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Authorship in the Days of Johnson (1927); and The Profession of Letters, 1780-1832 (1928).


Victor Bonham-Carter, Authors by Profession, vol. 1 (1978), pp. 11-32.


James Hepburn, The Author's Empty Purse and the Rise of the Literary Agent (1968), pp. 4-21.


J. W. Saunders, The Profession of English Letters (1964), pp. 93-145, on which see Pat Rogers, Grub Street. Studies in a Subculture (1972), pp. 393-396.


J. D. Fleeman, 'The Revenue of a Writer. Samuel Johnson's Literary Earnings', in Studies in the Book Trade in Honour of Graham Pollard, Oxford Bibliographical Society, new series 18 (1975), pp. 211-230.


Harry Ransom, 'The Rewards of Authorship in the Eighteenth Century', Studies in English, (1938), pp. 47-66.


British Library, London, MS. Addl. 38729; precise references will be found in Appendix A, where there is a list of the Nourse documents used in this paper.


H. R. Plomer, G. H. Bushnell, and E. R. McC. Dix, A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers who were at work in England Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775, The Bibliographical Society (1932), p. 183; and Terry Belanger, 'A Directory of the London Book Trade, 1766', Publishing History, 1 (1977), 12-13.


See Clayton Atto, 'The Society for the Encouragement of Learning', The Library, 4th ser., 19 (1938-39), 263-268.


It is tempting, but wrong, to identify this book with the same author's A New and Complete System of Practical Husbandry, published in 5 volumes between 1762 and 1765. This was published jointly by Baldwin, Johnstone, Crowder, Longman, Cooke, Hindmarsh, Nicoll, and Davis. Longman may, however, have been involved in 'A general view', the title given in the receipt for Nourse's payment; in October 1768 Nourse paid Mills £28.os.od. of which £18.os.od. was 'By note of Mr Longman', but he may merely have endorsed to Mills a bill which Longman had given him on another account. It is clear, however, that Mills had been at work, and it is unlikely that there would be no trace of so substantial a book had it been published. Perhaps Nourse withdrew from the project, in documents which have not survived, and the work was incorporated in New and Complete System.


F. J. G. Robinson and P. J. Wallis, Book Subscription Lists. A Revised Guide (1975), no. 760LEP


He wrote one other book; see E. G. R. Taylor, The Mathematical Practitioners of Hanoverian England (1966), p. 210.


An advertisement in The General Advertiser (6 Feb. 1746) is the only evidence, apart from this document, for the book's existence; see R. C. Alston, A Bibliography of the English Language, IV (1967), no. 583.


The first edition appears to be that of 1730, and at least 6 others are known in the 18th century, the latest in 1786.


Patricia Hernlund, 'William Strahan's Ledgers: Standard Charges for Printing, 1738-1785', Studies in Bibliography, 20 (1967), 89-111.


Present shelfmark: Vet. A5 e. 5040, but originally 8° A 11.106 Jur., a classification used for deposit intake in the mid-18th century.


Ralph Straus, Robert Dodsley, Poet, Publisher & Playwright (1910), pp. 82-83.


Ransom, pp. 61-62; and J. E. Norton, A Bibliography of the Works of Edward Gibbon (1940), pp. 44-45.


Quoted in David T. Pottinger, The French Book Trade in the ancien régime 1500-1791 (1958), p. 44.


James Holly Hanford, A Milton Handbook (4th ed., 1954), pp. 191-192, and 191, n. 10.


Harry M. Geduld, Prince of Publishers (1969), pp. 113-32.


J. C. Eade, 'Lewis Theobald's Translation Rate: a Hard Bargain', The Library, 6th ser., 1 (1979), pp. 168-170.


Saunders, p. 123; Rogers, pp. 187, 197; Hepburn, p. 7.


All this information is from the documents, and from DNB; and, for Landen, from Taylor, loc. cit.


It was as true in the 18th century as it is now that the author's side of a contract is, in practice, unenforceable at law, unlike the publisher's side; the point is made by Stanley Unwin, The Truth About Publishing (8th ed., rev. by Philip Unwin, 1976), pp. 73-74.