The essays in this volume are concerned with early printed narrative texts in Western Europe. The aim of this book is to consider to what extent the shift from hand-written to printed books left its mark on narrative literature in a number of vernacular languages. Did the advent of printing bring about changes in the corpus of narrative texts when compared with the corpus extant in manuscript copies? Did narrative texts that already existed in manuscript form undergo significant modifications when they began to be printed? How did this crucial media development affect the nature of these narratives? Which strategies did early printers develop to make their texts commercially attractive? Which social classes were the target audiences for their editions? Around half of the articles focus on developments in the history of early printed narrative texts, others discuss publication strategies. This book provides an impetus for cross-linguistic research. It invites scholars from various disciplines to get involved in an international conversation about fifteenth- and sixteenth-century narrative literature.
Bart Besamusca, Utrecht, Netherlands; Elisabeth de Bruijn and Frank Willaert, Antwerp, Belgium.