Regency Reader Questions: The Price of Books

Regency Reader Question
What was the price of a book in the regency period?

Source of Question Research
Additional comments I have been researching and have only been able to come up with that they were expensive, but no one has mentioned costs.

Thanks for the excellent question, BritGirl!

I have snipped a couple of ads from various years to show prices:

These are from 1817:

From 1807:

The s in these cases is shillings and the d stands for pence.  I found a historic converter here ( but I am not sure of its date or the basis for the data…so I would think its loosely accurate.

Using this, books seemed to range between $30 to several hundred or 25 GBP to 200 GBP.  Variation appears to depend on size, number of illustrations, and number of volumes.

Here is a bit of debate about printing and publishing from 1817 that speaks a bit to price:

Hope that helps answer your inquiry!


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