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The Book World

Selling and Distributing British Literature, 1900-1940

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British literature underwent profound changes in the period 1900-1940. What role did audiences and channels of book distribution play in this? In this wide-ranging collection, the influence of publishers, distributors, librarians and readers come to the foreground to open up new perspectives on literature and print culture. Rooted in original archival research, chapters include studies of the engagement of canonical writers and bestsellers with the literary marketplace; the influence of international and mobile audiences; publishing practices involving genre, promotion, and censorship; and the significance of spaces of reading including bookshops, circulating libraries and on-board passenger ships. Through a series of detailed case-studies that focus on under-explored aspects of distribution and readership, the contributors open up new perspectives on literature and the British book trade.
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Lost Books

Reconstructing the Print World of Pre-Industrial Europe

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Questions of survival and loss bedevil the study of early printed books. Many early publications are not particularly rare, but others have disappeared altogether. This is clear not only from the improbably large number of books that survive in only one copy, but from many references in contemporary documents to books that cannot now be located. In this volume leading specialists in the field explore different aspects of this poorly understood aspect of book history: classes of texts particularly impacted by poor rates of survival; lost books revealed in contemporary lists or inventories; the collections of now dispersed libraries; deliberate and accidental destruction. A final section describes modern efforts at salvage and restitution following the devastation of the twentieth century.