers also did their own printing, publishing and book selling
3) Authors were paid 5 pounds for a book.
4). Registering a publication with the Stationers Company constituted copyright not for the author, but for the publisher.
5). A few authors managed to live by their pen but most did not.
6). There were severe restrictions on what could be written (while the Queen apparently supported free thought she was absolutely against free speech, and many suffered the punishment, which was execution.
7). Smart authors dedicated their books to people in the aristocracy who then became their patrons.
8). Translations were published from books of Greece, Rome, Italy and France and this influence inspired writers of the day including Shakespeare, Marlowe, Webster and many others.
9). Poetry progressed from rhyme to classic meters and the aristocrats who at one time scorned poetry delved into the art. Everyone became a poet, good or otherwise. A craze for sonnets developed.
10). Naturally the keepers of the Morals, largely The church and the Crown were incensed for plays and writings glamorized incest, homosexuality, whoring, and got more than a few pot shots in against authorities, church and Puritans.
 
Christopher Marlowe according to Durant says, “He made blank verse a flexible and powerful speech. He saved the Elizabethan stage from classicists and Puritans…..Through Marlowe, Kyd, Lodge, Greene and Peele the way had been opened; the form, structure, style, and material of the Elizabethan drama had been prepared. Shakespeare was not a miracle, he was a fulfillment.”
 
Pretty exciting stuff I say!

The Age of Reason Begins and Ireland Wins!

 

 

 

 

 

The Age of Reason Begins and Ireland Wins!
 
What a day! And I have not set a foot outside on this glorious day except to lounge on my balcony, as I continue on the path to recuperation.
 
Earlier today, in search of a new book I headed down to our library in the building. I always take another book to replace the one I withdraw. Searching my stock I grabbed a book I had never read and had no intention of reading. It was a very old tome my son had left many years ago when he embarked on the real world sans Mommy.
 
The book penned by Will and Ariel Durant is part of a series dedicated to history and covers the years 1558-1603 under the rule of Queen Elizabeth.
Before depositing it on the shelf I opened the front cover out of curiosity and was immediately caught up in a gripping tale so well constructed time stopped and the parallel universe of the sixteenth century opened a portal through which I eagerly stepped.
 
About the middle of the afternoon I suddenly realized I was missing the US Golf Open and hurriedly turn on the set. That too was gripping! I spent the afternoon between history made and history in the making.
 
Rory McIlroy a young dashing Irishman won long before he finished with a nine-stroke lead. I posted about the Masters awhile back and the excitement of a close game with about 5 million players all close enough to win, but this was stellar.
 
The game is over but the book goes on. Durant presents the complexities of this convoluted period of time not just with ease but also with hot passion. I had a hard time choosing just one quote from the book to entice you and am determined it to be just one…” Rarely has a woman derived so much advantage from barreness, or so much pleasure from virginity.”  He then goes on to describe the brutality and depravity of the world at that time and the influences of Italy..oh there is so much more and I have barely gotten a quarter way through.
 
I usually find it difficult to keep world history straight and understandable…it’s just too confusing but Will presents the politics, people, and countries of the world in such a clear way that even I get it.
 
Like I said….What a Day!!