Edmund Curll (1799 words)

  • Peter Heaney (Staffordshire University)

Edmund Curll, the bookseller-publisher, was born, by his own account, in the West of England in 1683, the son of a tradesman. He progressed from a stall-keeper to the embodiment of the new publishing phenomenon known now, as then, as Grub Street. He first comes to notice in 1706 with an edition published from the Strand, of Caesar's Commentaries. He was to become better known for less salubrious publications; Curll would sell anything by whatever means presented themselves. So, in his “Epilogue” to his Compleat Key to The Dunciad he concludes, characteristically: “There are but Two Things to be consider'd in every HEROIC Poem; First, how to write it, Secondly, how to make it sell”. His activities as publisher and …

Heaney, Peter. "Edmund Curll". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 December 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=1098, accessed 22 October 2016.]