Title: Oxford University Press: An Informal History in dj.
Publisher:  Oxford University Press / Clarendon Press, Oxford , 1978,
Seller ID: 36555
SUTCLIFFE, Peter. The Oxford University Press : An Informal History. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1978. Pp 303, frontis., 24 pp plates. 8vo, blue cloth. "This history of the O.U.P. is published in the year in which the Press celebrates 500 years of printing in Oxford. Great names in the early history ofthe Press, like Laud, Fell, and Blackstone, laid sound foundations, but as late as 1870 it was thought necessary to remind the Delegates that publish ing books was not 'entirely beside their function': as late as the 1890s there were still those prepared to censure the University for allowing its Press to publish the secular and profane literature of Spenser, Marlowe, and Shakespeare. The transformation of the Press from a lucrative Bible house into a great national and international publishing business was rapid. Progress may have appeared at first to be stumbling and sporadic, but this book,despite its episodic approach and its concentration on a few outstanding i ndividuals, is essentially a study of continuity. Like any ancient institution that has survived, the Press has done so through the permanent pursuit of an impossible goal, modernity. The process of modernization continues, but given the curious agglomeration of businesses, the anomalous consequences of organic growth, and historical accident I over 500 years, it is likelyto remain, like the men who in the past governed its destiny, 'really very odd'. Vg in slightly rubbed dj. 40.00