H-45. Printing, Publishing, and Consuming Texts in Britain, 1770–1919 - Advance Reading List

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  • Required Reading


    Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1996.

    Brontë, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1996.

    Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1997.

    Forster, E. M. Howard’s End. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 2000.

    Gissing, George. New Grub Street. Hammondsworth: Penguin, reprinted 1976.


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

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

  • Suggested Reading

    Brewer, John. The Pleasures of the Imagination. London: Harper Collins, 1997. Particularly chapters 3 and 4.

    Cross, Nigel. The Common Writer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985. An often moving account of the life in Grub Street in the nineteenth century.

    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.

    James, Louis. Fiction for the Working Man. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1963. A marvelous survey of nineteenth-century hack fiction.

    Keating, Peter. The Haunted Study. London: Secker & Warburg, 1989. Usefully covers the period from 1875 to 1914.

    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.

    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.

    Seville, Catherine. Literary Copyright Reform in Early Victorian England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. Just try a taste of this, perhaps chapters 1 and 7.

    Sutherland, J. A. Victorian Novelists and Publishers. London: Athlone Press, 1976. A classic of its type; Sutherland writes well and often with wit.