The first book published in ‘California’

Posted on 22nd October 2012 by simonbeattie

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. […] stability of the whole continent due to recent events in France.  I’ve always been keen on fictitious imprints (this book was probably printed in Hamburg), but what particularly fascinated me here was its […]

  2. […] You can read about another fictitious imprint, ostensibly the first book printed in California, here. […]

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