Chapbook  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Chapbook is a generic term to cover a particular genre of pocket-sized booklet, popular from the sixteenth through to the later part of the nineteenth century. No exact definition can be applied. Chapbook can mean anything that would have formed part of the stock of chapmen, a variety of pedlar. The word chapman probably comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for barter, buy and sell.

The term chapbook was formalised by bibliophiles of the nineteenth century, as a variety of ephemera (disposable printed material.) It includes many kinds of printed material, such as pamphlets, political and religious tracts, nursery rhymes, poetry, folk tales, children's literature and almanacs. Where there were illustrations, they would be popular prints.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Chapbook" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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