PR for People Monthly August 2017 - Page 35

Without author-publishers: the sun would still revolve around the earth (Galileo) and book print-ing would lack exquisite artistic details (Rembrandt). And Americans would still be living in the col-onies of the United Kingdom (Benjamin Franklin). It is harder to find an innovative scientist, politi-cian or creative writer who did not self-publish than those who did.

The Inquisition banned the Dialogue of Galileo Galilei on the Great World Systems because the idea that the earth revolved around the sun was contrary to the Bible. Meanwhile, the availability of bibles through the printing press made it possible for scholars like Galileo to quote scripture effectively during blasphemy trials. The press has been a tool for knowledge dissemination and empowerment of the masses. The few who govern these masses are more likely to win arguments and maintain power if their oppo-nents cannot present this valuable knowledge. Since the introduction of the printing press could not be reversed, monarchs, emperors, businessmen, and presidents have been suppressing the radical media with censorship.

Only by creating an independent journal, All the Year Round, was Charles Dickens able to publish a novel about the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities, a few years after the 1848 European Revo-lutions. The other publishers Dickens submitted this revolutionary work to self-censored or rejected it as too seditious. Meanwhile, Sir Walter Scott could only publish a series of novels about the Jaco-bite rebellions (a part of his Scottish nationalism campaign), Waverley, by anonymously founding the Ballantyne publishing business in Edinburgh. Lord Byron’s “blasphemous” satire, “The Vision of Judgment,” and Percy Shelley’s objection to unfair reviewers, “Lines to a Critic,” could only be pub-lished in their own journal, The Liberal. Most of Virginia Woolf’s feminist and anti-formulaic nov-els, including Monday or Tuesday, would not have been published in the “mainstream” if her hus-band, Leonard, and she did not create Hogarth Press. Edgar Allan Poe’s campaign was against pla-giarism among popular authors and undue puffing in corrupted review publications. Poe’s anti-publishing establishment views could only able to expressed when he had temporary ownership of Broadway Journal in articles such, “Voluminous History of the Little Longfellow War.” Herman Melville spent the modern equivalent of $29,571 to subsidize the printing of 350 copies of Clarel, his late epic poem about the Holy Land, with Harper because an inheritance allowed him to strive to create art instead of running after pop success as he did with his earlier releases. Even more outra-geously, Mark Twain paid $1.3 million to J. R. Osgood, when adjusted for inflation, to subsidize the publication of Old Times on the Mississippi, before founding his own publishing company, Charles L. Webster and Co. Henry Luce and Briton Haddon spent a few disgruntled years as reporters before finding the funding to start the Time magazine, and later its offshoots under the Time Inc. umbrella. Dudley Randall used his savings from a college librarian career to found Broadside Press in part to release his own poetry collections like Cities Burning, and to propagate for the Black Power Move-ment through releasing works by other underrepresented black writers. Alice Walker imitated the Woolfs’ example when she and her partner founded Wild Trees Press to publish works about the struggles of black people around the world, such as a book for which Walker wrote an introduction, The Spirit Journey. Few modern readers of the Tale of Two Cities realize that it was self-published. Changing readers awareness of the role self-publishing played in the history of knowledge is critical to allow modern self-publishers to be heard.

These radical publishers lived dramatic, revolutionary lives that predominantly ended in violent deaths at sea, from poison, from malpractice, or from more blatant assassinations. Some of these deaths have been ruled as suspicious by biographers, while others have been dismissed as accidental or “natural.” Since all of the reviewed author-publishers delivered a radical, anti-establishment mes-sage, it is only logical that the establishment has done its best to suppress them and their messages. In some cases, libel or treason prosecutions stopped the presses, but in others there was nothing illegal in the truthful and democratic messages, so no open retaliation was possible. The suspicious nature of these radicals’ deaths is obvious because of their intersecting similarities. The subversive executioners of these radical authors have frequently been greedy physicians. Elite medicine as a whole in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries was torturous. Sir Walter Scott died an excruciating death from bleedings, blisterings, drugging and other torments. The treatments either created the symptoms or worsened them. These symptoms included epileptic seizures or strokes, and partial paralysis. These same symptoms have been proven in Charles II’s case to have resulted from inhaling high amounts of mercury, which causes internal bleeding in