William St Clair, The Reading Nation in the Romantic Period
University of Cambridge
(ISBN-10: 052181006X | ISBN-13: 9780521810067)
Published August 2004 | 796 pages | 235 x 160 mm $150.00 (C)
Most people believed that reading significantly influenced minds, attitudes, and actions during the centuries when printed paper was the only means by which texts could travel across time and distance. William St. Clair offers a very different picture of the past from those presented by traditional approaches through quantified information he provides on book prices, print runs, intellectual property, and readerships gathered from over fifty publishing and printing archives.
Illustrations; Tables; Acknowledgments; Abbreviations; 1. Reading and its consequences; 2. Economic characteristics of the printed book industry; 3. Intellectual property; 4. Anthologies, abridgment, and the development of commercial vested interests in prolonging the obsolete; 5. The high monopoly period in England; 6. The explosion of reading; 7. The old canon; 8. Shakespeare; 9. Literary production in the romantic period; 10. Manufacturing; 11. Selling, prices, and access; 12. Romance; 13. Reading constituencies; 14. Horizons of expectations; 15. ‘Those vile French piracies’; 16. ‘Preparatory schools for the brothel and the gallows’; 17. At the boundaries of the reading nation; 18. Frankenstein; 19. North America; 20. Reading, reception, and dissemination; 21. The romantic poets in the Victorian age; 22. The political economy of reading.