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The Most Disreputable TradePublishing the Classics of English Poetry 1765-1810$
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Thomas F. Bonnell

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199532209

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199532209.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

The Elzevirs of Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis

The Elzevirs of Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis

(p.39) 2. The Elzevirs of Glasgow: Robert and Andrew Foulis
The Most Disreputable Trade

Thomas F. Bonnell

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the factors that led to the success and later downfall of the printing house of Robert and Andrew Foulis. It also examines the recognition of the Elzevir. The chapter claims that the Foulis' bid for international acclaim was to be their own meticulous edition of Plato, a lavish folio of size and magnificence for libraries. In their bread-and-butter work the Foulis brothers followed the threefold Elzevir paradigm. To most readers, the imprint ex officina Elzeviriana signified textual reliability and typographical quality, and any book whose advertisement invoked the Elzevir tradition brought to mind (1) a correct text, (2) printed handsomely, and (3) sold in a portable, inexpensive format. Yet the brothers could not manage their business nor capitalize on the success of their English poets sufficiently to reverse their disintegrating fortunes. The Glasgow printers ended their days in a pitiful, beggarly, precarious state.

Keywords:   Robert Foulis, Andrew Foulis, Plato, ex officina Elzeviriana, Elzevir paradigm, Foulis brothers, Glasgow printers

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