The story of how books in all their variety, from mathematics textbooks to murder mysteries, reach the hands of readers is a significant one. This is especially so in Ireland, where Irish publishing houses battle to flourish and survive through economic crises and in a market dominated by British publishers.
The paradox of publishing, writes Tony Farmar, is that though it is a business, and a risky business everywhere, it is much more than that. Publishers’ ‘gatekeeping, encouragement and investing’ help to shape what has been called a country’s ‘mentalities’. Thus the importance of a flourishing local publishing industry, especially those that share a language with an ‘over-mighty neighbour’.
The product of many years of research, this book focuses on the years from 1890 and includes a detailed chronicle of the key dates and events in the development of Irish book publishing. The final chapter, by Conor Kostick, covers the period from 2008 to 2018.
What emerges is a vivid portrait of how the Irish book publishing industry contributed and continues to contribute in immeasurable ways to the intellectual and cultural life of Ireland.