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Jul 20, 2006

Dr. Don Nichol is an English Professor at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. He has been researching copyright law and its role in the history of writing and publishing for more than a decade. He is the author of Pope’s Literary Legacy, published by the Oxford Bibliographical Society in 1992, and editor, more recently, of The New Foundling Hospital for Wit 1768-1773, a three-volume set containing enhanced facsimiles of some of the 18th-century’s most popular and salacious English satire.

Nothing too salacious here, unfortunately, but we do have a rollicking good talk about 18th Century booksellers and authors, the Copyright Act of 1710, the famous Pope, Gay, Johnson, and Boswell, and less famous: Andrew Miller, and my new hero, Alexander Donaldson, a Warren Buffet of his time. Here’s a short article covering similar ground written by Ivan Muzychka. Don is currently working on a new book on the history of copyright, tentatively titled ‘The Original Murphy’s Law,’ has to work out copyright issues before he can firm this up :) Periodically you’ll hear what sounds like an earthquake rumbling in the background…this is nothing more than a soft atlantic cross breeze warfting through Don’s corner (yes, he’s made it) office in the Arts building where the interview was conducted.