Bookmark — Anniversary of the Book’s Freedom from Taxation

Louis-xii-roi-de-france
Louis XII, Roi de France, 1498-1515

In 1513, Louis XII of France issued an edict praising printing, exempting it from a large impost and removing a tax on books.  Louis declared that “the printer-booksellers … ought to be maintained in their privileges, liberties, franchises, exemptions, and immunities, in consideration of the great benefits which have been conferred upon our kingdom by means of the art and science of printing, the invention of which seems rather divine than human ….”  Two years later, Louis was dead, and the lot of books and printer-booksellers fell under the shadow of France’s so-called Father of Letters, François I, who issued an edict in 1535

 

Francis1-1
François I, Roi de France, 1515-1547  

 

banning the use of the printing press and permitted books and printers to be consigned to the flames for blasphemy.   (Richard Christie, Etienne Dolet: The Martyr of the Renaissance, 1508-1546, 1899. Pp. 330-31).    Which might be said to challenge the certainty of taxes while confirming that of death.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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