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Places of publication and the Australian book trade: A study of Angus & Robertson’s London Office, 1938-1970

Ensor, Jason Donald (2010) Places of publication and the Australian book trade: A study of Angus & Robertson’s London Office, 1938-1970. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Places of Publication is a sustained study of the practice of Angus & Robertson’s London office as publishers and exporters / importers, using a mixed-methods approach combining the statistical analysis of bibliographic data with an interpretative history of primary resource materials. Although this thesis is the fourth to interrogate the extensive Mitchell Library holdings of the Angus & Robertson archives, it is the first whose central concern is the company’s production and distribution of Australian titles within the United Kingdom and further afield through its London office. Often indicated as worthy of further investigation, this is an area of history which to date has only been broadly scoped without reference to key (often restricted) archival volumes.

Exploring the premise that there are cultural and commercial links between books produced at home and books imported from overseas, this study examines whether an Australian publisher could avoid becoming subject to the same socio-economic forces that British publishers claimed underpinned their international trade. Indeed, within the historical context of a strong British presence in Australian publishing and bookselling across the course of the twentieth century, this thesis asks in what ways did Angus & Robertson replicate, challenge or transform the often highly-criticised commercial practices of British publishers in order to develop an export trade for Australian books in the United Kingdom?

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Media, Communication and Culture
Supervisor(s): Nile, Richard
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