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Preliminary Reading List

Printing, Publishing, & Consuming Texts in Britain, 1770-1919

Simon Eliot

Preliminary Advices



  1. Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1996.
  2. Brontė, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1996.
  3. Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1997.
  4. E. M. Forster. Howard's End. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 2000.
  5. Gissing, George. New Grub Street. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1976.
  6. Secondary

    There is no satisfactory single text that covers this period. The best general introduction is still, and this after nearly fifty years:

  7. Altick, Richard. The English Common Reader. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957; reprinted 1998.

  9. Brewer, John. The Pleasures of the Imagination. London: Harper Collins, 1997. Particularly chapters 3 and 4.
  10. Cross, Nigel. The Common Writer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. An often moving account of the life in Grub Street in the c19.
  11. Griest, Guinevere L. Mudie's Circulating Library & the Victorian Novel. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1970. The standard work on the subject, though now rather long in the tooth.
  12. James, Louis. Fiction for the Working Man. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. A marvellous survey of c19 hack fiction.
  13. Keating, Peter. The Haunted Study. London: Secker & Warburg, 1989. Usefully covers the period from 1875-1914.
  14. Reed, David. The Popular Magazine in Britain and the United States 1880-1960. London: The British Library, 1997. Dip into this one; in particular try chapters 3, 4 and 5.
  15. St Clair, William. The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Again, one to dip into but a good example of economics applied, quite properly, to Book History.
  16. Seville, Catherine. Literary Copyright Reform in Early Victorian England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Just try a tase of this, perhaps chapters 1 and 7.
  17. Sutherland, J. A. Victorian Novelists and Publishers. London: Athlone Press, 1976. A classic of its type; Sutherland writes well and often with wit.