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Elsa Fougt, Kungl. boktryckare: Aktör i det litterära systemet ca 1780-1810
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Literature.
2009 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Elsa Fougt (1744–1826), a woman entrepreneur, was one of the leading figures in the late eighteenth-century Swedish book trade. Her main enterprise was the printing house Kongl. Tryckeriet (the Royal Printing House), which was responsible for printing and publishing the official documents of the Swedish realm. Besides her office as Royal Printer, she also ran a publishing house, two bookshops and a type foundry, as well as being the editor of the Swedish newspaper Stockholms Weckoblad.

The dissertation analyzes Fougt's different enterprises and her position in the book trade between 1780 and 1810, from the perspectives of sociology of literature and gender history. It consists of five independent articles, preceded by an introductory chapter which summarizes the articles and discusses their main findings. The first two articles explore the office of the Royal Printer during the whole eighteenth century, while the third article concerns Elsa Fougt’s position as Royal Printer. The fourth article is a study of Fougt's publishing house, and the fifth and final article focuses on her international bookshop, where, among other things, she sold clandestine books imported from the STN in Switzerland.

Fougt's successful career was made possible by a number of favourable circumstances, the most important being her family background and network. Her father Peter Momma held the office of Royal Printer, and Elsa Fougt and her husband Henric inherited his position when he died. When Henric passed away in 1782, Elsa – as a widow – was legally allowed to take up the office of Royal Printer independently.

The fact that Elsa Fougt was a woman does not seem to have particularly affected her role as Royal Printer. In comparison with her predecessors, her position as Royal Printer appears to have been rather strong. She was a shrewd businesswoman who successfully negotiated with the authorities for higher financial compensation. Her office was obviously of greater importance than her gender.

Being both a publisher, a printer, and a bookseller, Fougt handled most of the functions of the book trade, although she distinguished between these different functions. Furthermore, rather than just being an intermediary of books, she also took part in the creation of them, for example by initiating texts and editing manuscripts.

In the book trade of her time, Fougt can be seen as both a traditionalist – holding the inherited office of Royal Printer – and an innovator, representing a more modern literary system with increased specialization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Avdelningen för litteratursociologi vid Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen i Uppsala , 2009. , p. 300
Series
Skrifter utgivna av Avdelningen för litteratursociologi vid Litteraturvetenskapliga institutionen i Uppsala, ISSN 0349-1145 ; 59
Keywords [en]
Elsa Fougt, Kongl. Tryckeriet, book history, sociology of literature, gender history, publishing history, author-publisher relations, publisher, bookseller, printer, clandestine books, Swedish eighteenth-century literature
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108077ISBN: 978-91-88300-48-5 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-108077DiVA, id: diva2:234231
Public defence
2009-10-16, Geijersalen, Engelska parken Humanistiskt centrum, Thunbergsvägen 3, Uppsala, 13:15 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-09-21 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2011-04-13Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Den kungliga boktryckaren. Del 1
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Den kungliga boktryckaren. Del 1
2005 (Swedish)In: Biblis, ISSN 1403-3313, no 30, p. 27-Article in journal (Other scientific) Published
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-76084 (URN)
Available from: 2006-02-23 Created: 2006-02-23 Last updated: 2011-01-11
2. Den kungliga boktryckaren. Del 2
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Den kungliga boktryckaren. Del 2
2005 (Swedish)In: Biblis, ISSN 1403-3313, no 31, p. 17-Article in journal (Other scientific) Published
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-76085 (URN)
Available from: 2006-02-23 Created: 2006-02-23 Last updated: 2011-01-11
3. Elsa Fougt som Kungl. boktryckare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elsa Fougt som Kungl. boktryckare
2007 (Swedish)In: Samlaren: tidskrift för svensk litteraturvetenskaplig forskning, ISSN 0348-6133, E-ISSN 2002-3871, Vol. 128, p. 5-51Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anna-Maria Rimm, Elsa Fougt som Kungl. boktryckare. (Elsa Fougt as Royal Printer.)

Elsa Fougt (1744–1826) was one of the most powerful figures in the Swedish book trade of her time. For nearly thirty years, she held the position of Royal Printer in the Swedish realm and accordingly ran the large and prestigious printing house Kongl. Tryckeriet. She also ran several enterprises that were attached to the printing house, including a publishing firm, a type foundry, and a bookshop that traded in foreign books.

While previous research about the late eighteenth-century book trade in Sweden has seen Elsa Fougt primarily as a passive figure, the widow of the Royal Printer Henric Fougt, this study argues that she was an active entrepreneur in her own right. Elsa Fougt worked independently for thirty years after her husband had died, and, moreover, she already worked as a married woman, although unofficially. Kongl. Tryckeriet was a typical family business in which each family member’s contribution was necessary for its survival. Elsa Fougt, being the daughter of the previous Royal Printer Peter Momma, had literally grown up in the business, and most probably received both the essential training and the network contacts that a future career in the trade required, even though, being a woman, she was not permitted apprenticeship as a printer. It is important to stress that the wives of entrepreneurs often worked in the family business. After her husband’s death, she was able to represent her companies officially, since widows were allowed by law to run businesses.

The fact that Elsa Fougt was a woman living and working in a patriarchal society does not seem to have particularly affected her role as Royal Printer. In comparison with her predecessors, her position as Royal Printer appears to have been remarkably strong. For instance, her recurrent demands to the authorities for higher financial compensation for printing and publishing official documents were accepted more often than those of her predecessors.

Elsa Fougt was a skillful business strategist who tried to consolidate her companies in many ways. Her most noteworthy tactic was to make use of her official position as Royal Printer and the prestigious trademark of Kongl. Tryckeriet for the purpose of benefiting her other, private, enterprises. Thus, it is evident that her different companies were tightly interwoven,even though the printing house Kongl. Tryckeriet held the most prominent place in her business empire.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Svenska litteratursällskapet, 2007
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108073 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-07 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
4. Elsa Fougt som förläggare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elsa Fougt som förläggare
2009 (Swedish)Report (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This essay studies the Royal Printer Elsa Fougt’s (1744–1826) publishing house, and her role as a publisher. Elsa Fougt’s main enterprise was her large printing house Kongl. Tryckeriet – the Royal Printing House – which was responsible for printing and publishing the official documents of the Swedish realm. In addition, she published a number of other works, both scientific literature and fiction, particularly plays. The essay consists of two major parts. The first part deals with the books produced by Fougt’s publishing house between 1782 and 1811. The second part mainly investigates her relations with authors, as well as the different functions she performed in the book trade as a publisher. Finally, Fougt’s marketing methods and sales strategies are examined.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Avdelningen för litteratursociologi, Uppsala universitet, 2009. p. 95
Series
Litteratur och samhälle: meddelande från Avd. för litteratursociologi vid Litteraturhistoriska institutionen, Uppsala, ISSN 0345-6889 ; 39:1
Keywords
sociology of literature, publishing history, publisher, book history, author-publisher relations, Elsa Fougt, Kongl. Tryckeriet
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Linguistics; Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108075 (URN)978-91-88300-47-8 (ISBN)
Available from: 2009-09-07 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2018-09-26Bibliographically approved
5. Elsa Fougt som internationell bokhandlare
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Elsa Fougt som internationell bokhandlare
2009 (Swedish)In: Biblis, ISSN 1403-3313, Vol. 47, p. 2-36Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Föreningen Biblis, 2009
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-108076 (URN)
Available from: 2009-09-07 Created: 2009-09-07 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved

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