Between roughly 1350 and 1500, the English vernacular became established as a language of literary, bureaucratic, devotional and controversial writing; metropolitan artisans formed guilds for the production and sale of books for the first time; and Gutenberg's and eventually Caxton's printed books reached their first English consumers. This book gathers the best work on manuscript books in England made during this crucial but neglected period. Its authors survey existing research, gather intensive new evidence and develop new approaches to key topics. The chapters cover the material conditions and economy of the book trade; amateur production both lay and religious; the effects of censorship; and the impact on English book production of manuscripts and artisans from elsewhere in the British Isles and Europe. A wide-ranging and innovative series of essays, this volume is a major contribution to the history of the book in medieval England.