School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Dr Budd awarded AHRC Early-Career Research Grant

Dr Adam Budd has been awarded a £200,000 AHRC Early-Career Research Grant, which he will take up at the Houghton Library, Harvard University, 2013-2015.

This project will examine the circulation of Enlightenment ideas beyond Scotland, focussing on a key figure in the social networks that linked readers with authors during this period. The bookseller Andrew Millar (1707-68) was born in Glasgow, apprenticed in Edinburgh, and was operating his own shop in the Strand, London, by 1728. Over the ensuing four decades, Millar cultivated his close ties with the leading lights and minor authors of the Enlightenment in Edinburgh to market Scottish books among English readers. He was enormously successful, and by the time David Hume had reached the zenith of his fame as a philosopher, essayist, and historian, he was demanding that his friends Adam Smith and William Robertson trust no bookseller but Millar to print and sell their books. By the end of the eighteenth century it was clear to many that the Scottish Enlightenment was able to take place in Scotland partly because its authors could rely on Millar to send their profits north.

Apart from completing a scholarly edition of Millar's correspondence and financial ledgers (under contract with Oxford UP), this project will lead to an online database of the key sources in the Anglo-Scottish history of Enlightenment literary culture, suitable for teaching and research. An international conference on Enlightenment bookselling will be hosted by the School in 2015; the project will make extensive use of manuscript archives on two continents and the dedicated work of economic and cultural historians.