what are "Black Swan" and the "Ship"?

Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 07:43 pm
Wm. Taylor was the publisher of "Robinson Crusoe," and had two businesses, the Black Swan and the Ship. These two were amalgamated later into one in Paternoster Row.

Are "Black Swan" and the "Ship" both names of bookstores? And Paternoster Row is a street in London?
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Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 07:48 pm
There are streets named Paternoster Row in several English cities. However, in this case it does refer to London. Pater noster is Latin, and it means "Our Father," and those are the opening words to what is known as the Lord's Prayer. It got that name because there was once a monastery there, and the monks were paid to say prayers for wealthy patrons.

Paternoster Row became a center for the printing and publishing business in London from the late 15th century onward. Not only did printers and publishers have their premises there, but there were also many open air book selling stalls along the street.

Paternoster Row was almost obliterated during the German bombing of London in the Second World War. It has been replaced by Paternoster Square. I don't know if it is still a center for the publishing business.

I'll go see if i can come up with something about your Mr. Taylor.
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Reply Wed 23 Nov, 2011 07:55 pm
William Taylor had two shops in Paternoster Row named, respectivley, the Black Swan and The Ship. I suspect that they were once public houses (pubs) which he purchased and which he converted to book shops. I have been unable to confirm that. Taylor lived inthe late 17th and early 18th century. In those days, as had been the case since William Caxton set up his press in London in the 1480s, a publisher was also the printer, and had a book shop at the front of his premises to sell what was printed in the back.
Reply Thu 24 Nov, 2011 12:59 am
Thank you very much!
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