This 1957 text was the first thorough account of the serial publication of books in the eighteenth century. Professor Wiles shows how, first by serialization in newspapers and then by releasing instalments of a work in progress in small packets of sheets stitched in blue paper and delivered regularly to subscribers, English publishers made new and old books available to a great number of readers. It had not previously been realized how extensive the practice was. As a method of publishing it had important effects: because books could be sent out in instalments the high price of books sold was no longer a bar to the spread of literacy and useful knowledge. After explaining the growth of this method from the last years of the seventeenth century until 1750, Professor Wiles gives important chapters to related questions, such as the state of the law of copyright.