A Literary Tour de France


Population: 85,000 in 1780.
Book Trade: nineteen booksellers and four printers. Warehousing and shipping point for Italy, Spain and Portugal, by sea, and for Avignon, Lyon and Geneva along the Rhône river. Guild, chambre syndicale, and inspector of the book trade.
Institutions: admiralty and Intendance de Marine, chamber of commerce, bishopric. Royal subdélégation, sénéchaussée court of justice, and tax viguerie.
Culture longstanding literary and artistic institutions: college of medicine, surgical and hydrographic schools, three colleges, learned academy, academy of painting, theater, concerts, newspaper, and reading cabinet.
Literacy (for entire département): male 30%, female 10%. Large Protestant community.
Communications: France’s main port and one of the largest in the Mediterranean. Outlet for the Rhône valley and Provence. Major destination on post road from Lyon.
Economy: France’s gateway to the Levant, Africa, and the Middle and Far East. Active trade with Italy, Spain and Portugal, newly-opened trade with the Caribbean. Entrepôt for trade between the Mediterranean basin and continental Europe, accessible through the Rhône valley. Fabrics, silk, tapestry, hats, leather, earthenware, soap, sugar, cork.


Booksellers in Marseille