Bankruptcy in the Eighteenth-Century Book Trade
Christine Ferdinand, Magdalen College Library, University of Oxford
Being thrown into prison for insolvency always spelled disaster for the debtor, who could not leave jail without outside help. But formal bankruptcy, open only to those who traded, gave the bankrupt a fresh start under the law. This paper looked at bankruptcy in the eighteenth-century book trade: what caused it, ways of avoiding it, and how individuals dealt with failure. The evidence includes banking records, publishing histories, official documents, transatlantic business correspondence, and biography.
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