18th Century


By the mid eighteenth century the habit of reading and collecting books had become widespread among the leisure class. As a result, religious texts no longer dominated the world of printing and publishing. And in all things, French taste dominated the century. Both trends can be seen in Belmont Abbey examples after 1730 as listed on this page, with secular editions by La Fayette and Magnan, as well as the appearance of two great early encyclopedias by Moreri and Bayle. French examples also influenced typography, illustration and design, partly through the legacy of the Imprimerie Royale. Note the 1759 edition of Sophocles: translated by a professor at Cambridge and printed at Covent-Garden, the book's printer's mark and frontspiece show unmistakable French influence. Continuing governmental oversight over printing and publishing be seen in phrases on a number of title pages listed below, with wording such as "AVEC APPROBATION, ET PRIVELEGE DU SENAT." In this century we also see printed works of significance to colonial America: the Tobacco Act of 1714, the early history of New England by Thomas Prince, the first printed Acts of the Assembly of colonial North Carolina, the medical observations of Dr. Benjamin Rush who also signed the Declaration of Independence, and the first American gazeteer by Jedidiah Morse.

Exhibit Page

15th Century

16th Century

17th Century

18th Century

19th Century


  Tertullian. Opera Omnia. 1701.

  Suetonius. Animadversionibus. 1703.

  Sulpicius Severus. Opera Omnia. 1703.

  Thomas A Kempis. Imitatio Christi. 1711.

  Erasmus. Colloquia Familiaria. 1712.

  An Act for Encouraging the Tobacco Trade. 1714.

  Augustinius. De Rerum Creatione Sententia. 1714.

  Alciphron. Epistolae . 1715.

  Anthony Ashley-Cooper. Characteristicks. 1723.

  Comtesse de La Fayette. La Princesse de Cleves. 1725.

  Herman Moll. Geographia Classica. 1726.

  Royal Society of London. Philosophical Transactions. 1731.

  Fabricius. Bibliotheca Latina Mediae. 1734.

  Du Halde. Description De L'Empire De La Chine. 1736.

  Thomas Prince. A Chronological History of New-England. 1736.

  Perizoni. Origines Babylonicae et Aegyptiacae. 1736.

  Pierre Bayle. Dictionnaire Historique et Critique. 1739.

  Louis Moreri. Le Grand Dictionnaire Historique. 1740.

  Pietro Bembo. Degli Asolani. 1743.

  Arrianus. Expeditionis Alexandri. 1757.

  John Locke. A Letter Concerning Toleration. 1757.

  Ludovico Doissin. Sculptura Carmen. 1757.

  Sophocles. Tragedies of Sophocles. 1759.

  Antonini. Dictionnaire Italien, Latin et Francoise. 1760.

  Alexander Pope. The Odyssey of Homer. 1760.

  Thomas Mortimer. A New History of England. 1764.

  Dominique Magnan. La Ville de Rome. 1767.

  Gonzaga. Vollstandige an Weisung zur Andacht Gegen. 1767.

 .A Complete Revisal of All of the Acts of Assembly. 1773.

  Planches de L'Encyclopedie Methodique. 1790.

  Bartram. Travels Through North & South Carolina. 1791.

  Benjamin Rush. An Account of the Yellow Fever. 1794.

  Jedidiah Morse. The American Gazeteer. 1797.