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This volume of The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain presents an overview of the century-and-a-half between the death of Chaucer in 1400 and the incorporation of the Stationers' Company in 1557. The profound changes during that time in social, political and religious conditions are reflected in the dissemination and reception of the written word. The manuscript culture of Chaucer's day was replaced by an ambience in which printed books would become the norm. The emphasis in this collection of essays is on the demand and use of books. Patterns of ownership are identified as well as patterns of where, why and how books were written, printed, bound, acquired, read and passed from hand to hand. The book trade receives special attention, with emphasis on the large part played by imports and on links with printers in other countries, which were decisive for the development of printing and publishing in Britain.