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The Operation of the Prague Publishing House and Printing Works of František Šimáček (1834–1885)

Abstract

The aim of the article is to outline the activities of the Czech journalist, publisher and important representative of Czech national-economic thought in the 19th century, František Šimáček. Particular attention is focused on the operation of Šimáček’s business. Through his own company, Šimáček implemented his national-economic ideas as the essence of Czech national emancipation. In his publishing programme, he emphasised the quality of the books prepared for publication (with abundant illustrations and decorative publisher’s binding) in order to gain recognition for Czech books even in the highest social classes. As an employer and journalist, he acted as a classical liberal influenced by the pioneering ideas of Vojta Náprstek, whom he often met privately as well. He became a remarkable figure of Czech national life not only in Prague. He deliberately supported it through the distribution of the printed word, both as a radical journalist, which brought him police execution and large financial losses, and as a publisher or the owner of the printing works that offered not only the production of the publishing house but also a wide range of printed materials especially for Czech savings banks.

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