Jacob Tonson the elder, international spy and businessman

November 28, 2016

An excerpt from an OUPblog article published on 27th November 2016, written by Stephen Bernard, editor of The Literary Correspondences of the Tonsons:

Jacob Tonson the Elder
'Few have heard of him today, but Jacob Tonson the elder (1656?-1736) was undoubtedly one of the most important booksellers in the history of English literature. He numbered Addison, Behn, Congreve, Dryden, Echard, Oldmixon, Prior, Steele, and Vanbrugh among those canonical authors whom he published. His reputation was international, and the quality and range of his classical editions remained a benchmark throughout the eighteenth century. Having a reputation outside of England was an extremely rare thing for the time, and this was remarkably brought to light by a letter from Johann Rudolf Holzer (1678–1736)...'

Read the rest of this article on the OUPblog >

Image Credit: 'Portrait of Jacob Tonson' (1717) by Sir Godfrey Kneller, from the National Portrait Gallery. Public Domain via Wiki Commons.


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