The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume IV. Prose and Poetry: Sir Thomas North to Michael Drayton.

XVIII. The Book-Trade, 1557–1625

§ 25. Book Fairs

The great international book exchange at this period was the half-yearly fair, held at Frankfort. To this mart came representatives of the book-trade from all parts of the continent—Froben of Basel, Estienne of Geneva, Plantin of Antwerp and other leading printers from the great centres, bringing supplies of their recent books and, perhaps, specimen sheets of important fresh undertakings; there, also, would be gathered booksellers from far and near, some having in view the selling of copies of their own ventures, but most of them eager to lay in a stock of the newest literature most likely to suit the tastes of their patrons. At this period, too, when catalogues were rare, and no journals existed as a medium of regular literary information, a visit to the fair afforded opportunity to writers, scholars, and keen book lovers to see and become acquainted with the new literature.