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Journal Articles Gutenberg Jahrbuch Year : 2022

The Creation of the Title Page in French Incunabula


Initially absent from the earliest publications, the title page was gradually adopted throughout France during the 1480s and had become a habitual characteristic of French editions by the end of the century. Though this extra page was introduced later than in the Italian or German territories, it spread rapidly, especially in certain types of imprints. This article examines the process that led to the initial adoption of a title page and, notably, this phenomenon’s relationship to the earlier insertion of preliminary blank pages. It identifies the importance of both material aspects and the type of content of the edition in determining whether or not a separate title page was included. It emphasises the context of use and preservation of exemplars, highlighting the impact of the move towards shorter and smaller formats, in particular the rise of the in-octavo, as well as the role that might have been played by the insertion of multiple items into single bindings. In addition to the creation of these Sammelbände, this study also underlines the prevalence of early title pages in accessible, often vernacular, texts that could have been bought and read by a larger part of the population.
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Dates and versions

hal-03865987 , version 1 (22-11-2022)


  • HAL Id : hal-03865987 , version 1


Malcolm Walsby. The Creation of the Title Page in French Incunabula. Gutenberg Jahrbuch, 2022, pp.26-34. ⟨hal-03865987⟩
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