This text consists of articles on the history of bookbinding and related subjects, most of which have been published previously in a wide variety of places. Several articles have been updated and two have been substantially rewritten. They have been grouped under seven headings and range from general topics such as bookbinding as a subject for study and the need to preserve the book in all its aspects, to more detailed descriptions of binders, the binding trade, collectors and collections. The balance is heavily weighted in favour of the gold-tooled bindings, showing an early liking for splendid products of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The more recent articles reflect Mirjam Foot's growing interest in the study of binding structures and binding techniques, amd in exploring the relation between the history of bookbinding and that of book production, the book trade, and, more generally, the history of the book and its place in the history of society at large. Written by an expert in the field, these articles place bookbinding in a wider historical context and should contribute to a greater understanding and knowldege of the history of bookbinding. The text should be of interest to bibliographers, book collectors, librarians, antiquarian booksellers, art historians, bookbinders and conservators.