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 in our conversation, unfortunately, but we do have a rollicking good talk about 18th Century booksellers and authors, the Copyright Act of 1710, copyright libraries, 14 year protection, perpetual monopoly, the famous Alexander Pope and his friend John Gay, Dr. Johnson, and his biographer James Boswell, less famous Andrew Miller, and my new hero, the independent Scottish bookseller/philanthropist Alexander Donaldson, a Warren Buffet of his age.
Periodically you’ll hear what sounds like an earthquake rumbling in the background…this is nothing more than a soft Atlantic cross-breeze wafting through Don’s corner (yes, he’s made it) office in the Arts building where the interview was conducted.