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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You don't know Tauchnitz! (Neither did I.)

Maybe you do know Tauchnitz...I am usually the last to know.  Well, there I was at a New Milford Estate sale and there on the ground was a bookmark, and I could see it said 1909. I'd buy anything from a hundred years ago...if it was small enough.
1909 Tauchnitz Bookmark
It looked interesting but I had only glanced at it.  When I finally got around to researching it I ended up with a real education in publishing.

German born Baron Tuachnitz (no, he wasn't born a Baron) was an apprentice to his uncle in the printing & publishing business in the early 19th century. At a young age he opened his own publishing house (in Germany) and began printing English translations of popular novels, stories, works.
He was so prolific at this that he quickly reached triple digits in the books he was publishing. All this without the permission of the authors - his conscience or his ethics led him to secure the rights to do this and he quickly found as much success paying his authors. He also became an exclusive publisher across the continent for these English language editions. Something that British and American publishers were not prepared to do.
1909 Tauchnitz Bookmark
  There is more to this story, which I recommend you read here. They wrote a much better history than I could. But, at least, now you know the significance of finding any book published by Tauchnitz.

Stay tuned...There were many more interesting finds at this sale, with possibly more to come.

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