The first book published in ‘California’

This very rare book, a biting satire on Poland (its form of government, parliament, laws, military, society, women, dirtiness, duelling, etc.), is the first book to be published with a ‘California’ imprint, preceding the first book actually printed in California by over 50 years (Reglamento provicional, Monterey, 1834).  It was in fact printed in Berlin.

I like fictitious imprints.  Quite why the author of this book, one Carl Friedrich Benkowitz, decided to use ‘Californien’, though, remains unclear.  I have seen places like Philadelphia and Boston used on eighteenth-century title-pages of European books, sometimes for censorship or other reasons (a French book which said it was printed in ‘Londres’ wasn’t bound by the same laws as one printed in ‘Paris’), sometimes for fun (or because the name of particular town related to the content of the book), but never California.


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2 Responses to The first book published in ‘California’

  1. Pingback: A double-take book | Simon Beattie

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