Book number: 94627 Product format: Hardback Author: LEAH PRICE

In stock

Bibliophile price £11.00
Published price £30

A shrewd look at the history of transmission, book usage and the after-life of books, this well researched reference brings book history and literary criticism into conversation with each other. It is a rich account of the ways in which novels and other printed artifacts were read, handled and circulated and is a compelling reading of 19th century print culture by a leading book historian, librarian and reader. She is very entertaining on men's use of newspapers to create little zones of domestic privacy and has brilliant things to say about what Victorians did with their bookish things. She describes how men read newspapers to learn world events while women read novels that kept them away from their daily chores, about the economic and social status of owning, reading or reciting books, and how printed paper was mostly thrown away as she contrasts the journeys of novels, tracts, fictional propogandists and real people. She asks how our culture came to frown on using books for any purpose other than reading. When did the coffee-table book become an object of scorn? Why did law courts forbid witnesses to kiss the Bible? What made Victorian cartoonists mock commuters who hid behind the newspaper, ladies who matched their books' binding to their dress, and servants who reduced newspapers to wrap fish 'n' chips wrap? Shedding new light on novels by Thackeray, Dickens, the Brontes, Trollope and Collins, as well as the urban sociology of Henry Mayhew, Price also uncovers the lives and afterlives of anonymous religious tracts and household manuals. Whether displayed, defaced, exchanged or discarded, printed matter continues to participate in a range of transactions that stretches far beyond reading. 350pp.

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ISBN 9780691114170
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