Selling Forbidden Books: Profit and Ideology in Thomas Godfray’s Evangelical Printing

07 Jun 2018

Reformation scholars have tended to take for granted English demand for evangelical books without considering how writers and printers persuaded readers steeped in traditional religion to engage with verboten and challenging material. This article explores the commercial difficulties they faced in selling forbidden books and some of the tactics they adopted to nurture illicit demand. Thomas Godfray is presented as an example of a printer who combined ideological commitment to evangelical belief with an astute ability to negotiate censorship and manipulate the market.